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Veer - Movie Review

Steer Clear of Veer
By Naresh Kumar Deoshi
Fri, Jan 22, 2010 12:27:44 GMT
 

Welcome to the slam-bang world of Anil Sharma, where brute force is deified, brain power damned, where jingoism is anointed and subtlety exiled. It’s a world where the hero thrusts this claw into another man’s midriff and yanks out pounds of flesh enough to feed a few canines. The same brave hero decimates a dozen or so men singlehandedly, and miraculously manages to keep his hair-style intact while doing so. With bare hands he stops the blows of sharp swords. He wrings a neck with no less swiftness than shake his fractured leg on a dance floor. In a nutshell, this is no ordinary mortal. He’s the creation of our beloved Salman Khan (writer of the story) and Anil Sharma (the director) who somewhat egotistically declares in the opening and closing credits, and that too in bold capital letters, ‘AN ANIL SHARMA FILM’ as if Veer is a masterpiece of the millennium. Sadly, it’s not even the movie of the month.

While Sharma still seems to be staggering with the Gadar hangover, Salman comes up with an embarrassingly formulaic story with scarce novelty and abundant clichés. Set in the 19th century, ‘Veer’ tells the tale of a Pindari clan that was duped of their land by the king of Madhavgarh (Jackie Shroff) in complicity with the imperialist British. In the massacre that followed, many Pindaris were slain, though their fierce warrior Prithvi (Mithun Chakraborty) did slice off one arm of the wily king.

Years pass, but the king and the Pindaris still bay for each others’ blood. The Pindari hopes are pinned on the brave Veer (Salman), son of Prithvi, while the one-armed king works hand in glove (pun not exactly intended) with the mighty goras.

Things get complicated when Veer falls for Yashodhara (Zarine Khan) without knowing she’s Madhavgarh’s princess and the daughter of Pindaris’ sworn enemy. By the time he realizes this, he and the princess are neck deep in love. Torn between their duty and their heart, which path will Veer and Yashodhara take?

True to ‘an Anil Sharma film’, ‘Veer’ introduces its hero spectacularly. Flanked by a bunch of warriors, Salman Khan enters the frame on a galloping horse and straightaway gets busy in robbing the Desert Queen - the train, I mean. That’s the scene where Veer first eyes Yashodhara and his heart throbs. The love story continues on a swish college campus in London where ‘Veer’ and his brother Punya (Sohail Khan) go to study the ways of the gora log.

Two unnecessary characters are tagged to the story in the not-so-appealing forms of Puru Raaj Kumar and Aryan Vaid, playing Yashodhara’s snobbish brothers who are slain by Veer after a rude provocation. There’s another dispensable character in the desirable form of Lisa Lazarus, playing a Brit diplomat’s daughter, who learns folk music from Veer. Yah, he can do that too!

After much bloodshed and pointless fights (even a joust), the story eventually winds to an end that will leave many viewers squirming in their seats with embarrassment.

Performances are nothing to write home about. Zarine Khan does exude confidence commendable enough for a first-timer, though she has a long way to go. Salman Khan isn’t the strapping young man he used to be and is ill-cast in a role that required fresh blood and brawns. Mithun and Jackie do their usual bit, while Sohail Khan plays the joker he has many times before.

Gopal Shah’s cinematography is good and some of the songs by Sajid Wajid indeed grow on you. But it’s the poor script and shoddy direction that shoot ‘Veer’ down. In one dialogue at the start, when Mithun turns down Jackie’s offer to form an alliance with the British, the latter asks Mithun: “Kiss Zamaane Mein Jee Rahe Ho?”

Precisely the thing I want to ask the film’s director.

Rating: 3/10


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