Zubeidaa (2001)

Unrated  |   |  Biography, Drama, History  |  19 January 2001 (India)
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Zubeida, an aspiring Muslim actress, marries a Hindu prince to become his second wife. Her tumultuous relationship with her husband, and her inner demons lead her to a decision which has fatal consequences for them all.



(original story and screenplay), (dialogue) (as Javed Siddique)
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Mandira Devi
Raja Vijendra Singh (as Manoj Bajpai)
Rajit Kapoor ...
Riyaz Masud (as Rajit Kapur)
Surekha Sikri ...
Fayyazi (as Surekha Sikri-Rege)
Suleiman Seth
Farida Jalal ...
Shakti Kapoor ...
Dance Master Hiralal
Rose Davenport
Ravi Jhankal ...
Girivar Singh
Smriti Mishra ...
S.M. Zaheer ...
Sajid Masud
Harish Patel ...
Nandlal Seth
Seema Bhargava
Parzan Dastur ...
Young Riyaz (as Parzaan Dastur)


The film begins with Riyaz (Rajat Kapoor), Zubeida's son setting out to research her life, and to meet the people who knew her. The story is thus told in the form of memories/reminiscences. Zubeida is a Muslim actress, who's career aspirations are thwarted by her film-producer father (Puri) who looks down upon a woman in acting. He arranges her marriage to her friend's son, but that breaks up after the birth of her son. Zubeida is now back at her parent's home, sad and depressed. Rose (Lilette Dubey) her father's mistress tries to cheer-up Zubeida by taking her out. On one of these outings, Zubeida meets Prince Vijayendra (Victor) Singh of Fatehpur (Bajpai). Quite taken with her, the Prince woos and marries her. Zubeida, now the 2nd wife of a Hindu prince, leaves her son behind with her mother (Sikri) and comes to live at Fatehpur. Here she meets the much older Mandira Devi (Rekha) the Prince's first wife, learns about the etiquette of being a Rani, and of the duties her husband has ... Written by Amodini

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


The Story of a Princess


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Release Date:

19 January 2001 (India)  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?


The jewelry worn by Karisma Kapoor and Rekha in the film actually belonged to the Jaipur royal family. Both actresses were told to be very careful when wearing it. See more »


The events of the movie are happening in the 1950s, around the time of decolonization, yet the prince Victor appears to be flying a 1982 model of Cessna 172. See more »


Featured in Bollywood/Hollywood (2002) See more »


Hai Na
Lyrics by Javed Akhtar
Music by A.R. Rahman
Performed by Udit Narayan and Alka Yagnik
See more »

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User Reviews

The Greatest of Movies! A must see!
18 November 2001 | by (New Jersey, USA) – See all my reviews

This is by far one of the best Indian movies I have ever seen. One really gets a sense of the life in the early 1950's in India. The plot is very rich. Full of life. Full of characters, nuances. There are so many stories in the background: partition, status of Muslims in India, Indian cenima, fate of Indian principalties. The dialogue is just awesome. But, of course, the focus and center of the movie is the story of Zubedaa. Khaled Mohammed's script -- based on the life of is mother -- is simply amazing. In general, I do not like Karishma Kapoor's movies -- but she gives a phenomenol performance here, even better than her performance in Fiza. I hope she will continue do serious roles in the future. In fact, everyone in the movie is great. There are no "mistakes" in the movie. What starts out as very simple story builds up to something very powerful. There is no naive sentimentality here. This is art! High art! And no this is not one of those aesthetic pieces that are out of touch with reality. I just cannot say enough about the movie. Perfect, perfect, perfect.

Of course, this movie is only for serious viewers. If you are looking for action or laughs, look else where.

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