Sunday, January 31, 2010

History, Bollywood style!

I've been remiss -- I should have posted a link to my review of Salman Khan's new movie, Veer, days ago. Mea culpa! So here it is: Veer. It's set in 19th- and early 20th-century India and celebrates the Pindari, tribal insurgents with a ferocious martial tradition, and their brief but celebrated resistance to the British Raj. Freedom fighters or terrorists? Good and complex question, which the movie ignores in favor of broad comedy, sweeping battle sequences and a classic doomed love story: While studying in London, Veer (Salman Khan), the son of a legendary Pindari leader, falls for a princess Yashodhara (Zarie Khan — no relation), only to find that her father is the sworn enemy of his people. The verdict: It's bad history — make that terrible history — but a pretty decent trashy spectacle, despite the baffling timeline and rubber "metal" breastplates.

Can't hold a candle to Jodhaa Akbar (2008), though: Think sexed-up historical spectacle a la Forever Amber, but with elephants, dervishes, velvet-tasseled horses, two of Bollywood's most beautiful stars — Hrithik Roshan and Aishwarya Rai — and enough ropes of pearls and rubies to choke at least a couple of the aforementioned elephants. Now that's entertainment.

No comments: