The 3 of you who loved this movie, this is for you! I expect LOTS of comments! Oh, and if you only vaguely enjoyed the film, you can comment too, that’s allowed.
Veer! The movie comes at him backwards. We see a strange young man who is brilliant at software but has no job and throws himself into stalking the girl he just met. And then later we fill in the rest of it.
I’m gonna come at him forwards. His family is wealthy, and uppercrust. The things most people in India dream of, he already has. His family is global, overseas is no challenge for him. They have a comfortable house, they have beautiful things, they can enjoy artistic pursuits. No worry about obsessing over a career and “practical” choices. And beyond that, he is smart. He is naturally gifted at software to the point that he is being headhunted instead of hunting for a job. Professional success at the thing he enjoys doing is right there in front of him without needing to strive. If he follows the rules laid out by society, his parents, everything, he should be happy and strive no more.
Veer’s first line is “we are not optimizing the situation”, while about to have an anonymous hook-up with Zoe. It’s about Zoe, about feeling this connection with her and wanting a lot more than just a one night stand. But it also tells us how he looks at life. Veer is not a settler. In any area.
Veer is, strangely, the healthiest person in this movie because he refuses to settle. He believes he is worth more than settling. Without being arrogant about it. He doesn’t want the one night stand with Zoe because he thinks they could be more, but he doesn’t pressure her to agree. He is just there, waiting and hoping. He will not take less, but he will take nothing. That is his choice again and again. He will take no job at all, rather than a job he cannot believe in. He will take no relationship with Zoe at all, rather than just sex.
That takes a lot of courage, to turn your back on half-happiness because you believe you deserve full happiness. This is a film about rich people and their love lives, seemingly pretty light weight. But Veer’s belief that half-happiness is not worth it is a vital argument that applies to Indian society top to bottom. Don’t have a marriage where you have to “adjust” afterwards, don’t accept an unhappy relationship with your parents just because they are your parents, don’t snap up a job just for the security and money. Better to be unmarried, better to fight with your parents than let it fester, better to take the smaller less impressive job that requires no full commitment.
Most of this courage comes from within, it is simply how Veer is. But the film gives us a few details of his life to see where it could come from the outside. First, he has Aspergers. Just enough to make him less able to read and understand the non-verbal communication of other people. Which has also made him less afraid of judgement from other people, he says the truth because he doesn’t always know when it might hurt someone, doesn’t know that it is wrong.
More important than that is the information we get about his family. An only child, clearly very loved and indulged by his parents which gave him a healthy sense of self worth. But at the same time, observing the hidden fractures in his parents’ marriage, the way their “perfect” life was filled with compromise and unhappiness. He knew love from his parents, and he knew the lack of love they felt towards each other, he knew what he wanted and didn’t want.
In other movies, this is shown as a privileged thing, the people who can afford to follow their Dreams because everything is handed to them. Nothing is handed to Veer. It’s not about wanting his dreams to come true, it is about understanding what is possible, what is the optimal version of the situation, and working towards that and nothing less than that. One night with Zoe would be good, but he can give that up in the hopes of a lifetime with her. A contract job with a corporation could mean money and security and an overseas life, but he can give that up if it leaves him free for a job that matters to him and the world, that is more than just money. He is still working freelance, he can support himself, but his future plans are about looking for the best possible option, not grabbing the best option he can get right now. And he will find Zoe and watch her and give her rides, that is better than taking sex right away, better to wait and have the possibility of something more.
This is part of why he appreciates Zoe. She also refuses to compromise, she has her dream career and she is going after it despite the struggle at the start. But in their relationship she is afraid to say what she wants, afraid that it is impossible. They break up because of that, she isn’t as fearless as he is.
Part of why Zoe appreciates Veer is because he always says straight forward what he wants, unlike her mother who changes with the wind. But that is also why they break up, she can’t believe he really truly means what he says, that someone could be that fearlessly honest.
Okay, that’s what I’ve got! What do you think about Veer?