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Kurbaan – a Review November 22, 2009

Posted by astralwicks in Bollywood, hindi films, india, Jihad Politics, Personal, Review, Saifeena.
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Avantika, the heroine of Kurbaan finds the truth of her neighbour, including her husband’s evil terror designs by the most facile manner. She is under lock and key supervised by highly motivated terrorist’s who forget to search her. She in fact has a phone on her!

Still interested? Avantika who knows that a plane carrying a special delegation to Iraq is about to be BOMBED does NOT call the cops – inspite of having a phone!! She calls up a journalist who is traveling on the said plane – who like most travelers switches off her phone before take-off.

Vivek Oberoi’s journalist character (with horrible accents that change like calamitous weather) again discovers that there is a terrorist cell in operation about to carry a HUGE operation. What does he do? He decides to investigate on his own – without informing the FBI. And better still – he goes and informs his editor that he has LEADS but is not going to inform the FBI! You would assume that the editor would pick up the phone and call the FBI. But no sir, he doesn’t. All this after 9/11.

There is more. Even after knowing that the terrorist cell is targeting the Metro Lines and even after the 1st bombing – people in America go about their daily lives. The authorities continue to operate the Metro instead of closing it down and sanitizing it so that our plot reaches it logical ending.

The clothes of course are good. And the locations. Couple of scenes work well. But does it justify the lack of careful attention to screenplay-detail? Seems like that. We are cagey in our criticism until and unless there is an ulterior motive. A taut flawless script is no guarantee of a film’s success. I like Rang De Basanti (at least I did when I last saw it). My friends laugh and mock me, but I still enjoy it inspite of the inconsistencies and flights of fancy. RDB has a sincere charm – the emotions of those characters are infectious and accessible. You are ready to gloss over because you believe in the film emotionally if not intellectually.

That is not possible with Kurbaan’s because its politics exist in a no man’s land. A Pakistani posing as a professor, charms off an Indian psychology professor teaching in the US so that he can take revenge on the white man and his politics of oil. The story of his idyll being destroyed by America is told by Kiron Kher’s character. Similarly Kiron Kher and family’s rage has a backstory set in Afghanistan.

The complex web of the Jihad – Wahabism, invasion of Afghanistan by the Soviets, the Mujahideen, the Saudi funding of Madrasas, the CIA financing of the Mujahideen, the ISI agenda of funding terror for strategic depth in Afghanistan, the radicalization of Pakistan under Zia, the strangle-hold of the military in Pakistan, the emergence of the Taliban and Al-Qaeda – nothing is even remotely touched upon. Kurbaa’s reductionism lays the blame on the door of the US of A. Is it that simple?

Do we see any evidence of what Bhaijaan (Om Puri) constantly asserts – that Ehsaan (Saif) is falling for Avantika (Kareena). NO. It is just a bogey so that when Ehsaan actually does have a change of heart without any reason whatsoever (no it’s nothing to do with the kid that Avantika is carrying) you have to gloss over the obvious lack of motivation. Again Ehsaas, the numero – uno terrorist is surprised by the rigging of Avantika’s bag. Is he a fool or a motivated fanatic?

Is Kurbaan a vivisection of the increasing clash of cultures between Islam and Christianity? NO. Is it a study of radicalization of the world per se. NO. Does India play any role in it? Nothing other than the fact that the film starts in India and the heroine has Indian roots.

Kurbaa’s characters lie in a no-man’s land. Are we supposed to like the film because it features 2 of India’s good-looking, talked-about people who are in a relationship? Good ploy but it fails.

 

 

 

 

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Comments»

1. V - November 22, 2009

& whats up wd critics??? how much will they lie???

2. astralwicks - November 22, 2009

@v – the general dumbing down of culture will have its obvious impact. Some reviews are obviously paid for and the others don’t know what they are talking about.

3. The Quirky Indian - November 23, 2009

Thank you for this honest and insightful review. I have, in recent times, been forced to come to the conclusion that (1) many reviews do seem to be paid for, and (2) anything that is not the usual Bollywood flick seems to qualify for a good review and a lot of praise just for being ‘different’ (Wake Up, New York, Kurbaan etc….and I am sure we will see the same with 3 Idiots and My Name is Khan…)

Cheers,

Quirky Indian

4. astralwicks - November 23, 2009

@quirky – some of our reviewers are not worth the ink and paper they consume. It’s a sad state really. Like you say ‘different’ is automatically good. No critical standards to speak of 😦

5. supichka - November 23, 2009

glad I missed it 🙂 As per chaubey, the logline should have been ‘What happens when two utterly stupid people get caught in a web of terrorism?’

6. astralwicks - November 23, 2009

@supichka – ya you saved some money being smart. Don’t know why we even try. Yes – Chaubey’s logline is apt – but the terrorists won’t be very pleased to read that 🙂

7. Indian Homemaker - December 10, 2009

Everybody is saying the same thing… the movie’s been disliked by all.
I don’t plan to watch it.

8. astralwicks - December 11, 2009

@indian – welcome back -) you will save some money for sure


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