National Geographic : 2005 Feb
comes back to his improvised throne and watches the replay of the song on a monitor, he's clearly pleased. "We are too much," he says, laughing. "We are unbelievable!" While the dancers take a break, Yash and Aditya fill me in on the rest of the movie: Veer crosses the border to Pakistan to be with Zaara and is thrown into jail as a suspected Indian spy. Zaara's fiance convinces Veer that revealing his liaison with Zaara would besmirch her honor, and so Veer remains in jail for 22 years, never seeing his love. Toward the end of the film, a fe male Pakistani human rights lawyer, moved by Veer's plight, goes to court to free him. At the trial her case seems doomed by Veer's refusal to name Zaara to avoid dishonoring her. "What happens next?" I ask. "In a film of three hours," says Yash, "you either bring the lovers back together-or kill them. The audience should leave with tears or a smile." So which will it be for Veer and Zaara? 62 NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC * FEBRUARY 2005 Mumbai. A film crew hasjust finished decorat ing a fake courtroomwith a Pakistaniflag and the portraitof innah, thefirst leader of Pakistan.The camera pans a row of spectators wearing tradi tionalPakistaniclothes as Veer enters from the left. A song slowly starts.... Bollywood films have been banned from the aters in Pakistan since 1965. Relations between the two countries have been difficult ever since GUARDING ALEGEND Famefollows revered actor Amitabh Bachchan, 63 (above), who travels with bodyguards forprotection. Until a recent crack down, the criminal underworld frequently bank rolledfilms-and extorted actors to star in them. partition, and, despite overtures toward peace in the past two years, tensions remain so high that Pakistani officials refused to let the Cho pras film in their country. So a playwright has been flown in from Lahore to advise the filmmakers on how to re-create a Pakistani courtroom in Film City.