73 Years of Pakistan China Friendship

Directed by: Anil Sharma
Producer by: Vijay Galani, Sunil A. Lulla
Starring: Salman Khan, Sohail Khan, Mithun Chakraborty, Jackie Shroff, Zarine Khan, Lisa Lazarus, Gita Soto, Neena Gupta
Music Dir: Sajid, Wajid

The much awaited and highly hyped Salman Khan starrer 'Veer' directed by the 'Gadar' fame Anil Sharma is the sole release this Friday, January 22, 2010. The owners have paid hefty price to exhibit the movie in their theaters, especially single screeners.

In fact, some of the theaters have withdrawn even the otherwise well paying Aamir Khan starrer '3 Idiots' to show 'Veer'. So, the movie has good prospects at the box office also because of holiday for the 60th Republic Day in India. Besides, Salman is returning with period film after the success of his hit 'Wanted'.

The movie's story revolves around the bravery of Pindari warrior Veer played by Salman Khan and his love for Princess Yashodhara played by Kat's look-alike Zarine Khan. However, Veer is torn between the love of his beau and love for his country coupled with his tribe in the historical backdrop of the British rule in India, who adopted the Divide and Rule policy vis-a-vis erstwhile Indian princes and nawabs.

There was an exception though; the Pindaris commanded by their chief Prithvi Singh played by Mithun Chakravorthy had declined to surrender to the British. Yet the ruler of Madhavgarh played by Jackie Shroff betrayed Pindaris and helped the colonizer in uprooting the brave tribesmen of their permanent land.

Thus, Pindaris and Madhavgarh became sworn enemies of each other. Veer, son of Mithun playing Prithvi Singh as Pindari Chief, accidentally fell for Princess Yashodhara, daughter of Jackie Shroff (Madhavgarh's ruler). This introduces a twist in the story. Then, enters Punya played by actor Sohail Khan as Veer's younger brother. Though Sohail is funny but a fierce fighter too.

'Veer' is said to base on Nikolai Gogol's book, 'Taras Bulba'. Interestingly, the script is written by Salman Khan himself though some 20 years ago, and the movie has cost approximately Rs 440 million to the producer.

Its USP is the terrific and larger than star look of Salman Khan very ably supported by his colleagues like Mithun Chakravarty playing as Salman's father and Jackie Shroff as a villain in the form of father of Salman's love, a Rajasthani princess named Yashodhara. The movie has flaws too; its writers as well as its director fail in their jobs.

While the writers fail to connect the first half with the latter half and don't lend it real life credibility, the director fails in his job of editing it tightly. The story goes well before the interval. In the second half, the hero goes to London, meets the heroine and also falls in love with Yashodara within minutes. It looks unreal.

The female star Zarine Khan playing princess Yashodhara is pretty good and looks like Salman's girlfriend Katrina Kaif. Kats couldn't do the movie, as she couldn't give six months' consecutive dates for shooting. However, the look-alike needs to learn a lot and quite fast to reach even close to Kat. In this movie, Zarine remains steady and fails to react to the situations by changing her expression. A pity!

Acting-wise, we find the movie a success. While Salman Khan looks terrific, his performance falls far short of his preparedness for lack of solid script. For instance, Veer's London trip falls flat; fails to convince the audience that Veer meets with Zarine Khan and within minutes falls for her and enrolls himself in her college.

So is also his killing spree of whites in London and then returning to India along with his wounded brother Sohail. From this episode, the audience feels disconnected with the first half.

It's like overstretching the role of Salman who otherwise excels looking like a complete fighter of that period. Thus, climax isn't as good as was the beginning. Mithun Chakravorthy does better in his role of the Pindari chief as his physique lends him complete support. Jackie Shroff proves his mettle in the negative character very well. Sohail Khan as Veer's brother Punya is okay.

Aryan Vaid and Puru Rajkumar have hardly any big scope. Neena Gupta is as usual her best. English actors are okay. Other cast isn't far behind to lend support to the main characters.

Alas, Anil Sharma falls far short of his reputation of a period film director of 'Gadar-Ek Prem Katha'. He fails his hero Salman Khan and also the producer who spent a huge sum. Maybe the wide differences between Salman and Anil Sharma are the root causes, but the less said the better about the screenplay writers - Shaktimaan Talwar and Shailesh Verma - who don't take the movie to its climax.

Thus, the director fails an otherwise good cast. As far as its music is concerned, the Sajid-Wajid duo has done a very good job, especially in giving a track like 'surily ankhiyo wali'. However, it shouldn't heave been repeated though it's already a hit among the audience. Monty's music gels well. The cinematography by Gopal Shah is indeed excellent. Other production departments have also done their jobs very well.

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