Veer-Zaara

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Veer-Zaara
Veer-Zaara.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Yash Chopra
Produced by Yash Chopra
Aditya Chopra
Screenplay by Aditya Chopra
Story by Aditya Chopra
Starring Shah Rukh Khan
Preity Zinta
Rani Mukerji
Narrated by Yash Chopra
Music by Madan Mohan
Sanjeev Kohli
Cinematography Anil Mehta
Edited by Ritesh Soni
Production
company
Distributed by Yash Raj Films
Release date
  • 12 November 2004 (2004-11-12)
Running time
192 minutes
Country India
Language Hindi
Budget 230 million[1]
Box office 976.4 million[1]

Veer-Zaara (Hindi pronunciation: [ʋiːr zaːraː]) is a 2004 Indian romantic drama film directed and co-produced by Yash Chopra with his son Aditya Chopra. It stars Shah Rukh Khan and Preity Zinta as the eponymous star-crossed lovers; Veer is an Indian Air Force pilot and Zaara is a Pakistani woman hailing from a rich political family of Lahore. When Veer learns Zaara loves him, he quits his job to go to Pakistan, where he is imprisoned on false charges. Years later, a young Pakistani lawyer played by Rani Mukerji finds Veer in prison and upon listening to his story, tries to free him. Veer-Zaara had Divya Dutta, Manoj Bajpayee, Akhilendra Mishra and Anupam Kher play supporting roles, with a special appearance from Amitabh Bachchan and Hema Malini.

Chopra wanted to make his return to cinema after seven years; he was dissatisfied with the scripts he received. Aditya then narrated a few scenes of a story he had written, which interested Chopra and prompted him to direct it. Chopra intended the film to be a tribute to Punjab; it was to be titled Yeh Kahan Aa Gaye Hai Hum. Set in India and Pakistan, principal photography took place in Punjab and various locations in Mumbai; parts of the film were also shot in Pakistan. The soundtrack album, based on old compositions by Madan Mohan with lyrics by Javed Akhtar, was the highest-selling album of the year in India.

The film was released on 12 November 2004 during the Diwali festival, Veer-Zaara earned over 976.4 million worldwide, becoming the highest-grossing Indian film of the year in both India and overseas territories. It received positive reviews from critics, with praise directed to the story, dialogues, performances and sensitive portrayal of India-Pakistan relations, it was described by analysts as having themes pertaining to a shared Punjabi culture, secularism and feminism, among others. The film won several awards in major Indian film award ceremonies, it won four awards at the Filmfare Awards, including Best Film and Best Story. At the 6th IIFA Awards, the film won 7 awards, including Best Film, Best Director, Best Actor and Best Supporting Actress. It also won the Best Popular Film Providing Wholesome Entertainment at the National Film Awards.

Plot[edit]

In 2004, the Government of Pakistan decides to review unsolved cases pertaining to Indian prisoners as a goodwill gesture. Saamiya Siddiqui, an aspiring Pakistani lawyer, is given prisoner 786's defence as her first case, who has not spoken to anyone for 22 years, always holding an anklet in his hand, after addressing him as Veer Pratap Singh–the name he identifies with–Veer opens up to Saamiya and narrates his story.

Zaara Haayat Khan is an independent, carefree, and sprightly young Pakistani girl whose family is of political background and well known in Lahore, before dying, her Sikh governess (Bebe) asks Zaara to scatter her ashes in the Sutlej river among her ancestors, as her final wish. Zaara leaves without informing anyone. While traveling to India, her bus meets with an accident, causing it to fall into a gorge. Veer, an Indian Air Force pilot, rescues her and with his help, she completes Bebe's final rites. Veer convinces Zaara to return with him to his village to spend a day together on account of Lohri. Zaara meets Veer's uncle Choudhary Sumer Singh and his aunt Saraswati Kaur, with his uncle telling Veer that he has seen Zaara becoming Veer's wife in a dream, Veer realises he is falling in love with Zaara.

Taking her to catch her train to Lahore, Veer is about to confess his feelings for Zaara, but before he does so he meets Zaara's fiancé, Raza Sharazi, who has come looking for her. Just before she boards the train, Veer confesses his love to Zaara, he gets no sense of Zaara's feelings, but as she is leaving he discovers he still has one of her silver anklets. She nods for him to keep it; both believe that this is the end of their relationship and that they will probably never meet again.

