'Veer Zaara' is the title of Yash Chopra's new film

By Subhash K Jha, IANS
8/27/2004 12:00:00 AM
The word is out -- Yash Chopra's  Shah Rukh Khan-Preity Zinta cross border love story will be called "Veer Zaara" in the tradition of other immortal romances like Laila Majnu, Heer Ranjha  and Sohni Mahiwal.

"Yeh Kahan Aa Gaye Hum" was one hummable title that Yash Chopra was seriously considering for his eagerly awaited love story. "It had that element of melody, romance and nostalgia which are integral to Yashji's new film," says a well-placed source at Yashraj Films.

"But we finally gave up that title reluctantly," he says.

"Yes, it's Veer Zaara," confirms Sanjeev Kohli, the CEO of Yashraj Films. "The title was chosen after much deliberation."

The title is based on the names of the two protagonists. Shah Rukh Khan plays Veera Pratap Singh, an Indian in love with a Pakistani woman Zaara Hayaat Khan played by Preity Zinta.

Rani Mukherjee is a Pakistani lawyer named Saamiya Siddiqui who tries to bring the lovers together. But to no avail. Apparently, in the true tradition of all mythical love tales, the couple in "Veer Zaara" are fated to be estranged eternally.

In his first directorial venture in seven years (Chopra last directed the blockbuster "Dil To Pagal Hai" in 1997), Yash Chopra pitches for a legendary love story in the tradition of Laila Majnu and others. Hence the title suggesting an ironical confluence of the two lovers who are destined to be physically separated.

Adding to the film's aura of passion and nostalgia is the music score by the late and undoubtedly super great Madan Mohan. Diehard fans of his indomitable melodies sung by India's nightingale Lata Mangeshkar (Mr Chopra's self confessed Saraswati Maa without whose voice he says he cannot design any project) would be enthralled by the return of the imperishable composer-singer twosome.

Madan Mohan's gifted son Sanjeev Kohli, who dug out more than 150 unused tunes of his father, says it's a dream come true for him to recreate his father's unsung gems to suit today's tastes.

"It was the greatest creative challenge. Now it's up to the listeners to decide whether they think I've revived the era of the Madan Mohan-Lata Mangeshkar melodies," says Kohli.

The music will be released on Yashraj Films' own label (Yash Raj Music) on Sept 18. Those who have heard the music are raving about it.

Says Preity Zinta: "To be part of such a monumental music score is an honour... yeah, a great honour. I couldn't believe the quality of the melodies."

Adds Anupam Kher: "Lataji sounds as she did in the evergreen melodies of Madan Mohan. God bless her voice."

"Veer Zaara" with its exceptional music and an India-Pakistan romantic theme is expected to create an unprecedented stir when it releases for Diwali this year. Yashraj Films is also putting out a trailer of "Veer Zaara" along with its "Dhoom", which released Friday.