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Umrao Jaan (2006)

5.4
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Ratings: 5.4/10 from 1,235 users  
Reviews: 42 user | 9 critic

J.P. Dutta's adaption of the Urdu novel "Umrao Jan Ada" by Mirza Haadi Ruswa (1905).

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(screenplay), (story), 1 more credit »
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Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Ameeran / Umrao Jaan (as Aishwariya Rai)
...
...
Faiz Ali (as Suneil Shetty)
...
Bikram Saluja ...
Ashraf
Ayesha Jhulka ...
Khurshid Jaan
Puru Rajkumar ...
Gauhar Mirza (as Puru Raj Kumar)
Parikshat Sahni ...
Ameeran's father (as Parikshit Sahani)
...
...
Bismillah Jaan
Himani Shivpuri ...
Maya Alagh ...
Ameeran's mother
...
Dilawar Khan (as Viswajeet Pradhan)
Javed Khan ...
Pir Baksh
Anwar Madeem ...
Mirza Hadi Ruswa
Edit

Storyline

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 rAjOo (gunwanti@hotmail.com)

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

3 November 2006 (India)  »

Also Known As:

Umrao Jaan: Losy pieknej kurtyzany  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

£136,011 (UK) (3 November 2006)

Gross:

£296,784 (UK) (10 November 2006)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(European Film Market)

Color:

See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Aishwarya Rai Bachchan had trouble with some of the dances due to the heavy costumes. See more »

Goofs

The movie is set in the period of the late 19th century but the hand pump shown is of India Mark II which came into existence much later. See more »

Connections

Version of Umrao Jaan (1981) See more »

Soundtracks

Pehle Pehle
Written by Javed Akhtar
Music by Anu Malik
Performed by Alka Yagnik
Courtesy of T-series
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Excellent!
4 November 2006 | by (Raleigh, NC) – See all my reviews

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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