Veer-Zaara

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Veer-Zaara
Veerzaara.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Yash Chopra
Produced by Yash Chopra
Aditya Chopra
Screenplay by Aditya Chopra
Story by Aditya Chopra
Starring Shah Rukh Khan
Preity Zinta
Rani Mukerji
Manoj Bajpayee
Narrated by Shah Rukh Khan
Music by Madan Mohan
Sanjeev Kohli
Cinematography Anil Mehta
Edited by Ritesh Soni
Distributed by Yash Raj Films
Release dates 12 November 2004
Running time 192 minutes
Country India
Language Hindustani
Budget INR250 million (US$4.1 million)[1]
Box office INR942.2 million (US$15 million)[2]

Veer-Zaara is a 2004 Indian romantic drama film directed by Yash Chopra under the Yash Raj Films banner. The film stars Shah Rukh Khan and Preity Zinta in the leading roles, with Rani Mukerji, Manoj Bajpayee, Kirron Kher, Divya Dutta and Anupam Kher in supporting roles. Veteran actors Amitabh Bachchan and Hema Malini make a special appearances in the film. The film's story and dialogues were written by Aditya Chopra.

Set against the backdrop of conflict between India and Pakistan, this star-crossed romance follows the unfortunate love story of an Indian Air Force pilot, Squadron Leader Veer Pratap Singh, and a Pakistani woman hailing from a rich political family of Lahore, Zaara Haayat Khan, who are separated for 22 years. Saamiya Siddiqui, a Pakistani lawyer, finds Veer in prison, and upon listening to his story, tries to get him freed.

Highly anticipated pre-release,[3] the film eventually became the top-grossing Bollywood film of the year at both the Indian and the international box office, earning over INR942.2 million (US$15 million) worldwide,[2] in addition to being showcased at numerous prominent film festivals around the world. The music of the film, based on old compositions by the late Madan Mohan with lyrics by Javed Akhtar, was also successful. Upon its theatrical release, Veer-Zaara received mostly positive reviews from critics. The film won several awards in major Indian film award ceremonies, including the Most Popular Film award at the National Film Awards and the Filmfare Award for Best Film, among others. The film marked Chopra's return as a director after seven years post Dil To Pagal Hai, which also starred Shahrukh Khan.

Plot[edit]

Most of the story is revealed as a flashback from the prison cell of Veer Pratap Singh.

The narrative begins by showing Zaara Haayat Khan (Preity Zinta), an independent, carefree, and sprightly young Pakistani girl travelling to India.Her family is of a political background and a well known family of Lahore. She is on her way to India with the ashes of her Sikh governess Bebe (a Punjabi word to denote mother or grandmother, but here used for Zaara's old governess). Before dying, Bebe (Zohra Sehgal) begs Zaara to fulfill her final wish - to take her ashes to India, to the holy Sikh city of Kiratpur, and scatter them in the Sutlej river, among her ancestors. Zaara decides to carry out Bebe's dying wish.

Upon reaching India, Zaara's bus meets with an accident causing it to overturn. An Indian Air Force pilot, Squadron Leader Veer Pratap Singh (Shah Rukh Khan) comes to her rescue and with his help, Zaara completes Bebe's final rites. Veer convinces Zaara to return with him to his village to spend one day together. Zaara agrees and Veer takes her on a tour of India's Punjab. They visit Veer's home village on the day of the Lodi festival and meet Veer's uncle Choudhary Sumer Singh (Amitabh Bachchan) and aunt Saraswati Kaur (Hema Malini). With his uncle telling Veer that, in a dream he has seen Zaara becoming Veer's wife, Veer realises he is falling in love with Zaara. Taking her to catch her train to Lahore, Veer is just waiting for the right time to tell Zaara about his feelings, but before he can do that they are met by Zaara's fiance, who has come looking for her, Raza Sharazi (Manoj Bajpayee). Just before she boards the train, Veer confesses his love to Zaara. He gets no sense of Zaara's feelings, but as she is leaving he discovers he still has one of her silver anklets. She nods for him to keep it; both believe that this is the end of the road for their relationship and that they will probably never meet again.