Upon reaching Pakistan, Zaara realises that she is having deep feelings of love for Veer, but that it is her duty to keep her family's honour and marry her fiancé, a wedding that will further her father's political career, she initially tells her mother of an Indian man who is ready to give his life for her and for whom she has fallen for. But her mother becomes angry at hearing it, she then tells Shabbo, her maid and friend, of her love for Veer. Shabbo calls Veer and asks him to take Zaara away to India.

Veer who had told Zaara that he would give up his life for her, quits the Indian Air Force and goes to Pakistan to bring her back with him to India. Zaara's mother, Mariyam Hayaat Khan, however, begs him to leave Zaara as Zaara's father, Jehangir Hayaat Khan is a high-profile politician whose reputation, and health, will be ruined if news gets out that his daughter is in love with an Indian. Veer respects this request and decides to leave for India but Raza, who is outraged by the shame Zaara has brought upon him, frames Veer and has him wrongly imprisoned on charges of being an Indian spy.

Veer tells Saamiya that she can fight his case, but requests her to not mention either Zaara or her family, the number 786 is considered by some Muslims to be a holy number in Islam; this convinces Saamiya that God has chosen Veer for some special purpose. After the prosecution presents its case, Saamiya realises she must cross the border and find someone in Veer's village who can prove Veer's true identity.

There, Saamiya meets Zaara and Shabbo, who had fled to India and have taken over running the girls' school after the deaths of Veer's uncle and aunt, she had thought that Veer died on his bus that ran off a cliff, killing everyone on its way to India. Saamiya takes Zaara back to Pakistan to tell the court the truth about Veer's identity, the judge releases Veer from prison and apologises on behalf of Pakistan. After Veer is finally released, he and Zaara say goodbye to Saamiya and Pakistan at the Wagah border crossing, returning to their village together.

Cast[edit]

Production[edit]

Development[edit]

Chopra (pictured) made his return to direction after six years with Veer-Zaara.

Yash Chopra was due to return to directing after seven years since Dil To Pagal Hai (1997).[2] After his son Aditya completed filming for Mohabbatein (2001), they started to look for a new script for Chopra's return as a director. None of the new scripts excited Chopra; he expressed his disdain at the new trend of the films of the time, stating, "I was tired of television promos. All the semi-clad girls look the same." Chopra stated he was as nervous of his return as he was while directing his debut Dhool Ka Phool (1959). He then finalized another script and began casting for roles.[3] Aditya then provided a narration of a few scenes of a new script, but conveyed that he would be unable to direct it. Chopra was interested and began to work on the new project.[3]

According to Aditya, the story of Veer-Zaara was written as a medium for his father to return to his Punjabi roots. Chopra was born in Lahore, Punjab (present-day Pakistan) and later moved with his family to Jullundur when he was young, he travelled to Bombay in 1951, when he was introduced to the film industry.[4] Speaking about the film's theme, Chopra said, "Veer-Zaara is a humble tribute to my home in Punjab, it is my tribute to the oneness of people on both sides of the border."[3] In preparation, Chopra watched videos of Pakistani marriages and consulted Nasreen Rehman, a professor of Cambridge University for the film's portrayal of Pakistani culture, their courts and dialects.[5]

While completing the film, Chopra and Aditya had a discussion about the film's title. Yeh Kahan Aa Gaye Hum was one of the contenders for the title, but Veer-Zaara was ultimately chosen. Chopra said, "The film's lovers [Shah Rukh Khan and Preity Zinta] are not bothered with the strife around them, for them, love is the only religion."[3] The title Veer Dara was initially hinted to mislead audiences,[6] the film's titled was officially confirmed by Sanjeev Kohli, CEO of Yash Raj Films, who stated that the title was chosen after "much deliberation."[6] Chopra stated that he used to have constant arguments with Aditya while filming Veer-Zaara.[3]

Cast and crew[edit]

The main actors, Khan (left), and Zinta (right).

