Thursday, January 28, 2010

Salman Khan’s “Veer” (2010) – Movie Review (My Take: 2/5)

To set records straight I loved every bit of it. I mean what is there not to like – Indians wearing western outfits in 1857, protagonist running faster than horses & train,  sons enjoying the vulgar dance number of their parents.How many times have you seen this before? But the best part about this movie is its script which in my opinion can be written in a 60 word SMS ...... Twice !!!

This would be my nomination for “Ripley's Believe it or not”. Two kinds of movies work in Bollywood, one that are really well made and the other that are truly crappie.  This definitely does not fall in  the first bucket. If the only other thing left for you to do is to count your eyelashes – go and watch this in a single screen theater. The movie is unintentionally funny at pathes and you might a fun day with friends. Watching alone not advisable. BTW the only person who’s confidence this movie will boast is Himesh Reshamiya. If Salman can do this then Himesh didnt do no sin with Karzzzz and Radio.

Read on for the full review. Trust me this does not even need a spoiler alert.

Well the audience were told as to how Salman worked hard for months to write the script for this period flick. Am not really sure what he did, coz the story for Veer can be told in one SMS …… Twice !! To make up for this story bankruptcy, the movie relies heavily on special effects and cinematography. The script stumbles from one scene to next - and never really engages the audience. You keep toggling between moods of the movie – Is it a patriotic movie, is it a love story, is it a comedy – Who can tell !!

The script for this movie was written on a  checklist of Bollywood spices. It has a revenge plot, a train robbery, love at first sight sequence, a item number, a macho hero, a funny brother, la Gladiator arena fight, a foreigner plot for raising patriotism, a theme song that hero-heroine share, a la Brave Heart army charging sequence and …….. The problem is that none of them gel together to form a cohesive scripts that grips you.

The actors are wasted. Salman is clearly catching up with age, Zarine might as well not be in the movie, Sohail does not get even a consolation solo scene, Jackie even though does less of overacting but is still unimpressive in negative shade, Neena Gupta as expected is loud in the limited appearance, Puru Raj Kumar & Aryan Vaid most certainly need a change of career. Salman & Mithun are clearly the only saving grace in the acting front. And so is the melodious voice of Ustad Rahat Fateh Ali Khan Saheb. But the song “Dabi dabi saansoon mein” is repeated at least 15 times in the movie that kills its aura to some extent.

Silver lining in the cloud for this movie would of course of the technical work, probably one of the best that we have seen in Hindi movies. The camera work is technically great, but unfortunately has no connection with the story. When the tribe is mourning a massacre, we get flourishing crane shot. And by contrast the hero’s ‘entry’ is with a simple front shot of him breaking trough dry branches. Battles scenes look good, but without any close ups of soldiers we do not get their feel. In one scene, the heroine chases a maid to retrieve a letter she prematurely wrote - instead of even a single ‘worry’ close up, we just get wide angle shots of her running through a palace. Divorced from the story - the excellent camera work is criminally wasted. This is also Sajid Wajid’s best score till date - but wasted by clunky placement and repetition.

All in all a “Veer” effort by director Anil Sharma to make a 2.5 hrs movie from a 60 words script. No mean feat by any standard and for this reason alone it can go as our nomination for the Gunnies book of world records. A disappointing end to the hype created around it but we have seen worse haven't we !!

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