Thursday, January 28, 2010

Despite poor review, Salman's Veer steady at BO

Despite poor reviews, Salman Khan's Veer has grossed Rs 41-crore worldwide at the box office in its opening weekend, distributor of the movie Eros International has said.

Despite poor review, Salman's Veer steady at BOVeer took Rs 32-crore in its first weekend in India with Rs 9-crore overseas, a Eros spokesman said.

Directed by Anil Sharma, Veer, starring Salman Khan, Mithun Chakraborty, Jackie Shroff and debutant Zarine Khan released across cinemas worldwide on January 22. The film released 1,300 prints and in digital cinemas all over India and a further 236 prints overseas.

The film has emerged a high grosser in circuits such as Rajasthan, Delhi/UP, Bihar, Gujarat with single screens doing good business over the weekend.

Nandu Ahuja, SVP, India Distribution, Eros International Media Ltd said, "Audience reactions to Veer have been extremely heartening. With Salmans huge fan base in India and overseas, we were confident that Veer would be a huge draw. With the opening weekend followed by the Republic
Day holiday teamed with Salmans star power, we are looking forward to the film's positive run at the box office."

The film's story has been credited to Salman. Reviewers have been critical of the movie which made Salman ask his fans to ignore the critics and watch the film.


warrior from the brave Pindari

Veer (Hindi)

Epic gone wrong

Creative Quotient
Veer (Salman Khan) is a warrior from the brave Pindari tribe that is said to have sowed the seeds of the struggle for freedom in the late 1800s. He falls in love with Yashodhara (Zarine Khan), daughter of a king who has betrayed the Pindaris and aligned with the British (Jackie Shroff). The tribe actually manages to send Veer with his younger brother (Sohail Khan) to London(!) to find out how the British psyche works (!!), and lo and behold, Veer encounters the enemy king there (with whom his father has to settle scores). Veer’s love clashes with his loyalty to his clan, and so does the girl’s feelings for him.

The second half sees scores being settled, the romance blossoming and intrigue and emotions coming to the boil in every sense as the issues go beyond internal feuds to the bigger one of throwing off the British yoke.

Technical Expertise
Salman Khan’s story had potential, but suffers because it tries to be a love story, a freedom fighter saga and a right-versus-wrong action spectacle all at the same time, and the script unfortunately cannot rise to the occasion. It focusses too less on issues that are relevant today like our disunity and wastes footage on lesser issues and a lot of cliches.

At another level, Veer’s hairstyles and costumes in the second half keep changing at whims and Yashodhara’s character shows neither consistency nor growth. The motivations of Veer’s father (Mithun Chakraborty looking harmless instead of intense!) and his enemy (Jackie Shroff) are erratic and there is no real clash shown between them. Another British girl (Lisa Lazarus) is brought in with no relevance to the main story. Everything is plastic - grand but sans substance - despite the opulent sets, terrific camerawork (Gopal Shah) and spectacular action.

In all the gloss, director Anil Sharma forgets content - wish he had noted why his 2001 Gadar - Ek Prem Katha was a mega-hit - its taut script, the presence of a powerful antagonist to the protagonist, the pith in the story, the right focus on the message and the authenticity in the way the characters looked, dressed, talked and behaved.

The music by Sajid-Wajid is the best we have heard in a period Hindi film in years, but is wasted. Finally, the weak areas are compounded by the climax, which is the last straw for a movie about an iconic protagonist.

The performances pander to branded screen images. Salman Khan’s character logically should have been younger. Sohail is the Sohail of all his films - wannabe funny with a penchant for low-grade humour. The heroine Zarine Khan is bright but just adequate.Purru Rajkumarr hams to the hilt and the others are average - or below.

One star for the music and one for the technical finesse.


Veer for Vendetta

“Hum Sirf Angrezon Ka Khoon Peetey Hai,” (We only drink blood of the British) roars Mithun, when offered Angrezi sharaab (English liquor), and goes on to chop off Jackie Shroff's arm. And we rub our hands in glee, all set to watch another over-the-top entertainer by the notorious Anil Sharma, the guy behind laugh riots, including Gadar and Hero: The Love Story of a Spy.