Shah Rukh Khan was cast in the lead role.[7] Khan shortly played a 60-year-old man in the film, which he felt was a difficult role for him,[8] the role of Saamiya Siddique was based on Pakistani human rights activist Asma Jehangir. The role was initially offered to Aishwarya Rai, upon her refusal, it went to Rani Mukherji.[9] Amitabh Bachchan and Hema Malini were cast as an elderly couple.[10] Manoj Bajpayee was cast as Zaara's fianceé, a role which was originally offered to Ajay Devgn;[11] in 2017, while promoting Aiyaary, Bajapyee revealed that Chopra used to often worry about the film's possible failure.[12] Boman Irani was cast in a supporting role.[12] Real life couple Anupam Kher and Kirron Kher appear in the film, though they do not share the same frame.[9] Other cast members included Divya Dutta, Zohra Sehgal, Akhilendra Mishra, and Tom Alter.[13]

Zaara's role as Khan's love interest was first offered to Kajol, upon her rejection, the role went to Zinta.[14] According to Chopra, Zinta was a person "look and personality could be transformed." He wanted to break the Western stereotype characters played by Zinta.[3] Zinta was interested in being a part of the film due to Chopra's finesse as a director, she also felt that it was time to move on from war-oriented films with Pakistan, saying, "I thought that was a great message to have in a film and I think what our governments can't do... what our government cannot do, our cinema can do and this film is truly doing that."[15] Zinta had to attend various lessons for improving her diction for speaking Urdu.[15] Though excited at first, she later "got knots in her stomach" worrying about her performance, but Chopra assured her.[16] Chopra denied the existence of a rivalry between the co-actors in the film, when asked about it in an interview with The Quint.[17]

In addition to writing the story and screenplay, Aditya co-produced the film along with his father under the banner Yash Raj Films,[13] the film's costumes were handled by Manish Malhotra.[18] Khan's costumes were specifically designed by Karan Johar.[9] Mandira Shukla was the film's costume designer.[19] Anil Mehta, the cinematographer, was requested by Chopra to give the scenes a feel of olden times, in contrast with other films of the tome like Kal Ho Naa Ho (2003).[11] Sharmishta Roy, daughter of art director Sudhendu Roy, was chosen as the art director.[17][20] Saroj Khan and Vaibhavi Merchant were the choreographers.[13] Allan Amin was the action director.[21]

Principal photography[edit]

In October 2004, Rediff.com published an exclusive "On the sets" report for Veer-Zaara. Rediff.com reported that the cast members wore expensive costumes, one being Zinta, who wore a flurocent green lungi outfit; Khan was late for the shot.[22] Parts of the film were shot in various locations in Mumbai;[22] in 2004, the National Geographic reported that a folk festival sequence was being shot in Film City. An environment that represented Punjab was created and Sikh dancers were brought in, whom, according to the report, look like peacocks due to their colorful turbans.[4] All scenes which featured Khan in a prison were shot in a single day,[11] at a jail in Pakistan.[23] The court scenes were shot in a Pakistani law court.[23]

While filming for an action sequence with Khan, Zinta had a near fatal experience when she was hanging from an harness for nearly six hours. Zinta labeled it "one of the most humbling experiences of [her] life" and stated that it made her realize the difficulites male actors have to go through,[15] for a sequence involving Khan's character calling Mukherji's character daughter, over 10 retakes were taken, and a pack-up was also announced by an "infuriated" Chopra, according to Khan.[8] According to Mukherji, Chopra usually used to refrain from taking retakes as these would make the actors "mechanical".[24]

Veer-Zaara was filmed entirely in sync sound. Khan stated that although he did not have to dub lines for the film separately, he did dub a few dialogues for the film.[25] Saif Ali Khan's palace in Pataudi served as Zaara's mansion.[26] A shoot was carried out in Punjab during a particular season, after which the indoor shooting was completed. Must of the filming was done in secrecy and no official announcements were made.[3] Initially planned to be filmed over a period of 102 days, the film's filming was completed in 72 days,[15] the film's reel length was 17757.61 ft (5412.52 m).[27]

Analysis[edit]