On reaching Pakistan, Zaara realises that she is having deep feelings of love for Veer, but that it is her duty to keep her family's honour and marry her fiancé, a wedding that will further her father's political career. She initially tells her mother of an Indian man who is ready to give his life for her and for whom she has fallen for. Soon Zaara starts to see Veer everywhere and finally tells Shabbo (Divya Dutta), her maid and friend, that she has fallen in love with him. Shabbo calls Veer and tells him how miserable Zaara is without him. She asks him to come and take Zaara away. Veer who had told Zaara that he would give up his life for her, quits the Indian Air Force and goes to Pakistan to bring her back with him to India. Zaara's mother, Mariam Hayaat Khan (Kirron Kher), however, begs him to leave Zaara as Zaara's father, Jahangir Hayaat Khan (Boman Irani) is a high-profile politician whose reputation, and health, will be ruined if news gets out that his daughter is in love with an Indian. Veer respects this request and decides to leave for India but Raza, who is outraged by the shame Zaara has brought upon him, frames Veer and has him wrongly imprisoned on charges of being an Indian spy.

The story moves forward by 22 years and Veer now meets Saamiya Siddiqui (Rani Mukerji), who is an idealistic Pakistani lawyer, whose mission in life is to pave the path for women's empowerment in Pakistan. The Pakistani government has decided to review the cases of some Indians, but stacking the deck against Siddiqui winning her first case, she has been given the case of prisoner 786 (Veer). Many view it as an impossible task as the man has been languishing in prison and has not spoken to anyone for the last 22 years. Also, the prosecution is led by Zakir Ahmed (Anupam Kher), her ex-boss who has never lost a case.

Veer opens up to Saamiya and tells her that she can fight his case but cannot mention, much less subpoena, Zaara's family. The number 786 is considered by some Muslims to be a holy number in Islam; this convinces Saamiya that God has chosen Veer for some special purpose, and she becomes even more determined to exonerate him, restore his name and identity, and return him to his country.

After the prosecution presents it case, Saamiya realises she must cross the border and find someone in Veer's village who can prove Veer's true identity. There, Saamiya meets Zaara, who had fled to India and has taken over running the girl's school after the deaths of Veer's uncle and aunt. She had thought that Veer died on his bus that ran off a cliff, killing everyone on its way to India. Saamiya takes Zaara back to Pakistan to tell the court the truth about Veer's identity. The judge releases Veer from prison and apologises on behalf of Pakistan. After Veer is finally released, he and Zaara say goodbye to Saamiya and Pakistan at the Wagah border crossing, returning to their village together. The story states two lovers always find their way no matter how difficult it is and destiny will always put you together.

Cast[edit]

Music[edit]

Veer-Zaara
Studio album by Madan Mohan
Released
18 September 2004 (India)
Genre Feature film soundtrack
Label
Yash Raj Music
Producer Madan Mohan
Madan Mohan chronology
Chaal Baaz
(1980)
Veer-Zaara
(2004)
--

The soundtrack of Veer-Zaara was released on CD and specially on Audio DVD. The music is based on old and untouched compositions by the late Madan Mohan, as revised by his son Sanjeev Kohli.

Yash Raj Music also released complete background music of Veer-Zaara, this being a rarity. The CD was titled The Love Legend Themes - Instrumental.

The famous playback singer Lata Mangeshkar sang most of the songs. She used to sing with Madan Mohan, so there was a special poignancy to her contributions. According to Yash Chopra, upon coming for the recording, with tears in her eyes, Lata Mangeshkar told him, "Madan Mohan was like my brother. You [Chopra] are like my brother. I feel I have gone back in past".[3] Other singers like Udit Narayan, Jagjit Singh, Sonu Nigam, Gurdas Mann, Roop Kumar Rathod, Ahmed Hussain, Mohammad Hussain and Pritha Mazumder also appear in the soundtrack. The album was the best selling Bollywood soundtrack of the year.[4] The album was nominated for Filmfare Best Music Director but lost to Main Hoon Na, although it managed to win IIFA Award for Best Music Director.

