No matter what detractors think and believe, the fact is that ''Khans'' have always been reigning ''gladiators'' for Bollywood at the box office. So why not expect one among them to be playing ''desi-gladiator'' for our audiences. VEER pitches chiseled bodied Salman Khan in historic epic as he plays role of a lifetime of a ''brave-heart'' warrior. Set in pre-Independence era, it promises grandeur, valor and grandiloquence in style for a love story that is embroiled with heroic love saga.
One would have expected the likes of Ismail Darbar, Shantanu Moitra or genius like A R Rahman for doing the honors in the music department. As anticipated, Salman's favorites Sajid-Wajid takes charge by unraveling into realms into territories of classical Indian and western music. It's a cool divulge from regular funky beat music from them and big challenge where music epitomizes bygone era with music desiring to be all-together traditional and sublime. Gulzar's razor-sharp penned lyrics are there as strong supports but this is the first big occasion of this communion. Can Sajid-Wajid's dexterity have that zeal and skill to deliver the needful? Does the music have desired emblematic feel to make warriors on big screen and audiences in theatres singing to its tune? Let's be together on battle field to witness the musical facts…
Rustic, traditional with spirit of compatriotism, the album head-starts with tribesman's and warrior's rejoicing number in spirited vocal strengths in ''Talli Maar''. As expected, the first soundtrack comes as emblematic, it has throaty Sukhwinder Singh, impressive Sonu Nigam with their enthuse vocals ushering out the joyous mood in folklore lyrical style.
Gulzar's ethnicity brings zeal of ''Chappa Chappa'' (MAACHIS (1996)) with Rajasthani hilly touches in its earthy arrangements that are filled with sounds of loud handclaps, traditional drums, horns and trumpets, delivering out overwhelming sound impacts. This one is notable situational score for big screen that will be fed with lavish opulence or strikingly rich VFX effects to generate out the grandeur. Wajid and Neuman Pinto's raising baritones as booming back-up supports adds to the tempo and mood of the track. It reappears in its second version as ''Talli (solo)'' with the solitary vocals of Sukhwinder Singh rendered with similar zest, arrangements, feel and tempo.
''Surili aanhkiyon wale, Suna hai teri aankhiyon se, Behti hai neendein aur neendon mein sapne, Kabhi to kinare pe, Utar mere sapno se…'' Dreamz Unlimited! Gulzar's saab's'' shayari'' builds castle of love in dreamy bon-voyage of mellifluous happening with sonorous baritones giving it a sensitizing appeal in ''Surili Aankhiyon Wale''. Sajid-Wajid's somber classical westernized connotations of romance in subtle orchestrations makes impeccable rendition to spell out pure magic. Rahat Fateh Ali Khan's remarkable varying tones catapult with changing moods and seeps well in mellowed softer arrangements.
Suzanne D' Mello's anglicized wording delivers out an archetypical British era to give out feel of trans-cultural romance (similar to ''waltz'' part of ''O Re Chori'' (LAAGAN)). Gulzar's sheer poetry-in-motion makes him top contenders among ''Best Lyricist'' and the wordings are like textbook for grooming lyricists. Sunidhi Chauhan's sensuous binge in huskier tones comes as welcome surprise in its ''duet'' version. It comes in latter half and makes decorum mushier with its feminine presence and adds to the ''love quotient'' of the flick. Rahat add one more chartbusting hit to his credits and this will surely be big hit among hardcore Salman's fans. Brilliant!!!
As one memories goes to last costume drama hit track ''Salaam'' (UMRAON JAAN) done in flamboyance, there is ''Salaam Aaya'', another brilliantly ushered number with subtle melodic ambience making superlative charisma. Roop Kumar Rathod's serene vocals sets myriad of emotions that makes genteel communion with Shreya Ghoshal's equally mellifluous works. The tenderness flared in mix and match of classical Indian and western instrumentals brings soothing impact on melodic ears. This is second triumph for Gulzar saab with his prosaic finesse (''Dabi Dabi saaanson mein suna tha mene,
Bole bina mera naam aaya, Palkein jhuki aur uthne lagi to, Haule se uska salaam aaya…) with soul-enchanting music, leaving out an undying impact of timeless love. Sajid-Wajid makes this ''ghazal-gayaki'' mushier with beautifying ''sitar'', ''sarod'' and ''jaltarang'' sauntering sounds making superb concoction with ''tabla'' works in setting out rich cultural appeal. The classical westernized musical piece gives voluminous space for graceful ''waltz'' (old-fashioned ball-room dance) with Suzanne D' Mello's svelte back-vocals giving it befitting sumptuous feel. Melodious!!!
Here, Veer wins the heart if his girl in enemy camp and also convinces his tribe to look beyond to the larger picture; that of uniting India in its fight for freedom rather than fighting against one Royal family to exact revenge. The plot has its heart in the right place.
Salman Khan as Veer is dashing and dynamic. He takes off from where he left in WANTED and LONDON DREAMS. His raw star power is full on display. Mithun Chakraborty is as solid as ever. Ditto Jackie Shroff. Much has been made of Newcomer Zarine Khan's resemblance to Katrina Kaif. According to me, the girl is a spitting image (healthier version) of Jacqueline Fernandez, who recently debuted in ALADIN.
Someone has rightly said, ''Let the attempt be a failure, but let there be no failure to attempt.'' Like a true Veer, Salman has taken a gamble, it's now left to be seen how the audience reacts to this fight to get the British out of India.
Somehow, I get this feeling that the dice is loaded in favour of Veer Salman!
Rating – 2.5/5