In her book Violent Belongings: Partition, Gender and National Culture in Postcolonial India, Kavita Daiya, associate professor of English at the Columbian College of Arts and Sciences feels that Zaara represents secularism in Pakistan.[28] She refers to the encounter between Zaara and Choudhary Sumer Singh, where Zaara persuades Singh to promote women's education as an instance of the theme.[28] Daiya notes that no person faces animosity by being either Indian or Pakistani in the film.[28] Meenakshi Bharat and Nirmal Kumar, authors of the book Filming the Line of Control: The Indo–Pak Relationship through the Cinematic Lens, concur with Daiya and feels this shows maturity on Chopra's part, who ignores the issue of Jammu and Kashmir and was able to "overcome the phobia of Pakistan" usually present in Indian films.[29] They compare it to Chopra's earlier films, where "hate-filled encounters" are generally avoided.[29] Philip Lutgendorf agrees and also notes the influence of Sufi tradition, where Veer's ultimate reward is union with Allah, much like a Sufi pir.[30] Kush Varia, author of the book Bollywood: Gods, Glamour, and Gossip, whilst agreeing with Bharat and Kumar about Chopra, notes that the lovers are reunited as compared to Chopra's earlier romances, where they remain separated.[31]

Daiya establishes that Veer's "Indian masculinity" is shown through his sacrifice of spending 22 years in jail.[28] Nandini Bhattacharya, author of the book Hindi Cinema: Repeating the Subject, differs and instead feels that Veer's character is "partially feminized"–"men are meant to be captors, not captives."[32] Sangita Gopal, associate professor of English at the University of Oregon and author of the book Conjugations: Marriage and Form in New Bollywood Cinema, notes that Veer's identity dies after 22 years and even after reuniting with Zaara, they are too old to reproduce.[33] She perceives this as the transition from "living death to fruitless life".[33] Daiya feels that the Punjabi village in Veer-Zaara acts as a model for India, and Zaara's positive to a song describing India, feeling similarities with Pakistan, exposes an incomplete "utopian" affiliation between the two lovers.[28] Daiya further feels that Veer's poem challenges the differences between the nation's of India and Pakistan and establishes resemblance between the nations and citizens.[28] Varia too agrees that the shared heritage of the Punjabis is one of the film's themes, explored in the song "Aisa Des Hai".[31]

Bharat and Kumar feel that Veer-Zaara and Main Hoon Naa (2004), also starring Khan, accepts Pakistan's status as a separate entity from India.[29] Rajinder Dudrah, senior lecturer at the University of Manchester, contrasts Veer-Zaara with Main Hoon Na, writing that while the former "explores the pleasures and trials of border crossing", the latter "extols the virtues of overcoming the border through diplomacy and personal actions."[34] He notes that they show different depictions of borders that the protagonists need to overcome,[34] he feels that the central aestic pleasures of the films, especially Veer-Zaara, is the emphasis on border crossing as a "potentially radical act".[34] Bharat and Kumar also compare Henna (1991) with Veer-Zaara; they say that the "urbane, educated, professional characters" of Veer-Zaara replace Henna's village people referring to "religion straight from the heart" and "responding to [Pakistan] in an unencumbered manner."[29] Henna's brother died in helping Chandler across the border; this is contrasted with Saamiya helping Veer in court.[29] Dudrah notes that the ease with which the protagonists move across borders without going through legal procedurings could be a criticism.[34]

Gopal feels that the film's dual time and use of old music was the reason for its appeal to masses and it's commercial success,[33] she compares the last segment of the title song in which Zaara is shot to the climax of Mani Ratnam's Dil Se.. (1998); both films suggest that the lovers cannot be united.[33] She also feels that the extended ending with the song "Tere Liye" was for a realistic approach;[33] in her book Dreaming in Canadian: South Asian Youth, Bollywood, and Belonging, Faiza Hirji feels that cultural and religious differences were not acknowledged in the film, while noting Pakistani and Muslim traditions were highlighted.[35] She felt that the universality of the maternal habit was highlighted in a sequence between Zaara's mother and Veer,[35] she contrasts the love to Bombay (1995), where religion is an obstacle to love, which is not the case in Veer-Zaara.[35] Comparing the film with Gadar: Ek Prem Katha (2001), Rini Bhattacharya Mehta and Rajeshwari V. Pandharipande (authors of the book Bollywood and Globalization: Indian Popular Cinema, Nation, and Diaspora) state that while Veer-Zaara manipulates the state's critique to make it appear "progressive" at first glance, Gadar does not.[36] Both Gadar and Veer-Zaara feature a double recovery; only that the latter adopts "similarly duplicitous modes of writing political structures as individual destined whose triumph over nation-state politics drives aground more completely any redemptive plot of neighborly understanding".[36] Bhattacharya agrees and also equates it with Gadar and others like Mother India (1957), where the "identity of the normative citizen" is established.[32]