The film made news about creative differences between Salman Khan and Anil Sharma. After watching it, we have a few theories on where they didn't see eye to eye.

1. Period setting: When Salman said the historical was set in the 1880s, Anil Sharma decided that the film needed to have the Eighties look. In fact, it even looks like it was shot in the 1980s. The wardrobe department appropriately came up with orange jeans, leather pants, gowns for the Princess etc. Upset with the director's negligence, Salman decided to boycott shirts for most of the film. This also helped him remain under the skin of the character he was playing — himself. Which also explains what Sohail is doing in the film… fooling around with his bade bhaiyya.

2. The Katrina factor: Salman wanted a fat girl to play princess because “there was no concept of Size Zero those days.” Given that he was playing himself in the film, he wanted the girlfriend too. Since Katrina couldn't afford to put on that much weight, Anil Sharma found a replacement. Reviewers were quick to spot the similarities and crowned her Fatrina instantly. But if you grew up in this part of the world, you would know that Zarine is more Ramba than Katrina. Salman went on record to say that Zarine looked nothing like Katrina and Anil Sharma responded by making Zarine bite Salman's wrist in the film.

3. Dead or Alive: Salman wanted to die and do a Braveheart. He even got the locks and sword to pose for the poster but Anil Sharma wanted him alive because fans would expect a Happy Ending. So they settled for a compromise. That they will do both. Again, Salman didn't want to throw Mithun into the well (maybe because he sort of felt he was playing himself with brother and girlfriend-look-alike for company) but Anil Sharma thought it would make such a cool shot. So yes, they shot both and used both. To justify, there are two Salman Khans in the movie. Yay!

4. Pindari Power: Salman saw the freedom-loving Pindaris as folks who were tough as nails. Anil Sharma's interpretation: Make the father drench the newborn in pouring rain. The Pindari father also, from time to time, must beat up his son and throw him into the well at regular intervals. In fact, Anil Sharma's research shows us that killing and throwing the other into the well was the favourite pastime of the Pindaris. So what if they are fighting a war in the desert, the well's just the place to throw the dead body. And you thought that the opening lines of the Pindaris used to drinking blood was just rhetoric! Unaware of Anil Sharma's portrayal, Salman, with righteous indignation, scowls at the British teacher when he refers to the Pindaris as barbarians.

5. Brave Heart: The best way to show how united we Indians were, is to make father and son face off in a deadly duel, especially in front of the enemy, on the verge of war. Making Salman take a bullet from the enemy was the director's way of making his hero look brave. Salman's idea of bravery is a lot more subtle and understated. Something not everyone will get. But think about it. Salman, son of Salim of Salim-Javed fame, not just wrote this story, he also admitted that he did. Very, very Veer, don't you think?


Genre: Drama

Director:Anil Sharma

Cast:Mithun Chakraborty, Salman Khan, Zarine Khan, Sohail Khan, Jackie Shroff

Storyline:The chief of the Pindaris trains his son as a warrior to avenge the honour of his tribe but he grows up to fall in love with the enemy's daughter

Bottomline:An 80s Dharmendra film done

Keywords: Veer, Hindi cinema, :Mithun Chakraborty, Salman Khan, Zarine Khan, Sohail Khan, Jackie Shroff, Anil Sharma, Bollywood


Friday, January 22, 2010

Salman Khan VEER rocks north, but multiplexes 40% only!!

Salman Khan, Zarine Khan starrer Anil Sharma’s epic ‘Veer’ which opened yesterday at theatres worldwide, has done excellent business at single screen theatres in North India, especially in Rajasthan (where major portion of the film was shot) and in Uttar Pradesh.

