Aishwarya Rai Bachchan...Umrao Jaan
Abhishek Bachchan... Nawab Sultan Khan
A young girl is kidnapped by her father's enemy and sold to a brothel in Lucknow, they rename her Umrao Jaan and start training her to become a very skilled dancer, singer, poet and courtesan. Her first performance is for a wedding and she locks eyes with Nawab Sultan Khan. He becomes her regular client and they fall in love. She promises to be faithful and so does he, but he promises her that the second she is unfaithful he will be too. Sultan's father hears of their love and disowns him, forcing the Sultan to be homeless and not able to afford visits to Umrao. He goes away to start making a living somewhere else and promises to come back. Umrao is forced to do her job as a courtesan, and thus is unfaithful. When she goes with one of her employers to the town Sultan is staying in, the other Nawab she was with turns out to be a fake and is arrested, he tells Sultan that he has been with Umrao, Sultan believes him and leaves Umrao forever. She is lost and desperate so she goes back to Lucknow to continue working, but the British come and the brothel is forced to relocate. They end up in Umrao's old village and she finds that she is disowned and a disgrace to her family and so she is left on her own once again to make a living and survive.
This was sooooooooooooo good. Aishwarya was brilliant and the dancing was just beautiful. I enjoyed all of the songs and I think the story was really well written. I was sad that Umrao's life never got to be what she wanted it to be, and I thought Abhishek's character was snobby, but he did a wonderful job of playing it. Aishwarya's clothes were so gorgeous and looked even better when she was dancing. I thought it was interesting that the story was not more focused on the love story between the Nawab and Umrao, but rather on her whole life. I mean it was really focused on their love and that was the bulk of the movie, but I didn't know the Nawab's character and so he seemed more distant. I think they were trying to focus in on Umrao's feelings and beliefs that got her through that traumatic love and I really liked that approach. I would definitely recommend this movie to any Bollywood fan, but I think it is a bit more sophisticated then your typical bollywood love story and it is not nearly as light hearted. I didn't mind that it was a period piece and I actually thought it really worked with this.
I think the best song in this whole film was 'Salaam' this the song Umrao sung for her first performance where she met the Nawab.