List of tracks[edit]

No. Title Singer(s) Length
1. "Tere Liye"   Lata Mangeshkar, Roop Kumar Rathod 05:34
2. "Main Yahan Hoon"   Udit Narayan 04:57
3. "Aisa Des Hai Mera"   Lata Mangeshkar, Udit Narayan, Gurdas Mann, Pritha Mazumder 07:10
4. "Yeh Hum Aa Gaye Hain Kahan"   Lata Mangeshkar, Udit Narayan 05:45
5. "Do Pal"   Lata Mangeshkar, Sonu Nigam 04:27
6. "Kyon Hawa"   Lata Mangeshkar, Sonu Nigam 06:14
7. "Hum To Bhai Jaise"   Lata Mangeshkar 04:19
8. "Aaya Tere Dar Par"   Ahmed Hussain, Mohammad Hussain, Mohd. Vakil 07:53
9. "Lodi"   Lata Mangeshkar, Udit Narayan, Gurdas Mann 06:55
10. "Tum Paas Aa Raahein Ho"   Lata Mangeshkar, Jagjit Singh 05:12
11. "Jaane Kyun"   Lata Mangeshkar 05:16

Production[edit]

Yash Chopra returned to directing after seven years, his last directed film being Dil To Pagal Hai. The film was originally going to be called Yeh Kahan Aa Gaye Hum, a name taken from the title of a song in the movie Silsila (1981). Chopra, eventually decided on Veer-Zaara as a title. However, one of the songs in the film is called "Yeh Hum Aa Gaye Hain Kahan", a twist on the proposed title.

Veer Zaara was Chopra's third consecutive film to feature Shahrukh Khan in the lead role. Originally, Chopra had intended Aishwarya Rai to play the supporting role of Sammiya Siddiqui, however she was replaced by Rani Mukerji. Chopra later stated that he had cast Zinta in the lead role, as he wanted to transform her acting persona from being westernised to being versatile, in being able to play a Punjabi girl. The casting of the movie helped the film garner a larger hype prior to its release.

Reception[edit]

Veer-Zaara opened in theatres on 12 November 2004. It grossed over INR942.2 million (US$15 million) worldwide.[2]

The film collected INR580 million (US$9.5 million) in India, becoming An All Time Blockbuster of the year.[5] In its first week it grossed INR170 million (US$2.8 million), an opening week record which was held until 2005.[6]

The film was a success not only in India and Pakistan, but also overseas, notably in United Kingdom, Germany, France, South Africa, Canada and the United States. It earned INR357.5 million (US$5.9 million) in the overseas markets, making it 2004's top-grossing Bollywood production overseas and was declared an all time blockbuster.[7]

When the three leading actors of the film, Khan, Zinta and Mukerji, visited the Virgin Megastore in the UK, over 5,000 fans thronged the store. Apart from that, it was screened at the Berlin Film Festival, where it was received well.[8] In February 2005, it was featured in the issue of the National Geographic Magazine in an article about Bollywood.[9] On 26 April 2006, Veer-Zaara had its French premiere at The Grand Rex, the biggest theatre in Paris. It is the first Hindi film to premiere in such a large and luxe venue.[10] In September 2007, a book based on the making of the film, titled They said it, was released. The book contains testimonials from members of the film’s cast and crew and follows the production stages of the film.[11]

Critical reaction[edit]

Veer-Zaara received positive reviews from critics. Aakash Gandhi of Planet Bollywood gave the film a 9.5/10 rating and said, "Love stories come and go, films become hits and flops; but eternal love stories and immortal films are what stay alive in the hearts of movie lovers. Veer-Zaara is the majestic tale of two people, whose love for one another crosses into the realm of inspirational devotion. Veer and Zaara…two names detached by the wraths of religion…two entities divided by military and national borders…two forms estranged by miles of expansive distance…one soul joined by sacrificial love…one existence…Veer-Zaara.[12] S.Mahapatra of smashits.com observed, "This emotional love story is not only a serious entertainer but also one which contains a message for the public...a message to strengthen the bond of love between India and Pakistan."[13] Subhash K. Jha of glamsham.com stated, ""Veer-Zaara" is a very simple story of immense nobility and idealism. Its contours are fleshed out with the most precious colours of life to complete a picture that is at once symmetrical and sublime, sweet, tender and yet secreting a core of strength and conviction that takes it beyond the conventional romantic musicals."[14] Giving the film 4 out of 5 stars, Nikita Desai of apunkachoice.com wrote, "Veer Zaara is a movie that will appeal to many. Although it dabbles in drama at the cost of realism, the movie does pluck a few strings at heart with a story that comes as a refreshing change in these times of sexually explicit flicks."[15]

