Raj a mere bachelor, who has no intention of marrying is being convinced by his uncle. His uncle passes on the duty to Namrata a married woman whose husband Sanjeev leave her five years ago... See full summary »
Aishwarya Rai Bachchan,
In India, Tilo has the ability of foreseeing the future. When their parents are killed by bandits, she is kidnapped but escapes and is raised by the First Mother in a sort of traditional ... See full summary »
Paul Mayeda Berges
Aishwarya Rai Bachchan,
An elderly couple wish their children to care for them in their old age. But their children see and treat them as a burden, and they must struggle to regain their worth and dignity to themselves and others.
Karan Khanna is an orphan and a captain in the Rajputana Armed Forces. He's madly in love with beautiful model Nisha, with whom he plans to tie the knot during his next leave. On the way to... See full summary »
Aishwarya Rai Bachchan,
Raj and Priya come from two different strata of society. While Raj owns a small-time transport business and belongs to the economically middle class section of society, Priya belongs to the... See full summary »
Widowed Colonel Khurana, a resident of India, goes to London, accumulates enough wealth, returns to India, opens a private Sanatorium for the insane, and hires his daughter, Tanvi, as one ... See full summary »
Ameeran lives a poor-lifestyle with her mom, dad, and brother, Jamal, in Faizabad, British India. When her dad testifies against the local corrupt cop, Dilawar Khan, Khan swears to avenge this humiliation, and several years later, abducts Ameeran, holds her for ransom. When no money is forthcoming, he sells her. Ameeran ends up in a brothel run by Lucknow's Madame Khanum Jaan, where she is taught dance and poetry, and is subsequently re-named Umrao Jaan. Years later, Umrao has matured, is a well-known Courtesan with many patrons, chief amongst them are Nawab Sujat Ali Khan and his son, Sultan. Umrao and Sultan fall in love with each other, much to the chagrin of Sujat, who instructs Sultan either to give up Umrao or to lose his inheritance, and Sultan chooses Umrao. He gives up his father's palatial house and goes to live in the brothel, but re-locates to live with his uncle in Gadi after being taunted by Khanum Jaan. Umrao has a new admirer, Nawab Faiz Ali, who proposes to take her ... Written by
I've just seen this fantastic movie (twice in the theater), and the complaints I've heard about it completely escape me. It makes me wonder if they watched the entire movie, as the ending scenes are among the best ever filmed. For cultural reference and point of view, I am a 35 year old American male living in the United States and a fan of any good film.
This movie is incredible and an achievement in Bollywood film. There have been some really great movies coming out of Bollywood (and some great non-Bollywood is Black and Raincoat) recently such as Devdas and Lagaan. Both of those movies really showed off the best elements of typical BW, but both also had at least a little of the, well, cheese or melodrama that tends to show up in the standard Bollywood movie. Umrao Jaan had no melodrama (and hardly any comic relief either). The music and dancing element that is a staple of BW and in most movies seems to come out of nowhere was here given a foundation in reality and a reason for existence due to the main character's profession. Speaking of the main character, Aishwarya Rai as Umrao Jaan herself was perfect casting and she did an incredible job at real acting and never once hinted at melodrama. Most of the musical numbers belonged exclusively to Rai, and in fact she was in almost every shot in the entire movie.
One of the complaints is that this movie is too long. It was not too long but rather pretty average for BW, as it is only a few minutes longer than Devdas and is in fact shorter than Lagaan (at the time of this writing the run time was not given on IMDb.com, but my watch indicated about 210 minutes including intermission time). Another complaint is that it has too many songs. It did not have too many - there were six I believe which is about average for BW, and each one played an important part - especially the first and last songs in the movie. Besides their importance, the performances of the musical numbers were absolutely incredible - most of this was achieved on the shoulders of Rai - and after each musical number I seriously couldn't wait for the next one (hoping it would again feature Rai). Additionally, the songs themselves were absolutely amazing and fresh; real talent was behind the scenes here. The performance by Rai in the musical numbers was, to me, what completed the entire film.
I called this movie an achievement because it features only the BEST elements of BW while incorporating things that are new and different from the typical BW feature that only uplift it's credibility, reality, and entertainment value. The goal of the BW film is to transport the viewer to another reality, and this one does it better than any I've seen.
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