Posted by Sari
At last I got to see Veer Zaara. I mean, Tarja saw it ages ago and even Peter Elk got to see it long before me. And it was a classic Yash Chopra melodrama. Zaara (Preity) is a pakistani girl who travels to India to take her nurse's ashes back to her native land. He meets Veer (Shahrukh) and falls in love with him. Unfortunately Zaara is of course already engaged to a nice (not) pakistani boy and when Veer comes to stop the wedding he is arrested and put to gaol for twenty years before brave lawyer (Rani) takes his case. Lots and lots of songs, great role by Amitabh as Shahrukhs father and Lata should really stop playbacking young actresses.
It would be interesting to know how Chopra himself sees the way he has depicted Pakistan in the movie. On the one hand, there is a vibe that he is really trying not to enforce the hindustani good pakistani bad dichotomy, but on the other the love-letter to India in "Aisa des hai mera" and the fact that Rani really is the only positive pakistani character sort of weaken the impression. Still, compared to Hero, this is a positively balanced view of the two countries. Here, by the way is an interesting article about indian nationalism and the hindu/muslim divide in Mission Kashmir, Fiza and Sarfarosh.
Paheli is Indian entry to this years Academy Award competition, a very traditional and beautiful picturisation of a novel by Vijayadan Detha based on a folk-tale. It is a story of Lachchi who marries Kishen. Kisna leaves immediately for five years to do business, and a ghost who has fallen in love with Lachchi takes his place. The film has some great locations, Rani looking gorgeous, lots of culturally specific hand-gestures, and probably the first time I have actually found the comedy in hindi movie funny. (I think I should be verry worried.) Also, aren't there any other older indian actors than Amitabh Bachan and Anupam Kher? I mean they are great but they seem to be in every film I see... All in all, the kind of india west finds exotic, but not really my cup of tea. I liked the puppets.