| Yash Chopra, Rani Mukherjee, Shah Rukh Khan and Preity Zinta at The Grand Rex
Call it the French Connection or An Evening in Paris, Veer and Zaara have found a new set of followers in romantic European realms. Having hit halls in India and many other countries in end-2004, the Yash Chopra love legend went in for a step-by-step release in Europe.
Following positive reactions at the 55th Berlinale Film Festival last year, Veer-Zaara, in German, was released in Germany. The music of the film (by late Madan Mohan) and the DVDs of Veer-Zaara went on to become the highest-selling titles in Germany for a foreign film.
Now, the Shah Rukh Khan-Preity Zinta blockbuster has achieved yet another landmark, weaving its magic in France. Veer-Zaara was premiered on April 26 at The Grand Rex, the biggest theatre in Paris amidst the creme de la creme of Paris society and French media.
With a seating capacity of 2,800, The Grand Rex has beamed films for more than one million spectators for over half a century. Veer-Zaara is the first Hindi film to ever premiere at this prestigious venue in France.
The premiere, attended by Yash Chopra and the main three cast members ' Shah Rukh, Preity and Rani Mukherjee ' also kick-started a Bollywood week at the theatre. Some of the biggest blockbusters including Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge, Mohabbatein, Kabhi Kabhie, Kuch Kuch Hota Hai, Dhoom, Swades, Lagaan, Bhoot, Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham, Kal Ho Naa Ho, Dil To Pagal Hai, Black and Sholay were screened for the French public. Most of these films will then be released across the country.
The three Indian superstars, Shah Rukh, Preity and Rani, also visited the Virgin Mega Store to meet their fans. The turnout of over 5,000 fans from all nationalities resulted in the store being forced to close down to accommodate the numbers.
The Bollywood heavyweights went on to autograph for the people and the media the Veer-Zaara CDs and select DVDs of their respective films.
No wonder Yash Chopra was all smiles. 'I am really happy with the overwhelming response we got from the delegates and the audience in France,' he said.
'People were screaming for Shah Rukh, Rani and Preity which shows they have a huge fan following even in Paris. I am happy that our film industry is making waves everywhere. I was surprised to see people enjoying the song-and-dance sequences too. People were also very emotional during a few scenes. What else can I ask for' This event once again shows the love for Indian films the world over.'