Early signs are that Salman Khan’s ego-project Veer with its ludicrous costume design, high school acting and straight-to-video storyline is destined to be a flop – although there is still some hope that it may pick up sales in the DVD market. It is also said to have some plus points in terms of the emotional depth of the relationship between the hero and his father; Zarine Khan’s impressive debut – and the contribution made by Lisa Lazarus in a supporting role. Early openings, however, suggest a miserable 20-25% occupancy rate. The film continues Salman’s dreadful run as an actor, where he has languished in ninth position for the past decade on an average gross of 15.7cr per movie – way behind Aamir’s 56.3, Hrithik’s 31.5, SRK’s 29.3 and Akshay’s 21.7.
Salman is certainly to be congratulated for the effort he put into making the movie different. Inspired by Taras Bulba, the script is more ambitious in its emotional range than most historical epics. “This has emotion, drama and comedy unlike other period films, which always casts an impression that no-one used to laugh in those days,” Salman says, “The language has undergone a huge change. The dialogues are in contemporary language but would show that people of that time used to speak and behave like this.”
The film appears to have hit choppy waters right near the end of its production phase with rumours of Salman falling out with the producer and director over the colour gradient used in the film and with some of the final shots of Zarine Khan. “What started as a discussion finally led to a fullblown argument, resulting in an ugly, verbal spat between the actor on one side and the producer and director on the other,” says a source. There are also signs that Salman was proving difficult to work with during the marketing effort for the movie.