Zubeidaa - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Zubeidaa Reviews

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March 28, 2016
I don't know. I had to watch it because it was from my fav director. Didn't impress me though.
September 5, 2012
An interesting and different movie. A good story like brought to us by director Shyam Benegal who keeps the movie flowing in-spite of numerous transitions between the past and the present. Karishma Kapoor does a good job here.
Super Reviewer
August 8, 2010
One of the last great Movies of Karisma I watched before I threw her in the "No Thanks to Bollywood New Trash Movies" section.

Zubeidaa is a story of a young man Riyaz's (Rajit Kapur) quest to recover the memory of his mother Zubeidaa (Karisma Kapoor), a mother he never knew. Brought up by his grandmother from the age of three, all knowledge of his mother was kept away from him. Troubled by the scant knowledge he has of his mother, Riyaz sets about trying to piece together her life from the memories of those who knew her. Extremely talented and beautiful, Zubeidaa is the only daughter of Suleman Seth (Amrish Puri), a film producer in Mumbai. Zubeidaa's dreams and aspirations are never on her father's priority list.

Zubeidaa's happiness more often than not, falls victim to her father's completely unjustified domination over her life. Suleman Seth is instrumental in cutting short her burning ambition of becoming a film actress. Suleman Seth is also responsible for giving Zubeidaa the biggest jolt of her life by forcibly getting her married to a boy whom she does not even know properly, leave alone liking him. The repurcussions of this were severe and as far as Zubeidaa is concerned the mental agony born out of this forced wedlock appears almost intolerable.

Behind every dark cloud lies a silver lining, they say and this is exactly what happens in Zubeidaa's life. Her life takes a turn for the better and life a whiff of fresh air, romance makes unexpected entrance in her life in the form of Maharaja Vijayendra Singh (Manoj Bajpai). Sparks fly and both fall head over heels in love but this so-called path of love is not devoid of social thorns.
August 26, 2008
I am sorry but this one sucked. With the exception of Rekha's participation, the whole thing was a disaster in my opinion. The role of Zubeidaa follows the typical capricious female character so common in mainstream Bollywood. I don't think Karishma is any special at all; having abrupt explosions of emotion is not acting... no wonder Aamir Khan refuses to go to the awards.. I still can't understand how Karishma got the best actress for this. Quite frankly, it seems her fair skin and green eyes are good enough...and the photography is awful, bad scenes, bad sequences.. not for those who enjoy the good Indian thought-provoking productions.
July 1, 2008
it was alright. not my favorite. ok songs. zubeidaa is kind of annoying.
April 21, 2008
The Movie Info listed for this is incorrect. The story is about a man who never knew his mysterious and enigmatic mother (Zubeidaa) who was once a budding actress stopped short by an arranged marriage by her father.

Before her husband divorced her, Zubeidaa produced one son (the one who's looking for her in the present tense). Not long after her divorce, against her father's wishes she starts dating a maharaja. When the maharaja wants to make her his junior queen, Zubeidaa's mother demands that she give up her only son to be raised by the grandmother.

Zubeidaa stupidly agrees to do this and ends up as a concubine in a complicated and eventually unfulfilling marriage.

I only wanted to watch this because it was recommended on Baz Luhrman's Red Curtain Trilogy. Ugh. This just dragged on and on. Zubeidaa was a spoiled brat and she should have played that up more. Not a good Bollywood Musical by any standards.
February 25, 2008
Beautiful movie. It had a very sad ending but it broke my heart. I believe this was one of Karisma's greatest performance ever. She did such a good job in this movie.
½ December 1, 2007
one of karisma best movie
½ September 24, 2007
A Rich And Resonant Historical Romance, Though It Ends Up Feeling Incomplete
Shyam Benegal is an international award winning film director who made his name in the 1970's with films, such as Anker (1974), that focus on controversial subjects involving the examination of fraught, complex social and cultural relationships. These films tend to concentrate on the lower rungs of Indian society. Zubeidaa is a refreshing update in this mode of film-making, as Benegal transfers his name-making qualities to a subject at the higher end of society.

It is the story of a young man, Riyaz, who goes on a journey to discover what has happened to his mysterious mother, absent for as long as he can remember. What he discovers is reenacted in scenes set not long after independence, as the naïve but headstrong young Zubeidaa is scandalized by her romance, and subsequent marriage to Prince Vijayendra Singh of Fatehpur, head of a grand Hindu ruling royal family. As a middle class Muslim divorcée with a child by another man, her relationship with the Prince is naturally complicated by socio-political and religious factors.

But not only does she become entangled in the politics of the royal circle around the Prince, particularly in her relationship with the Prince's first wife, Mandira Devi, she also gets caught up in the larger politics of India. The film is set during a time not long after Independence, a time of change and uncertainty for the traditional ruling class of India, which still laid claim to about a third of the country.

Though it is clear that this film is much more than royal watching, having such a subject naturally supports a lavish treatment, which Benegal ably supplies, as well as making the film's content rich in nuance and resonance, handling its mature romantic storyline gracefully, and skilfully embedding it into its larger historical context.

The characters are generally very well developed with empathy and without judgement or cliché. The acting matches this. Karisma Kapoor captures the strength and naivety of Zubeidaa with aplomb, and Rekha is authoritative and understated as the enigmatic Mandira Devi.

The only problem I have with the film is Zubeidaa's grown son, Riyaz. Riyaz is imperative to the film, since the viewer follows him on his journey of discovery. Seeing great characters through the eyes of other characters is a useful fictional device, most successfully utilised in Scott Fitzgerald's novel, The Great Gatsby. Nick Carraway's character is revealed by his journey in discovering Gatsby. However, in Zubeidaa, Riyaz stays enigmatic while discovering his mother, and even, at times, comes across as anodyne, feeling more like a biographer looking into an interesting episode in history, not a son trying to find his mother. Rajat Kapoor, playing Riyaz, does not manage to rise above his character's failings. And so, unfortunately, the film ends up feeling incomplete.
½ September 4, 2007
Long, delightful musical sequences. Interesting treatment of relations between religions and aspects of Indian political history. Seen at Telluride 9/3/07.
September 1, 2007
karishma kapoor is one of the worest actress i seen. she's worest than her sister. she played the same role in her all movies. i was a fan of her when i was little. i liked her in hero no. 1
August 30, 2007
Karishma is simply superb as Zubeidaa and Manoj Bajpai is perfect as always :)
½ June 22, 2007
One of the good ones,though the best autobiography
November 12, 2006
this movie is just so unbelievably tragic!!! you just feel so sad at the end.karishma kapoor was so excellent in this and the story is rivetting. her dad was a meanie and her first husband a weakling. She should have just take her son when she remarried. That was slack of her mum. i never knew what to think of the queen chick. Sometimes she was a bitch and others she was nice. I loved the end, how it didnt really tell you how she died. Leaves her more of a mystery.
August 23, 2006
A very good story and awesome stars
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