Veer is Salman, Salman is Veer.
Veer - the movie starts where it ends. So, let me predict what happens next. There is no running away for the Hindi movie audience. My friends, now get ready for Veer 2. It's same old story. The King is dead, long live the King repeated with a twist. Veer is dead, long live Salman.
Let me tell you the story of a multi-talented Pindhari tribe clan leader, Veer a.k.a Salman Khan.
Veer - The Origin: The Prince of Madhavgarh (Jackie Shroff) betrays the Pandharis (who are shown as drunk warriors) by taking the sides of British and not giving their dues and thousands of Pandharis lose their lives in the hands of the British. Prithvi (Mithun Chakroborty), a fearless warrior along with many others run away and hide themselves and his wife (Neena Gupta) promptly gives birth to a bonny son who is aptly named Veer.
Veer: The Entry: Young Veer is trained primarily in wrestling and philosophy (pearls of wisdom like learn to hold your anger) by his father and in a few moments, he transforms himself to the legend warrior, Salman Veer Khan. Now, Veer is ready to fight the British and also romance the Princess. Veer leading a pack of Pindharis attack a train carrying treasure, kills the British guards, who fall from the train on both sides like pop corn falling over on your seat in the theaters. Veer also has an eye for beauty and gets into the Royal Saloon, taking the broach of the Princess (ignoring the jewellery box) and returning it back, when he comes to know, that this has got special emotional value for the Princess.
Veer - The Romantic: Barbarians are also romantic. Veer keeps fantasising about the Princess in a late 19th century bar of the Pindharis where people dressed in bright ethnic costume create a lot of ruckus. Veer sees the Princess in everone, including his brother Punya (Sohail Khan). Veer is also kind hearted and supports PeTA. In a scene almost entirely copied frame to frame, from Kshatriya, a baby goat is let go from the sacrifice altar by Veer. (Am not able to confirm, if the same animal or anyone from his family was used)
Veer - The Foreign educated: Suddenly, Veer's progressive father decides to send Veer and Punya to England for education under a special Educational scheme launched by British Government to educate Indians in their own ways. While smart barbaric Indian tribes want to learn the British way of thinking to beat them in their own game. Showing England in 19th century, including Tower Bridge and Buckingham Palace to make sure, that you understand it's a different country, they quickly get on with the lead Indian characters. Veer quickly meets Princess Yasodhara and the romance continues. But, there is an evil brother to deal with. And Veer delivers it quickly. Fortunately, except for the dance and action on campus, no time is wasted in showing actual classes taking place.
Veer - The Performer: A few days in Britain does Veer a world of good. After teaching the racist professor a few lessons in patriotism, Veer quickly learns English and western dances to enthrall all the goris and the Indian Princess, who is already smitten by the charm of the romantic barbarian. Yes, there are a few songs in foreign locales with lot of foreign extras.
Veer - The Gladiator: Romantic Veer of Barbaric origins gets a foreign degree and returns home. He carries two sets of costumes...one from the British wardrobe and one from his clan designer. He uses his foreign education to outsmart the Indian Prince and the British to send them chasing a mirage in the desert and forests. Some time is wasted with infighting among the tribe members. First, Veer has to get rid of one dissidents to show, who is the boss. Then, Veer takes on the gora giant to win the hands of an Indian princess in a fight which gives him ample opportunity to show his torso and muscles. Then to give Mithun also a chance to show his action genes, he fights with his father for his dharma. Yes, Mahabharata comes handy with even the British having read and understood it well in the movie. In the climax, with some nationalist sentiments being drummed up, Veer takes on the British Raj after getting injured by one single bullet fired by the Indian King, which narrowly missed Prithvi. Once, all the action is over, Veer delivers his last speech, and passes away promising, that he will be back again. And wonder of wonders, he keeps his promise well!
There is a build-up in some parts of the movie, that there will be war scenes, but except for 5 mins in the beginning, and another 5 mins towards the end, there is not much for the action loving audience. Instead, Salman beating up baddies in Wanted had more action than tens of thousands gathering for war.
Veer is Salman and Salman is Veer. Mithun does his job. Zarine Khan looks the Princess and fortunately for her, doesn't have too much acting (or even dancing) to do. Jackie Shroff has only a few scenes. Many talented actors are wasted without much screen time. Cinematography is good, but editing is poor at some places and scenes look like patch work.
A special mention must be made of Sohail Khan, who continues to act in the same way, as he does for movies set in 21st century. His trademark buffoonery continues. In an attempt to tickle your funny bones, there are some scenes devoted to him for comic relief including a romance track with a gori.
Considering the huge amount of money and efforts spent in promotion and production, I sincerely wish, the Producers would have spent some more time in developing the story. My humble request once again would be to keep away from historical and period drama. Stick to romance, emotion, drama, slapstick comedy and if you are Rajkumar Hirani or Aamir Khan, you may include a social message in the movie, too.
I must admit, that use of special effects in Hindi movies has come quite a distance over the years. But, unfortunately for Hindi film producers, we are also exposed to Hollywood movies, which has made even greater progress and it doesn't look very appealing in the end. But maybe there is a silver lining after all. The good thing is they couldn't show another junior Sohail Khan at the end of the movie. Imagine, if it happens, it's like Karan Arjun again. Never say, it's impossible. The movie is over, long live the formula.
Finally, all those who watch the movie may apply for this year's Veer Bravery awards, especially constituted for the audience of the movie for showing exemplary patience and courage in watching this epic.