Salman Khan VEER rocks north, but multiplexes 40% only!!The audiences were seen in awe of Salman Khan’s aura and terrific performance and loved his part. However, the situation was not so rosy at multiplexes which reported the occupancy of around forty percent on the first day of release. The analysts feel that the mega-budget flick may pick up further on Saturday and Sunday, which are holidays and people will be in festive mood due to upcoming another holiday on 26th January.

So, there will be around four days for Salman Khan starrer to get in the memory of audiences and cultivate a positive image for itself. However, the industry watchers belief that due to high production cost of Salman Khan, Zarine Khan starrer flick ‘Veer’, it would need at least two full weeks to recover its cost from the box office. ‘Veer’ also stars Mithun Chakravorthy, Sohail Khan, and Jackie Shroff in pivotal roles.

What has worried Salman Khan camp is the utterly negative reviews that the mega-budget flick attracted from the reviewers. Almost all the write- ups have called the flick to be a bit too stretched and lacking in soul, and this is affecting public opinion to a certain extent. It seems that multiplex going junta has been more affected by these reviews.

But then Salman Khan’s earlier super hit flick ‘Wanted’ had also met with the same response from multiplexes and was a super duper hit in the north and single screen theatres. In fact, the film had picked up on the basis of word of mouth and even this time that can not be ruled out.

The only negative difference between Salman Khan’s ‘Wanted’, which showcased him as a killing machine, and in this ‘Veer’ is that of one being contemporary(Wanted), and the other being a periodic flick. While the audiences easily relate to contemporary flicks like ‘Wanted’, they find it difficult to do so with period flicks like ‘Veer’ due to its high voltage drama, costumes etc. Just recall the fate of such films like ‘Jodha Akbar’, ‘Umrao Jaan’ etc.

Salman Khan in VEER

The buzz doing the rounds in the industry is that Salman Khan starrer is an expensive film costing around Rs 80 crore and so to recover this huge money, Salman Khan will need all the help and blessings from his fans for the film. Though the film will not affect much of Salman Khan’s stature as a super star in bollywood, but it might prove a death blow to newbie Zarine Khan’s bollywood dreams.

However, it is too early to say anything about the fate of ‘Veer’ at the box office and a clear picture would emerge only after three- four days. If the film picks up on Saturday and Sunday then it can live up to the expectations of its makers. Let’s us hope for the best and keep our fingers crossed till then.

-- k k rai @

Veer gives Salman passion in horse riding

Eros International and Vijay Galani’s Veer starring Salman Khan in the lead role already has become the talk of the town. Salman Khan’s brainchild Veer is touted to be his best performance till date and has got the star hooked on to another passion– horse riding!

Veer gives Salman passion in horse ridingVeer is an epic film and most of the scenes see Salman riding a horse for which the actor had to undergo rigorous training for horse riding. We come to hear that Salman had become so passionate about horse riding that he would gallop around on his horse in the free time.

Reveals a production source, “Salman bhai, Tinu Verma and Bharat Dhabolkar would go for long rides post shooting hours. Even though he was tired by the end of the day, he would always dash away on his horse. “

“It is not easy handling a horse. It required great strength and physical stamina and Salman bhai was in top shape and would enjoy riding thoroughly. Post shooting all the actors were so relieved to get off their horses but not Salman,” signs off the source.

Topics: salman khan, veer, eros international, vijay galani.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Review : Veer

When you walk into a costume drama written by Salman Khan and directed by Anil Sharma, historical accuracy, consistency and plausibility are not high on the priority list. After all, Sharma has directed films like Hukumat, Elan-e-Jung and most famously Gaddar: Ek Prem Katha, in which a lone Sunny Deol routed the Pakistani army with a handpump. What you’re looking for is an old-fashioned Hindi film brimming with tough men, beautiful women, chest-thumping dialogue and no-holds-barred melodrama.

Veer, a Manmohan Desai-meets-Gladiator epic, provides this but doesn’t weave it together with enough imagination or panache. This mega-scale love story has patches of power but mostly veers between being ridiculous and plain boring. There are moments of comedy that will have you laughing till your sides ache – it’s unintentional of course.

Heavily inspired by the 1962 Tony Curtis film Taras Bulba, Veer is set in colonial India and concerns a Rajputana tribe known as the Pindharis. These are unique warrior alcoholics. They are good at killing and drinking and have a dress sense that combines Gujarat emporium outfits with fur and seriously unkempt hair.

When the king of Madhavgarh, played by Jackie Shroff, cheats the Pindharis to please the British, the tribals swear revenge. The head Prithvi Singh, played by Mithun Chakraborty, even sends his sons Veer and Punya, played by Salman and Sohail Khan, to London for an education so they can figure out how the British mind works. Matters become complicated when Veer falls in love with the princess of Madhavgarh, played by debutant actress Zarine Khan, whom the Mumbai tabloids have uncharitably dubbed 'F'atrina because she looks like Katrina after too many pastries.

Veer valiantly battles the wicked king and the British and even manages to kick-start the Indian independence movement.

The best thing about Veer is that it is comic book cinema no pretensions. Without a trace of embarrassment or apology, Sharma goes full throttle on speeches to the motherland, honour, mardangi. And as Manmohan Desai told us decades ago: Mard ko dard nahin hota, so Veer snarls and slices through men without pausing for breath.

At one point, he pulls out a man’s intestines with his bare hands. To win the princess, he even participates in a strange swayamvar that has him jousting with a gigantic British man in a gladiator-style combat.

It’s basically Salman’s blockbuster Wanted set in a historical twilight zone. Very little of Veer makes sense but the lack of logic isn’t the problem here. Boredom is.

Both Sharma and Salman bring an astounding degree of conviction to the project. Both have worked very hard to give it scale and heft. Salman with flared nostrils and angry eyes channels Dharmendra from Sharma’s earlier films.

Salman’s supersized presence lifts the silliest scenes. But eventually, even his ripped muscles sag under the weight of this bloated epic.

Running at over two and a half hours, Veer just goes on and on. It seems like an endless montage of battles and blood. There is enough jewellery in this film to fund a few others.

The king of bling is the Madhavgarh despot who after his hand gets cut off, replaces it with a shiny gold limb and even remembers to put a diamond bracelet on it. In one of the film’s superbly ridiculous moments, Veer shakes this golden hand and yanks it off.

The film has many such moments that are so over the top that words cannot convey their full comic impact. If like me, you can find delight in the sheer delirium of a bad Bollywood film, then see Veer, otherwise do catch it on DVD. In a few years, this sensibility and swagger will be extinct.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Salman Khan’s six-pack makes Mithun hit the gym

Look who is taking a cue from Salman Khan…Veteran actor Mithun Chakraborty, who will be seen in a pivotal role in Anil Sharma’s Veer has hit the gym to look ultra fit.

Salman Khan’s six-pack makes Mithun hit the gymVeer will see Mithun Da play Salman Khan’s father. Since it is set in the era of 1880, the role also required Mithun Da to look the part for which he had to be physically very fit.

Reveals an inside source, “When Mithun Chakraborty was first approached for the film he refused, as it required him to work out rigorously for the tough look of his character. However he then agreed to do the film as there was 3 months time at hand and enough time to up his fitness.”

“People who exercise know how muscle memory works...when you start working out again after years it all comes back. We needed someone who could look young, middle aged and old in the film and he was the only one who could do it,” adds the source.

We hear that Mithun Da then started enjoying his workouts, so much so, that he even stopped eating his rich Bengali food for more effective results.

A little birdie informs, “Not only has Mithun Da restricted his Bengali food, which is very rich, but also invested Rupees 25 lakhs and set up a new gym at his Madh Island farm house.”

Well setting up a gym at home, that’s so Sallu style! We also heard that Mithun Da’s character required horse-riding skills so he got a horse and started practicing at his farmhouse.

Hmm… Looks like the erstwhile disco dancer likes to get into the character of his part to the core!
Tags: salman khan, mithun chakraborty, veer.

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