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Veer-Zaara

Veer-Zaara (Hindi: वीर-ज़ारा, Urdu: ویر زارا) is a 2004 Indian Hindi film directed by Yash Chopra. The movie stars Shahrukh Khan, Preity Zinta and Rani Mukerji in the leading roles, with Kirron Kher, Divya Dutta and Anupam Kher in supporting roles. Veteran actors Amitabh Bachchan and Hema Malini make special appearances in the film. The 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 officer, Veer Pratap Singh, and a Pakistani woman, Zaara Haayat Khan, who are separated for about twenty years. The story deepens with the arrival of Saamiya Siddiqui, a Pakistani lawyer, who finds Veer in prison, and upon listening to their story, tries to bring the lovers together.

Highly anticipated pre-release, the film eventually became the top-grossing Bollywood film of the year at both the Indian and the international box office, earning over Rs. 750 million worldwide, 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 Best Movie award at the annual Filmfare Awards, among others.

Synopsis

Most of the story is told in flashback from Veer's prison cell.

Zaara Haayat Khan (Preity Zinta) is an independent, carefree, and sprightly young Pakistani girl travelling to India. Her bus, which is traveling to India with her "bebe's" (a Punjabi word to denote mother or grandmother, but here used for Zaara's old governess) ashes. Before dying, "Bebe" (Zohra Sehgal) begs Zaara to fulfill her final wish - to take her ashes to India, to the holy Sikh city of Kiritpur, and scatter her ashes in the river there, among her ancestors. Zaara decides to carry out Bebe's dying wish.

In India, Zaara's bus gets into an accident, overturns, and she is saved by an Indian pilot, Squadron Leader Veer Pratap Singh (Shahrukh Khan). Zaara completes her Bebe's final rites with the help of Veer. He convinces Zaara to go back to his village with him, and spend one day together. Veer then takes Zaara on a tour of India's Punjab and they visit Veer's hometown during the Lodi festival. The two fall in love and Veer is just waiting for the right time to tell Zaara how he feels about her. But then it is revealed that Zaara is engaged to another man, Raza (Manoj Bajpai). During their last few moments together, Veer confesses his love, then watches sadly as Zaara boards the train that will take her back to Pakistan. Both believe that this is the end of the story, and the last time they will ever see each other.

Zaara eventually realizes that she loves Veer and cannot marry her fiancé; Veer, after being told over the phone by Zara's friend Shabbo, that how miserable Zara is without him, quits the Indian Air Force and goes to Pakistan to bring her back with him to India. Zaara's mother, however, begs him to leave Zaara. Zaara's father is a high-profile politician whose reputation will be ruined if news got out that his daughter is in love with a Hindu man. Veer respects this and decides to leave. But Zaara's fiancé, outraged by the shame Zaara has brought upon him, frames Veer and has him wrongly imprisoned for being an Indian spy.

22 years later, Veer meets Saamiya Siddiqui (Rani Mukerji), who is an idealistic Pakistani lawyer, whose mission in life is to pave the path for women's empowerment. To dissuade a female lawyer from being successful, she has been given Veer's case, an impossible case to many. The man has been languishing in prison and has not spoken for the last 22 years.

Veer tells Saamiya she can do anything for the case except mention, much less subpoena, Zaara's family. He's assigned the number 786 for his prisoner number. This convinces Saamiya that God has chosen Veer for some special purpose, and determined to exonerate him, and restore his name, identity and country.

After a number of attempts which fail to prove Veer's innocence, Saamiya goes to Veer's village in India to gather evidence proving Veer is Veer and not Rajesh Rathore the spy. There, Saamiya finds Zaara has taken over in the village for Veer's parents. Saamiya convinces Zaara to go back to Pakistan with her and finally tell the truth about Veer's identity. The judge releases Veer from prison and apologizes on behalf of Pakistan. After Veer is finally released, he and Zaara return to India together, at last reunited.

Cast

Actor/Actress Role
Shahrukh Khan Veer Pratap Singh
Preity Zinta Zaara Haayat Khan
Rani Mukherji Saamiya Siddiqui
Kirron Kher Mariam Hayaat Khan
Divya Dutta Shabbo
Boman Irani Jahangir Hayaat Khan
Anupam Kher Zakir Ahmed
Amitabh Bachchan Chaudhary Sumer Singh/Bauji (Guest Appearance)
Hema Malini Saraswati Kaur/Maati (Guest Appearance)
Zohra Sehgal Bebe
Manoj Bajpai Raza Shirazi

Music

The soundtrack 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. Lyrics were contributed by Javed Akhtar.

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, Mangeshkar told him, "Madan Mohan was like my brother. You [Chopra] are like my brother. I feel I have gone back in past." Other singers: Jagjit Singh, Udit Narayan, Sonu Nigam, Gurdas Mann, Roop Kumar Rathod, Ahmed and Mohhamed Hussain, appeared in the soundtrack.

List of tracks

Song Singer(s)
Tere Liye Lata Mangeshkar & Roop Kumar Rathod
Main Yahan Hoon Udit Narayan
Aisa Des Hai Mera Lata Mangeshkar, Udit Narayan, Gurdas Mann & Pritha Majumdar
Yeh Hum Aa Gaye Hain Kahan Lata Mangeshkar & Udit Narayan
Do Pal Lata Mangeshkar & Sonu Nigam
Kyun Hawa Lata Mangeshkar & Sonu Nigam
Hum To Bhai Jaise Lata Mangeshkar
Aya Tere Dar Par Ahmed Hussain & Mohd. Hussain
Lodi Lata Mangeshkar, Udit Narayan & Gurdas Mann
Tum Paas Aa Rahe Ho Jagjit Singh & Lata Mangeshkar
Jaane Kyon Lata Mangeshkar

Production

Yash Chopra returned to directing after eight years, his last directed film being Dil To Pagal Hai (1997). The film was originally going to be called Yeh Kahaan Aa Gaye Hum, a name take from the title of a song in the movie Silsila (1981). The director, Yash 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.

Release and reception

Veer-Zaara was heavily promoted pre-release. The film music, released before the actual cinematic release, went on to do very well at the charts, as was the movie. The movie opened in theatres on November 12 2004. It grossed Rs. 410 million, the highest grossing movie of the year in India. In its first week it grossed Rs. 170 million, an opening week record which was held until 2005.

The film was a success not only in India and Pakistan, but overseas, notably in United Kingdom, Germany, France, South Africa and the United States. It earned Rs. 357 million in the overseas markets, making it 2004's top-grossing Bollywood production overseas. When the three leading actors of the film, Shahrukh, Preity and Rani, 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. In February 2005, it was featured in the issue of the National Geographic Magazine in an article about Bollywood. On April 26 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. In September 2007, a book based on the making of the film, titled They said it, got released. The book contains testimonials from members of the film’s cast and crew and follows the production stages of the film.

Awards

Filmfare Awards

Veer-Zaara received fifteen Filmfare nominations. It won awards for best dialogue, story, movie and lyrics. The film was nominated for the following awards (Filmfare wins in bold. Other sections present only the wins):

IIFA Awards

National Film Awards

Stardust Awards

Star Screen Awards

Zee Cine Awards

Bollywood Movie Awards

Global Indian Film Awards

Veer-Zaara on DVD

On June 6, 2005 the Yash Raj Films released the DVD of Veer-Zaara on a Collector's Double DVD Pack, with the disc one containing the original film and second disc 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/Urdu/Punjab, and eleven subtitle tracks for English, Spanish, Dutch, Hebrew, Arabic, Gujarati, Tamil, Malayalam.

References

External links

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