The film was also acclaimed overseas. Manish Gajjar of BBC commented, "Veer Zaara has a great storyline with some unpredictable twists and emotions, keeping you engrossed throughout."[16] BBC guest reviewer Jay Mamtora said, "Veer Zaara is an intense, emotionally charged, mature love story that never loses focus." He remarked, "...it's a very sensible and mature film that has the makings of a classic regardless of its fate at the box office."[17] Derek Elley of Variety wrote, "Though it doesn't quite match recent classics like "Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham..." in sheer technique and production sheen, in-depth star casting and thorough entertainment values make this a must-see for Bollywatchers.[18] LilAni of bollywhat.com stated, "Veer-Zaara evades description; the viewer must simply experience it for herself [sic]. To watch it is to fall in love with the characters. You will emerge from the theatre feeling like you have just immersed yourself in a different, more magical world."[19]

Awards[edit]

Filmfare Awards[edit]

Winner:

Nominated:

IIFA Awards[edit]

National Film Awards[edit]

Stardust Awards[edit]

Best Actor - Shahrukh Khan

Star Screen Awards[edit]

Zee Cine Awards[edit]

Bollywood Movie Awards[edit]

Global Indian Film Awards[edit]

DVD release[edit]

On 6 June 2005 Yash Raj Films released the DVD of Veer-Zaara on a Collector's Double DVD Pack, with disc one containing the original film and disc two having special features, e.g. making of the songs (with little original melodies), interview with Yash Chopra, premier, deleted scenes, trailers and promo and deleted song "Yeh Hum Aa Gaye Hain Kahan".

Disc 1 (the film) has one audio track in Hindi, and eleven subtitle tracks in English / Arabic.

The film was released on Blu-ray in December 2009.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Veer Zaara". Retrieved 25 December 2010. 
  2. ^ a b c "Top Lifetime Grossers Worldwide". Boxofficeindia.com. Retrieved 25 December 2010. 
  3. ^ a b Jha, Subhash K (14 September 2004). "The Rediff Interview". Rediff.com. Retrieved 16 August 2008. 
  4. ^ "Internet Archive Wayback Machine". Web.archive.org. 22 January 2009. Archived from the original on 22 January 2009. Retrieved 17 August 2011. 
  5. ^ "Box Office 2004". BoxOffice India.com. Retrieved 16 August 2008. 
  6. ^ "Top First Week Earners". BoxOffice India.com. Retrieved 16 August 2008. 
  7. ^ "Overseas Earnings (Figures in Ind Rs)". BoxOffice India.com. Retrieved 16 August 2008. 
  8. ^ "Yash Chopra on Berlin Film Festival Jury". YashRajFilms.com. 18 January 2006. Retrieved 16 August 2008. 
  9. ^ "Welcome to Bollywood". National Geographic. Retrieved 20 May 2011. 
  10. ^ "Love legend moves on". The Telegraph. 4 May 2006. Retrieved 16 August 2008. 
  11. ^ IndiaFM News Bureau (20 September 2007). "They Said It… - A book on the making of Veer Zaara". indiaFM. Retrieved 16 August 2008. 
  12. ^ "Review by Aakash Gandhi (Planet Bollywood)". Retrieved 31 December 2012. 
  13. ^ "A PERFECT EMOTIONAL STORY". Retrieved 31 December 2012. 
  14. ^ "Review by Subhash K. Jha". Retrieved 31 December 2012. 
  15. ^ "Review by Anita Desai". Retrieved 2 January 2013. 
  16. ^ "Review by Manish Gajjar ( BBC)". Retrieved 1 January 2013. 
  17. ^ "Review by Jay Mamtora (BBC)". Retrieved 1 January 2013. 
  18. ^ "Review by Derek Elley (Variety)". Retrieved 31 December 2012. 
  19. ^ "Review (bollywhat.com)". Retrieved 2 January 2013. 

External links[edit]