6.2/10
1,343
19 user 15 critic

Zubeidaa (2001)

Zubeidaa, 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.

Director:

Shyam Benegal

Writers:

Khalid Mohamed (original story and screenplay), Javed Siddiqui (dialogue) (as Javed Siddique)
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3 wins & 13 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Karisma Kapoor ... Zubeida
Rekha ... Mandira Devi
Manoj Bajpayee ... Raja Vijendra Singh (as Manoj Bajpai)
Rajit Kapoor ... Riyaz Masud (as Rajit Kapur)
Surekha Sikri ... Fayyazi (as Surekha Sikri-Rege)
Amrish Puri ... Suleiman Seth
Farida Jalal ... Mammo
Shakti Kapoor ... Dance Master Hiralal
Lillete Dubey ... Rose Davenport
Ravi Jhankal ... Girivar Singh
Smriti Mishra Smriti Mishra ... Sardari Begum
S.M. Zaheer S.M. Zaheer ... Sajid Masud
Harish Patel ... Nandlal Seth
Seema Bhargava
Parzaan Dastur ... Young Riyaz
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Storyline

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

Taglines:

The Story of a Princess


Certificate:

Unrated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

India

Language:

Hindi | Urdu | Rajasthani

Release Date:

19 January 2001 (India) See more »

Also Known As:

Роковая любовь See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

DTS | Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Bollywood Brass Band did a instrumental version of "Main Albeli" for the album Rahmania. See more »

Goofs

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 »

Connections

Featured in Bollywood/Hollywood (2002) See more »

Soundtracks

Dheeme Dheeme
Lyrics by Javed Akhtar
Music by A.R. Rahman
Performed by Kavita Krishnamurthy
See more »

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User Reviews

 
An Amazing Film
15 June 2006 | by teenageluminarySee all my reviews

I saw this movie today and I really enjoyed it - which is a bit surprising because I don't usually like Bollywood movies. I thought all the actors did really well, especially Karisma Kapoor (who played Zubeidaa.) Playing the part couldn't have been easy for her since the character is incredibly complex and she pretty much carries the entire film on her own. So Kapoor certainly deserves plenty of kudos for her performance.

What I really liked about the film was that the characters had so many layers to them. For example, even though Zubeidaa is a fearless romantic, the filmmakers also take care to show that she can be incredibly petty and insecure - especially when it comes to Mandira Devi's relationship with Victor. "I want a necklace just like that!" she insists when Victor buys a strand of diamonds for the senior queen. Touches like these really help make the characters come alive for the audience. These aren't stock characters; in contrast, they're real human beings with their own failings and inconsistencies.

The only real problem I had with the film was that we don't get enough insight into Zubeidaa's relationship with Victor. The producers hint at the fact that Victor thinks of her as a "toy" whose job it is to amuse him. But is this really the case? The filmmakers never make this very clear, which I think is something of a pity. I feel that this relationship in particular could have been developed more.

Nonetheless, I do think that Zubeidaa is an excellent film - and, as another reviewer here at IMDb pointed out, it's an excellent step up from the "masala pot boilers" that the Indian film industry seems to be churning out these days. If you're looking for a Bollywood period piece (set in the 1950's,) that has good music, acting, and cinematography, then Zubeidaa is it.

P.S. If you've got the time, I would suggest watching Aamir Khan's Oscar-nominated 2001 film Lagaan along with this one. Both films deal with the subject of Indian independence and play very nicely off one another.


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