NR ReviewGenre: Romance
NEGATIVE:Story development could use some help
When I had first read the synopsis of this movie, I had assumed it was your typical love story: boy loves girl, parents disapprove, fiasco for 2 hours, movie ends. Then I read the synopsis again before I watched the movie and it hit me, “this is Veer Zaara”. For those who don’t Veer Zaara is a 2004 Bollywood movie directed by the late romance legend himself Yash Raj, and starring Shahrukh Khan (in Majid’s role) and Preity Zinta (in Yvonne’s role).
Frank Rajah is known for glamour, extravagance, romance (in part) and suspense (in other parts), but for the most part Mr. Arase is known for stealing movies. Mostly from Bollywood, and sometimes from Hollywood. He has stolen stories like Karan Johar’s ‘We are Family’ (losing you), ‘The Race’ (the game), ‘Ghajini (the game), Kabhie Kushi Kabhie Gham (Tears of Womanhood), Humko Tumse Pyaar Hai (Darkness of Sorrow), and that is just to name some of the Bollywood movies, not even going into Hollywood and Nollywood yet, that dear Mr. Rajah has copied.
When I had first read the synopsis of this movie, I had assumed it was your typical love story: boy loves girl, parents disapprove, fiasco for 2 hours, movie ends. Then I read the synopsis again before I watched the movie and it hit me, “this is Veer Zaara”. For those who don’t know Veer Zaara is a 2004 Bollywood movie directed by the late romance legend Yash Raj, and starring Shahrukh Khan (in Majid’s role) and Preity Zinta (in Yvonne’s role).
I eventually got over my shock that Frank would dare to attempt to remake Veer-Zaara when I realized that he did attempt K3G so anything is possible. My earlier shock was eventually replaced by excitement because I simply wanted to see what dear old Frank would do with the movie. Like I said earlier, Frank is known for glamour and extravagance, so I thought even though it’s theft it would be fun to watch the Ghanaian version.
Wrong! This movie fell short in so many ways that I want to go and revive Yash-ji from his grave and apologize to him on behalf of Mr. Arase. If I could choose only one thing that I wish was worked on a little bit more in this movie it’d be the plot development. I honestly would have preferred if this movie had 6 parts in order to create emotion, than this hour-and-a-half mess of a remake.
Then I think to myself, maybe I’m expecting too much, maybe because Veer-Zaara was such a grand movie, I also expect grandeur from this movie. So I removed myself from it, and stopped comparing it with the Bollywood version but it seemed even more ridiculous without that prior info. I will give it to Yvonne, she tries as an actress, I’ll give it to Majid, he is a good actor but they both just weren’t doing it for me in this movie. I wasn’t feeling the chemistry, Yvonne’s rendition seemed too staged in the early parts, and the height difference just didn’t help matters and it fell flat for me as romance flick.
However, I will admit that I did get teary eyed at the end, and just like in ‘Losing You’, I’m not certain whether that was because I was thinking of the original version or because this version was moving? Or maybe it was because of the ‘Braveheart’ soundtrack so surreptitiously appended to the last scene of this film (just wondering, do all these Nollywood and Ghallywood movies that keep borrowing the ‘Braveheart’ soundtrack, pay them for it?)?
I will give credit where credit is due, and I’ll start with commending Frank for being brave enough to attempt this movie. I’d have to commend Kofi Adjorlolo in this flick, I’m really tempted to say that he was the standout performance especially for that scene where he was standing like a soldier, yet weeping like a baby. I thought Senanu’s performance was well done unfortunately I can’t say the same about JJ’s performance. The bunny’s performance seemed to be skipping all over the place.
One thing that struck me in this movie, asides from the apparent theft was the entire Muslim motif. I understand that in the Bollywood version, the girl and her family were Muslim, but that was only because they lived in Pakistan and he was contesting for elections (as the character would not stand a chance in the elections as a Hindu man). But in the Ghallywood version, why were they Muslim? It had absolutely no bearing on the entire film. Her father was not rejecting her union on religious grounds, the religion had absolutely nothing to do with anything.
And then the hijab, oh my days. I don’t understand the idea behind wearing a hijab with a short mini-dress? I think it is entirely insulting that they had Yvonne wearing a hijab on an open dress in more than one scene.
All in all, the price is a far cry from the original flick but I’d have to wait to hear from someone who hasn’t seen Veer-Zara in order to determine whether or not the movie had any actual impact.