Thursday, January 06, 2005

From the Last Mughal

Koi hum nafas (companion) nahi hai,
Koi razdaan (confidante) nahi hai,

Fakat ek dil tha apna,
So woh meherbaan nahi hai.....

Marne ka tere gham mein iraada bhi nahi hai,
Hai ishq magar itna ziyaada bhi nahi hai......

Inhi patharon par chal kar agar aa sako to aao,
Mere ghar ke raaste mein kahi kahkashaan nahi hai.....

Kyo dekhte rehte hai sitaaron ki taraf,
jab unse mulaaqaat ka vaada bhi nahi hai....

A very touching and poignant lines from the last Mughal Emperor of India, Bahadur Shah Zafar.

Monday, January 03, 2005

Movie Review: Veer Zaara

Another colorful flick from Yash Chopra. And, a dazzling star cast, too. The movie revolves around a Pakistani lady lawyer - Samia Siddiqui, played pretty decently by Rani Mukherjee, fighting for the freedom of Veer Pratap Singh (Shahrukh Khan): an ex-IAF Rescue Pilot.

Rani’s character is inspired by a real-life lawyer: Asma Jahangir; Rani plays a newbie lawyer, trying to make a mark in a society, and profession, hitherto dominated by men. It’s the dawn of her career, and she decides to fight for Veer, an alleged RAW agent spending his term in a Pakistani jail.

Samia is moved to hear Veer’s sad love story: the reason he spent 22 years of his prime, in prison. Veer, 22 years ago, falls in love with Zara Hayat Khan, a beautiful character being played by Priety Zinta. Zara comes to India, to complete the last rites of her Sikh ‘Aaya’ (Zohra Sehgal), and she finds a Top Gun styled IAF pilot – Veer.

Cross border love, unlike cross border terrorism, is never an easy idea. Veer goes to Lahore to fetch his love. Zara is willing, too. But the moral obligations do not allow them to elope, as Zara is engaged, and going to marry an upcoming politician from a nobility of Lahore – Raza Shirazi (Manoj Bajpai).

But, Veer’s dare to love Zara is punished by Raza Shirazi, and a RAW agent is made out of him. Veer wouldn’t defend himself, as that would make his and Zara’s affair public; hence, a bad name for his beloved, just before her wedding bells.

However, in the end, Samia manages to bring together the separated lovers in a typical bollywood style. How? Where? That you must see for yourself.

I’d give this movie an average rating; the sequences leading to ‘lost love found’ was too melodramatic. Also, the movie looked a drag in some places.

But, good thing was the homework the director did. All Pakistani characters were portrayed appropriately. The Benazir Bhutto style ‘dupatta’ over Rani’s head, for example. Also, the Punjabi spoken in Lahore. Just I thought the ladies wore a little less make up, as compared to what the actual Pakistani women would do -;). Boman Irani plays Zara’s father; a misfit, I thought. His was a very limited, and serious part.

On the Indian side, the countryside of Punjab was fabulous, and of course very lively. Bachchan Sahib played Shahrukh’s boisterous uncle, and Hema ji, his Punjabi speaking ‘Madrasan’ Aunt.

Though it’s a movie involving Indo-Pak, and Shahrukh playing an IAF chap, don’t expect any war sequences or any form of jingoism. The movie is primarily about Love, Friendship, and Trust – that can very well blossom between two countries – provided some good sense prevails.