‘The Romantics’ Director on #BoycottBollywood Trolls, ‘Pathaan’ Success: ‘Our Love for the Movies Never Went Away’ (EXCLUSIVE)

Smriti Mundhra, director of hit Netflix documentary series “The Romantics,” has said that the success of her show and of Shah Rukh Khan’s “Pathaan” proves that audiences continue loving Bollywood.

The star-studded, four-part series features 35 leading voices of the Hindi-language film industry and dives into the history of Bollywood through the lens of the studio Yash Raj Films’ impact over the past 50 years in making the industry globally known. It bowed on Netflix on Feb. 14 and quickly entered the top 10 charts in nine countries.

A few days earlier, Yash Raj Films’ “Pathaan,” Khan’s comeback film, had a roaring debut and has grossed $125 million so far. The film and series reversed a two-year trend on social media where the Hindi film industry was trolled with the BoycottBollywood hashtag.

“After a dark period defined by bad faith attacks and global uncertainty around the theatrical business, it is amazing to see audiences embracing Bollywood again. It proves that our love for the movies never went away, and people are rejecting the cynicism and divisiveness of movements like #BoycottBollywood,” Mundhra told Variety.

Mundhra also created smash hit Emmy nominated Netflix series “Indian Matchmaking,” co-directed Oscar nominated documentary short “St. Louis Superman” and Tribeca-winning documentary “A Suitable Girl” and directed episodes of Netflix’s “Never Have I Ever.”

“The response to ‘The Romantics’ has been overwhelming. I’m so glad the series was able to remind people of the ways cinema has been able to connect and unite us,” Mundhra said. “As Indians, cinema is in our DNA, and the collective act of watching movies in a theater is one of our most cherished rituals.”

“As the series shows, the industry has been through low points before and eventually audiences find their way back to theaters, and to each other. It just takes the right film, and the right stars, to draw them in,” Mundhra added.

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