The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Box Office Curves

Ooof! four films, all significant in their own right. One a vintage love classic, the other a wannabe love classic, the third an erotic thriller, and the last a cerebral and seductive dance celebrating life. This has been the most crowded and unrelenting week for filmgoers. Even a die-hard movie fanatic like yours truly is sick and tired of running helter-skelter is search of that shimmering, shadowy shelter provided by movie theatres. And how self-destructive can these movie producers get! How on earth did stalwart producers like Subhash Ghai and Ram Gopal Varma think they could take on Yash Chopra and Veer-Zaara, since neither Aitraaz nor Naach is a Diwali kind of entertainer'

As expected, Veer-Zaara has wiped out all the other three films. The opening of a Yash Chopra-Shah Rukh Khan starrer is always phenomenal. But Veer-Zaara has surpassed all expectations. The collections surged forward in a celebration of box-office machismo. On the day of the film's release Preity Zinta was at home basking in the euphoria of having done a love legend, a la Madhubala (Mughal-e-Azam), Priya Rajvansh (Heer-Ranjha) and Poonam Dhillon (Sohni-Mahiwal). 'It was the most awesome experience of my life,' says Preity. Veer-Zaara's other leading lady Rani Mukherjee was meant to be a male. The role of the activist-lawyer was actually written for a male. Writer Aditya Chopra turned it around for Rani. She is in seventh heaven'going on eighth. When last week SRK injured his foot I told him he must be careful since he's a national treasure. 'Don't say that. I might have to start paying heritage tax for myself,' he quipped. His unmatchable stardom remains...unmatched!

The poor opening of Aitraaz is sad. But Priyanka Chopra is really good doing Moore's monstrous man-eater's act from Disclosure. Tell her this, and Priyanka sighs. 'I only wish Aitraaz would do well. I've worked so hard on the film.' She admits the film hasn't opened well. 'But if people like it I'm sure they'll spread the good word.'

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