Music[edit]

Veer-Zaara
Soundtrack album by Madan Mohan
Released 18 September 2004
Genre Feature film soundtrack
Label Yash Raj Music
Producer Sanjeev Kohli

Veer-Zaara's soundtrack features 11 songs with music based on old and untouched compositions by the late Madan Mohan, as revised by his son Sanjeev Kohli.[3] The vocals are provided by Lata Mangeshkar, Jagjit Singh, Udit Narayan, Sonu Nigam, Gurdas Mann, Roop Kumar Rathod, Ahmed Hussain, Mohammad Hussain and Pritha Mazumder. The lyrics were written by Javed Akhtar.[37] Kohli found Mohan's unused recordings in his cupboard shortly after his death, which was then used for Veer-Zaara upon Chopra's insistence.[38][3] Mangeshkar used to sing with Madan Mohan; according to Chopra, upon coming for the recording, with tears in her eyes, Lata Mangeshkar told him, "Madan Mohan was like my brother. You [Chopra] are like my brother. I feel I have gone back in the past",[3] the soundtrack of Veer-Zaara was released on CD,[39] LP record[40] and on Audio DVD.[41] Yash Raj Music also released complete background music of Veer-Zaara titled The Love Legend Themes - Instrumental.[42] After the soundtrack release, Chopra did not allow radiostations to air its songs to generate curiosity.[43]

In a soundtrack review, Syed Firdaus Ashraf of Rediff.com states, "It will disappoint you at first, but if you listen to it repeatedly, the music will grow on you."[43] He commended the male singers but felt that Mangheskar "disappoints", when compared to her previous performances.[43] Ashraf felt that "Kyon Hawa", sung by Sonu Nigam, was the best song in the album.[43] Derek Elley of Variety agrees with Ashraf on the first point, writing, "While not instantly hummable, they do the job effectively."[44] In a review of "Tere Liye", a Sify editor writes, "Madan Mohan's mastery with tunes is quite apparent in this number, parts of which are used often in the movie."[45] Joginder Tuteja of Bollywood Hungama rated it three stars out of five, writing, "Veer-Zaara is a mixed bag varying from a rich collection of love songs to emotional tracks to a patriotic number, a qawalli, a folk song and a ghazal. While the first half of the album is instantly appealing the second half will slowly grow on you."[46] A reviewer for BBC applauded the album, calling it "unique and special".[47]

Mohan was nominated for the Best Music Director at the 50th Filmfare Awards,[48] and won the Best Music Director at the 6th IIFA Awards.[49] Akhtar got nominated for the Best Lyricist at the 50th Filmfare Awards for "Tere Liye", "Main Yahaan" and "Aisa Des Hai Mera", winning for "Tere Liye",[48] it was the highest-selling music album of the year in India, with sales of around 3 million units.[50]

Veer-Zaara (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)[37]
No.TitleSinger(s)Length
1."Tere Liye"Lata Mangeshkar, Roop Kumar Rathod05:31
2."Main Yahaan Hoon"Udit Narayan04:55
3."Aisa Des Hai Mera"Lata Mangeshkar, Udit Narayan, Gurdas Maan07:07
4."Yeh Hum Aa Gaye Hain Kahaan"Lata Mangeshkar, Udit Narayan05:43
5."Do Pal"Lata Mangeshkar, Sonu Nigam04:25
6."Kyon Hawa"Lata Mangeshkar, Sonu Nigam, Yash Chopra06:11
7."Hum To Bhai Jaise Hain"Lata Mangeshkar04:17
8."Aaya Tere Dar Par"Ahmed Hussain, Mohammad Hussain, Mohd. Vakil07:51
9."Lodi"Lata Mangeshkar, Gurdas Maan, Udit Narayan06:52
10."Tum Paas Aa Rahe Ho"Lata Mangeshkar, Jagjit Singh05:09
11."Jaane Kyon"Lata Mangeshkar05:16

