Veer

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Posted on January 24th, 2010 in Movie Reviews

Disappointments happen. It’s a fact of life. This is something the team of Veer will perhaps be coming to terms with, because unfortunately despite their sincere efforts of delivering an epic drama with equal doses of family appeal, romance, action and patriotism they fail miserably. Whether the vision was wrongly executed or whether it was a wrong vision to begin with perhaps will be the question to ask. However, it’s simply not worth addressinng this conundrum, so time to see how and where Veer went wrong and perhaps try to unravel the why as well.

When people think of Anil Sharma all they think of is his Gadar that epic love story that took the nation by a storm. However, what they forget is that apart from Gadar, Anil Sharma’s filmography doesn’t have much more to impress. So, perhaps expecting greatness from Veer because of one name from the director’s filmography of 30 years is somewhat of a high expectation.

In addition, to expect greatness from the film simply because Salman Khan wrote the story is another common mistake by the public. Even though the man is phenomenal actor it does not mean he’ll be as great of a writer – even taking into consideration that he has the genes of the man who wrote Sholay and Deewar, Mr Salim Khan.

All and all it was the story of Veer that has nothing phenomenal to offer and makes for a poor film. It’s the usual mixture of forbidden love, unsung heroes and family dynamics brought into the British Raj times. Veer (Salman Khan) is born in a family of warriors fighting against the British in a time when everyone else has given up fighting for their country. Veer and his brother (Sohail Khan) are sent by their father (Mithun Chakraborty) to London to educate themselves and become more familiar with the British ways in order to defeat them. In London Veer encounters for the second time Princess Yashodhara (Zarine Khan). The first time the two had met was when Veer and his soldiers attacked her train back in India and naturally introductions weren’t made in that situation. The two are hopelessly infatuated by each other but absolutely aloof to who the other may actually be. The real story of the film starts when Veer discovers that Yashodhara is the princess of the neighbouring state Madhavgadh, a state that his people are trying to conquer in order to release the kingdom from the clenches of the British. From then on the story unfolds to show how Veer conquers Yashodhara’s father who is one with the British and free yet another state from the British Raj while taking his lady love with him.

Reading the story you’re perhaps already bored and thinking that all these situations have been rehashed on screen over and over again be it Lagaan, Jodhaa Akbar or Kisna. Each period drama set in the days of Kings and Kingdoms and war never seem be too innovative, but rather are simply tweaked version of the same old story lines. Sometimes it’s the British Raj, sometimes it’s the Mughal Raj, despite the Raj the story remains the same and frankly we the audience are really tired of seeing it over and over again.

The first half of the film is perhaps the worst portion and if it weren’t for the hope that this will get better many would have been tempted to go and spend their time elsewhere. Thankfully the middle portion when Salman and Sohail travel to London becomes a bit more engaging. However, that doesn’t last long because the screenplay takes yet another dive towards the end.

Salman Khan has definitely given this role all that he’s got, but sadly a good performance doesn’t balance out a rehashed story. While he’s more than merely competent in his performance, the same cannot be said about his looks. When in the British attire of shirts, pants, hats and a tamed hair cut he looks marvelous, but when in his Desi attire one simply can’t help but laughing. Especially when the film opens with him in a poncho styled kurta and leather pants fighting in on top of the train in the middle of a desert. You simply sit there gob smacked at this look wondering what on earth was this costume designer thinking. As for his hairstylist, he/she needs to be fired pronto!

Now coming to Salman the writer, we are sorry to say that he fails miserably at this new hat he adorned for the film. His vision of ‘one of a kind’ warrior, while an ambitious undertaking, was nothing new or out of the ordinary. We truly hope that he will think of more innovative story lines next time he picks up the pen.

Moving from Salman the actor and Salman the writer to Salman’s latest find Zarine Khan. Honestly, there’s not much you can say about this newcomer because she doesn’t have much scope in the film. In addition her voice seemed to be dubbed and without knowing what her dialogue delivery is like it’s useless to be judging her acting. Despite that, she does look the part, that of a matured young princess torn between what is wrong and what is right. We certainly hope we get to see her again on screen soon and perhaps in a more meaty character.

As for the Salman and Zarine jodi, it perhaps is the only thing that worked in this film. Two scenes come to mind in the whole film that are impressive and both feature the couple. The first being when Veer finds out Yashodhara’s reality which has been brilliantly shot. The second has to be the scene when Veer confronts Yashodhara in her chambers about his intentions. Salman especially shines in both scenes.

Mithun and Jackie Shroff are the most prominent supporting cast members and are apt in their roles. However, their roles are extremely predictable thus performing these characters could have hardly been a challenge. Sohail Khan is a waste in his small role. One can’t help wondering why doesn’t he get back to directing and give us another charmer like Pyaar Kiya Toh Darna Kya. Playing second fiddle to brother Salman in 99% of his movies is just not a flattering task for a rather talented writer and director.

The music by Sajid Wajid is one of a kind and a definite step up for the composers, however it’s a shame it had to be used in this film. Cinematography and action are both well done by their respective departments however, one simply can’t appreciate the hard work when the film is not engaging.

To sum up the experience of Veer is impossible. We’ve heard so much about the film over the years that our expectations were simply sky high and sadly the film doesn’t come close to them. Watch it only if you’re a die-hard Salman fan.

Our Rating:

Kuch Toh Bolo!

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