Bollywood and culture in an emerging India
Veer: Epic disaster
This has got to be one of the most difficult reviews I have ever written. All I have done so far is stare at a blank word document for more than 15 minutes. Words fail me, but I will have to do it, because I will not allow those three hours of my life to be in vain.
Perhaps I am being a little overdramatic here, but this drama is nothing compared to the extremely loud, jingoistic and nauseating drama that Anil Sharma’s “Veer” indulges in, so kindly bear with me.
This three-hour film is nothing short of an ordeal to watch and the fact that it is laden with bad performances, tacky make-up, some really corny dialogues and the fakest blood and gore you have ever seen, means that at the end of the movie, you are willing to pull your
hair out in frustration.
If you have seen earlier films by director Anil Sharma, you will know that subtle is not his style, and in “Veer” he makes sure he lives by that credo.
So even before the credits have rolled, you have seen enough fake blood and ranting monologues from various people. But wait, there are three hours of the same thing waiting to be repeated.
Salman Khan, who is also credited with the story for this film, set in the early 1900s, plays Veer, a warrior from the Pindhari tribe. He falls in love with Yashodhara (Zarine Khan), the princess of Madhavgarh.
Unfortunately, his tribe has long-standing enmity with the king of Madhavgarh (Jackie Shroff).
Veer and his brother Punya (Sohail Khan) are sent to London by their father (Mithun Chakraborty). However, all he does there is romance Yashodhara, go to parties and wear outlandish clothes.
When the king of Madhavgarh decides to launch an attack on the Pindharis, Veer must save his people and also win over his love.
The story itself is told in such a jerky manner that many times you lose sight of why characters are behaving the way they are. There is no epic feel to this period film, no authenticity that is visible, but worst of all, there is no heart.
Salman Khan sleepwalks through his role but still manages to bring some charm on screen. The reason for Sohail Khan’s presence is a mystery to me; he seems to serve no purpose whatsoever.
As for newcomer Zarine Khan, all she has to do is to wear a lot of bling, smile coyly or cry copiously as required.
Everyone else sets new standards in bad acting, and some scenes, like the one where Veer tells his father about Yashodhara, are so bad — they are funny.
A period drama is a very difficult genre to pull off, but I have a feeling that even if “Veer” wasn’t a period drama, it would have been as bad a film. Avoid this one unless you want to end up with a massive headache.