Release[edit]

Veer-Zaara was released on 12 November 2004 and promoted with the tagline, "A Love Legend".[27][51] A special screening was conducted in Punjab, Pakistan for Pakistani audiences.[52] Apart from that, it was screened at the Berlin Film Festival, where it was received well,[53] on 26 April 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,[54] it was released in 60 prints in the United Kingdom.[55] It was released in the United States in 88 prints;[56] in 2017, Veer-Zaara was restrained at the Best of Bollywood series in the United States.[57]

On 6 June 2005 Yash Raj Films released the DVD of Veer-Zaara,[58] the film was released on Blu-ray in December 2009.[59] In September 2007, a book based on the making of the film, titled They Said It, was released, the book contains testimonials from members of the film’s cast and crew and follows the production stages of the film.[60] In January 2006, a bus service was established between Amritsar and Lahore,[61] some credit the film for influencing this change.[11]

Critical response[edit]

India[edit]

Veer-Zaara was well-received by critics, who praised the film's story, dialogues, performances and sensitive portrayal of India-Pakistan relations. Taran Adarsh of Bollywood Hungama gave it four stars out of five and comments, "There's romance, there's a strong dose of emotions, there're songs aplenty, there's drama... But, most important, it has soul, which has been lacking in most movies of late".[62] Writing for India Today, Kaveree Bamzai gave a positive review and compliments Khan's performance, writing, "Khan strides across Aditya Chopra's screenplay with assured ease."[63]

Subhash K. Jha gave Veer-Zaara a positive review for Indo-Asian News Service, praising the performances of the leads as "old yet passionate, frail yet sublime" and writes, "The surge of love between two people belonging to entirely different cultures and lands is collected into a quaint and quivering collage of memory and melody."[64] Writing for Planet Bollywood, Aakash Gandhi gave the film a 9.5/10 rating, called Chopra "the reigning [k]ing of [d]irectorial [r]omance" and equated the film's lovers to "immortal lovers" such as Romeo and Juliet and Layla and Majnun, among others. He also praised the technical aspects and performances of the cast, writing the film "showcases one of the finest group of actors one will ever see on screen together".[65]

Jitesh Pillai of The Times of India rates it three and a half stars out of five, crediting Aditya's writing and its execution, he writes, "Yash Chopra's Veer Zaara may be woefully long and meandering. But... this one works and grabs us where it matters. VZ is one from the heart."[66] Deepu Madhavan of NDTV praised the execution of the plot and writes, "the love story of Squadron Leader Veer Pratap Singh and Zaara Hayaat Khan is an ode to ageless romance and timeless love."[67] Avijit Ghosh gave the film 7/10 in The Telegraph - Calcutta and writes, "The film works because the stars shine. Preity's Zaara is both restrained and dignified, this is her most nuanced performance to date." He criticized the film's length and excessive use of Punjabi, but finally writes, "We have an honest-to-the-heart film that remarkably bypasses the bitterness of Indo-Pak relations in a cross-border love story... Veer-Zaara is for all seasons and every reason."[68]

Chitra Mahesh of The Hindu writes, "Veer Zaara is inordinately long and sentimental. Certain things like fabulous camera work, art direction and sensuousness of the moods, are a given. And you would over look the cliches simply because there are such good performances, especially from Preity and Rani," while also appreciating that Khan "looks good and performs most creditably."[69] Sukanya Varma of Rediff.com criticizes Chopra for repeating content from his previous films, while appreciating the performances and finally writes, "if you are a fan of the Chopra factory of filmmaking and looking for plenty of eye-candy, Veer-Zaara promises to make your Diwali a happy one."[51] In another review for The Times of India, Teena Malik heavily criticized it in agreement with Verma for repetition of content, and labelled the film "horrifying".[70]

Overseas[edit]

