A student of classical music and his teacher's daughter fall in love. However, the young woman's family arrange for her marriage to another man. The new groom surprises everyone with his actions in handling the situation.
Sanjay Leela Bhansali
Aishwarya Rai Bachchan
Shah Rukh Khan and Sharad Kapoor are the leaders of the two rival gangs. Aishwarya Rai is Shah Rukh Khan's twin sister. Shah Rukh is in love with Priya Gill. Chandrachur Singh is Sharad ... See full summary »
Shah Rukh Khan,
Aishwarya Rai Bachchan,
Radha and Suraj have been friends since childhood. Gopal has been in love with Radha ever since they spent a few years together as kids. Years later, Gopal's guardian proposes to Radha a ... See full summary »
In India, open romance is forbidden, as is showing affection in public. A college principal named Narayan is a strong believer in this, aware that a male student named Vicky is in love with... See full summary »
Shah Rukh Khan,
DCP Anant Shrivastav (Amitabh Bachchan) has been assigned the mission to escort terrorist Iqbal Ansari (Atul Kulkarni) from Chandangarh to Mumbai. His terrorist organization are determined ... See full summary »
On a sight-seeing road trip of India, U.K. based Manav Mehta meets Mansi, the daughter of a singer, Tarababu. He is attracted to her, and makes his attraction known. She also is attracted ... See full summary »
Aishwarya Rai Bachchan
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
Comparisons are unavoidable, and the result is clear
J.P. Dutta directs Umrao Jaan, the second film adaptation of Mirza Hadi Ruswa's 1905 novel "Umrao Jaan Ada", which tells the story of the famous Lucknow courtesan. Although Dutta claimed to have based the film on the novel, it is clearly more a remake of the 1981 film version, directed by Muzaffar Ali and starring Rekha. The 1981 film was lavish, powerful and beautiful and is a famous musical classic. Rekha's heartfelt performance as Umrao Jaan remains till date one of the finest performances of not only her career but of Indian cinema in general. So obviously one would go on to compare the two versions, and needless to say, the 1981 film is and will always be associated with this title. This new version is not very bad. It is pleasing to the eye, it has some nice songs, great costumes, and Aishwarya Rai looks impossibly beautiful. However, the film is lacking in substance, in emotion and it lacks the power to excite.
In comparison to Rekha, Aishwarya Rai is frankly more of an amateur (and I'm not one of those who hate her). Rekha's line delivery, her non-verbal emotions, her pain, her expressive eyes being occasionally filled with tears, and above all her dance numbers which are some of the most memorable in the history of Indian films, were so soulful. Aishwarya, though stunning in looks and evidently trying to do her best, simply does not have the ability to recreate this magic. She does have her moments, but that's as far as it goes and it is hardly a good performance. Moreover, her dance numbers are overly mechanical. Anu Malik's soundtrack is good and the great Alka Yagnik sings the songs beautifully, but then again, when compared to Khayyam's unforgettable songs performed to perfection by Asha Bhosle in the original version, is nothing exceptional.
Another much talked about role in the film is that of Khanum Jaan, played by Shabana Azmi. Azmi plays a role her own mother, Shaukat Azmi, played in the original version. She seems to have a lot of fun with the minimal job her character lets her do and surprisingly does not really take her role seriously, as she rightly admitted in an interview. That's okay, even accomplished actors like Azmi are allowed to have fun, and that's what actually makes her portrayal the more so entertaining. As for Abhishek Bachchan, the less said about him, the better. Even on its own, Umrao Jaan does not hold water. It is melodramatic, uninspiring and poorly directed. Aishwarya's presence and the film's visuals cannot save it from being just another unsuccessful and forgettable attempt to remake a classic.
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