Veer-Zaara is a 2004 Indian romantic drama film directed and co-produced by Yash Chopra with his son Aditya Chopra. It stars Shah Rukh Khan and Preity Zinta as the eponymous star-crossed lovers; Veer is an Indian Air Force pilot and Zaara is a Pakistani woman hailing from a rich political family of Lahore. When Veer learns Zaara loves him, he quits his job to go to Pakistan, where he is imprisoned on false charges. Years later, a young Pakistani lawyer played by Rani Mukerji finds Veer in prison and upon listening to his story, tries to free him. Veer-Zaara had Manoj Bajpayee, Akhilendra Mishra and Anupam Kher play supporting roles.
Chopra wanted to make his return to cinema after seven years; he was dissatisfied with the scripts he received. Aditya then narrated a few scenes of a story he had written, which interested Chopra and prompted him to direct it. Chopra intended the film to be a tribute to Punjab; it was to be titled Yeh Kahan Aa Gaye Hai Hum. Set in India and Pakistan, principal photography took place in Punjab and various locations in Mumbai; parts of the film were also shot in Pakistan. The soundtrack album, based on old compositions by Madan Mohan with lyrics by Javed Akhtar, was the highest-selling album of the year in India.
The film was released on 12 November 2004 during the Diwali festival, Veer-Zaara earned over ₹976.4 million worldwide, becoming the highest-grossing Indian film of the year in both India and overseas territories. It received positive reviews from critics, with praise directed to the story, dialogues, performances and sensitive portrayal of India-Pakistan relations. It was described by analysts as having themes pertaining to a shared Punjabi culture, secularism and feminism, among others. The film won several awards in major Indian film award ceremonies. It won four awards at the Filmfare Awards, including Best Film and Best Story. At the 6th IIFA Awards, the film won 7 awards, including Best Film, Best Director, Best Actor and Best Supporting Actress. It also won the Best Popular Film Providing Wholesome Entertainment at the National Film Awards.
Veer-Zaara’s soundtrack features 11 songs with music based on old and untouched compositions by the late Madan Mohan, as revised by his son Sanjeev Kohli. The vocals are provided by Lata Mangeshkar, Jagjit Singh, Udit Narayan, Sonu Nigam, Gurdas Mann, Roop Kumar Rathod, Ahmed Hussain, Mohammad Hussain and Pritha Mazumder. The lyrics were written by Javed Akhtar. Kohli found Mohan’s unused recordings in his cupboard shortly after his death, which was then used for Veer-Zaara upon Chopra’s insistence. Mangeshkar used to sing with Madan Mohan; according to Chopra, upon coming for the recording, with tears in her eyes, Lata Mangeshkar told him, “Madan Mohan was like my brother. You [Chopra] are like my brother. I feel I have gone back in the past”. The soundtrack of Veer-Zaara was released on CD, LP record and on Audio DVD. Yash Raj Music also released complete background music of Veer-Zaara titled The Love Legend Themes – Instrumental. After the soundtrack release, Chopra did not allow radiostations to air its songs to generate curiosity.
In a soundtrack review, Syed Firdaus Ashraf of Rediff.com states, “It will disappoint you at first, but if you listen to it repeatedly, the music will grow on you.” He commended the male singers but felt that Mangheskar somehow “disappoints”, when compared to her previous performances. Ashraf felt that “Kyon Hawa”, sung by Sonu Nigam, was the best song in the album. Derek Elley of Variety agrees with Ashraf on the first point, writing, “While not instantly hummable, they do the job effectively.” In a review of “Tere Liye”, a Sify editor writes, “Madan Mohan’s mastery with tunes is quite apparent in this number, parts of which are used often in the movie.” Joginder Tuteja of Bollywood Hungama rated it three stars out of five, writing, “Veer-Zaara is a mixed bag varying from a rich collection of love songs to emotional tracks to a patriotic number, a qawalli, a folk song and a ghazal. While the first half of the album is instantly appealing the second half will slowly grow on you.” A reviewer for BBC applauded the album, calling it “unique and special”.
Mohan was nominated for the Best Music Director at the 50th Filmfare Awards, and won the Best Music Director at the 6th IIFA Awards. Akhtar got nominated for the Best Lyricist at the 50th Filmfare Awards for “Tere Liye”, “Main Yahaan” and “Aisa Des Hai Mera”, winning for “Tere Liye”. It was the highest-selling music album of the year in India, with sales of around 3 million units.
All Songs from Veer-Zaara Movie:
Tere Liye Lyrics – Veer-Zaara
Main Yahaan Hoon Lyrics – Veer-Zaara
Kyon Hawa Lyrics – Veer-Zaara
Aisa Des Hai Mera Lyrics – Veer-Zaara
Hum To Bhai Jaise Hain Lyrics – Veer-Zaara
Aaya Tere Dar Par Lyrics – Veer-Zaara
Do Pal Lyrics – Veer-Zaara
Yeh Hum Aa Gaye Hain Kahaan Lyrics – Veer-Zaara
Lodi Lyrics – Veer-Zaara