As of 18 March 2018, Veer-Zaara has a "fresh" rating on review aggregator portal Rotten Tomatoes, with 91 percent apporval based on 11 reviews, along with an average rating of 7.9/10.[71] On Metacritic, which assigns a weighted average to films, it has a score of 67 based on five critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews",[72] the film featured in the British Film Institute's list of 10 great Bollywood romances, with commentary by Rachel Dwyer. Dwyer feels that the film represents the "much shared culture and history" of the Punjab, he writes, "Their dramatization in the film shows Chopra’s skill with film and music."[73]

Anita Gates of New York Times writes that Veer Zaara "would be embraced as fabulously trashy" had it been an American film but credits the cultural impact, writing, "the cultural assumptions of Veer and Zaara add a welcome element of freshness for American audiences. When Zaara's mother reminds her daughter that women always love fully, with heart and soul, she casually adds, "Men don't have the strength to love like that."[74] Derek Elley of Variety observes that while it does not have "technique and production sheen" as recent Hindi films, Veer-Zaara's "in-depth star casting and thorough entertainment values" make it a "must-see" for Indian filmgoers.[44]

Carrie R. Wheadon of Common Sense Media gives it four stars out of five and rates it as 11+, writing, "Those who watch can't miss the pleas for understanding and peace between India and Pakistan or the film's strong support of equality for women." She compliments the picturization of the songs, opining, "Even the slower love songs will hold viewers, especially as Zaara dreams about seeing Veer everywhere while she prepares for her wedding."[75] Manish Gajjar of BBC commented, "Veer-Zaara has a great storyline with some unpredictable twists and emotions, keeping you engrossed throughout."[76]

Box office[edit]

Veer-Zaara was commercially successful at the box office.[1] Prior to the film's release, Adarsh predicted that the film would be a commercial success,[77] it was released in 625 screens in India and grossed 24.6 million nett on its opening day, the year's second highest-opening for a film in India.[78] Veer-Zaara topped the week's highest-grossing films in India in the first week, grossing an average of 6,85,948 per print.[79] It earned 175.7 million nett in its first week, the highest first week collection of an Indian film.[80] Since its release, it topped the weekly charts 39 times in India,[81] it also had the highest weekend collection of the year, earning 97.8 million over the weekend.[82] The film remained at the second position in its second week of release, grossing an average of 1,89,502 per print,[83] at the end of its theatrical run, it collected 580 million in India, becoming the highest-grossing film of the year.[84]

The film earned 357 million in the overseas markets–152.5 million from the United Kingdom, 140 million from the United States and 65 million from other territories–making it 2004's highest-grossing Indian production overseas. In its first week in the United Kingdom, the film collected $900,000, for the fourth position on the local box office chart, the film collected the same amount in North America, 15th on the local box office chart.[56] The film was a blockbuster, with regard to its overseas collection.[85] Veer-Zaara grossed a total of 976.4 million (US$15 million) worldwide, becoming the highest grossing Indian film of the year.[1]

Awards and nominations[edit]

At the 52nd National Film Awards, Veer-Zaara received the award for Best Popular Film Providing Wholesome Entertainment. It received fifteen nominations at the 50th Filmfare Awards and won 4, including Best Film and Best Director,[48] as of March 2018, it has received a minimum of 32 awards from 63 nominations.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d "Veer Zaara". Box Office India. Archived from the original on 18 July 2016. Retrieved 21 August 2015. 
  2. ^ "Veer-Zaara : A Curtain Raiser". Bollywood Hungama. 27 April 2007. Archived from the original on 27 April 2007. Retrieved 17 March 2018. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Jha, Subhash K (14 September 2004). "There was constant argument between Aditya and me". Rediff.com. Archived from the original on 6 October 2008. Retrieved 16 August 2008. 
  4. ^ a b Mehta, Suketu. "Welcome to Bollywood". National Geographic. Archived from the original on 8 March 2016. Retrieved 25 March 2018. 
  5. ^ Masand, Rajeev (August 2012). "Yash Chopra: "I see movies today, and I realize that love has changed"". RajeevMasand.com. Archived from the original on 3 March 2016. Retrieved 31 December 2015. 
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