Is Swades better than Veer-Zaara?

Veer-Zaara vs. SwadesThe trailer of Veer-Zaara was used as a very clever technique to push Dhoom from an average spot to a hit position. As Dhoom was not doing well initially, Yash Chopra decided to launch the first trailer of his latest “love legend” in the beginning of every show of Dhoom. Viewers crowded the theatres, in order to watch the trailer of the
upcoming sensation, Veer-Zaara. So, what should one expect from the trailer?

We see Rani Mukherjee starting off by telling her name, Samia Siddiqui and that she’s a Pakistani Lawyer. The setting is of a courtroom. Samia tells the viewers that she is fighting for an Indian named Veer Pratap Singh. The theme song starts playing and they show flashes of Shahrukh Khan as a pilot, in an airplane, in the yellow fields with that love-struck look on his face.

Camera returns back to Rani Mukherjee as she says that Veer’s life and love is a Pakistani girl whose name is Zaara Hayaat Khan. The music continues to play in the background with the camera shifting to flashes of Preity Zinta jumping around in joy and appears to be a carefree character.

Rani Muherjee returns to the screen saying, “khuda ne inki takdeer aise likhi hai ke Veer aur Zaara ka naam ek saath nahi jurh sakta.” And soon after, clips of Veer and Zaara are shown together. With a daring look on her face, Rani says,“ aur mein inki takdeer badalne aayi hoon, Veer aur Zaara ko hamesha ke liye jodne aayi hoon.” Following that are shown more flashes of Veer and Zaara together, happy and dancing.

In the middle of these flashes are the words, “This year…Yash Chopra bring you…a new love legend…” and to conclude the (much anticipated) trailer, “this Diwali” appears on the screen along with the credits of the film, written in fine print.

Swades is another one of the much-awaited movies of 2004 (most hopefully). The first trailer of Swades is out and one has to notice the uniqueness of the trailer. It shows the lines “UTV Motion Pictures presents” “And Ashutosh Gowariker Production” in two separate frames.

The background is filled with a distinct and funky tune that seemed to be played with a banjo-like instrument. The first frame shows an airplane (notice a similarity?) in which Shahrukh Khan does not stand out. After the airplane scene, they show a crowded train with Shahrukh sitting in the middle of a lot of people and it’s in this frame where the (funky) music is still audible in the background but there is an ‘alaap’ in a male voice that takes over the tune. After the scene in the train, the camera moves to a boat with Shahrukh Khan in the middle and about nine other people on the boat. The ‘alaap’ still goes on.

After the boat, the setting is a bus, which is, again, crowded (any guesses as to why?). In the background, the singer starts to sing a tune and the frame changes from the bus to a small two-wheeler. There are three people on it with Shahrukh Khan in the middle. They seem to be squeezed together on the two-wheeler. The trailer end with “Swades” written on the screen and the tagline “We. the people” right below the title. You can watch the Swades trailer here.

Even though, Veer-Zaara’s trailer was officially released well before Swades’ trailer, “we. the people” got to watch the trailer of Swades before Veer-Zaara’s. Not everyone watched Dhoom in the theatres and hence, not everybody got to watch the trailer of Veer-Zaara since it’s not being featured on the TV as yet. There must be some people who have watched Swades’ trailer without watching Veer-Zaraa’s and as a result of this, Swades’ trailer might leave a greater impact on the viewers more than Veer-Zaara’s.

Another reason for the viewers liking the Swades trailer more is its distinctiveness. It’s clearly noticeable from Veer-Zaara’s trailer that the movie is a combination of several of Shahrukh Khan’s past hits such as DDLJ, K3G and KHNH. The scenes in Veer-Zaraa’s trailer resemble those from the movies stated above. Like the mustard fields from ‘ghar aaja pardesi’ in DDLJ, similar sets from ‘Shava Shava’ in K3G, a similar jacket for Shahrukh Khan from DDLJ and similar expressions and dresses (to some extent) from KHNH. From the trailer, Veer-Zaara seems to be another one of those love stories where there is a conflict between the religions of two lovers but they, somehow, get through the conflicts and come together. Movies like Gadar are examples of movies with similar themes.

On the other hand, the trailer of Swades reveals newness and sets hopes for something unusual in bollywood. From the previews we know that Swades is about a middle-aged man who goes abroad in order to work but wants to return back to his country. The story is about his journey back to the homeland.

This aspect of his journey is clearly visible in the trailer where Shahrukh Khan is shown traveling in different vehicles. His journey, from abroad, starts in an airplane and goes through in trains, boats, buses and finally a two-wheeler. The use of different vehicles and in that order adds to the theme of the protagonist traveling and reaching to the interiors of India.

The Indian audience has never seen this kind of a theme being used in a movie before. The trailer of Swades gives out a lot of possibilities regarding the story and the theme of the movie and keeps the viewers guessing, which the trailer of Veer-Zaara fails to do.

The viewers are the ones to decide the fate of these movies but from what has been noticed so far, Swades appears to have an edge over Veer-Zaara, depicting solely from the trailers of the two movies. I guess we have to wait and watch to find out the ‘real’ stories, till then, keep guessing!