Saturday, November 21, 2009

KURBAAN: A refreshing watch

*ing : Saif Ali Khan, Kareena Kapoor, Vivek Oberoi
Music : Salim-Suleiman:
Dialogues: Anurag Kashyap, Niranjan Iyengar
Direction: Rensil D' Silva
Qurbaan becomes Kurbaan because it is Karan Johar's production and as we all know he has a thing for K. And maybe he will get more superstitious now that Rensil D'Silva makes a good debut with Kurbaan. Kurbaan is treated well and if you liked Fanaa, you will like this too. Despite the loaded backdrop of Islamic terrorism, D'Silva does not fall for the familiar traps - of justifying (like some of the recent harebrained Bollywood movies) or judging the terrorist acts. Kurbaan is no treatise on post 9/11 terror. It instead is matter-of-fact about how things are post 9/11. Terrorists in here are calculating, suave and driven. And more importantly not much rabble- rousing dialogue of type allah hu akbar is made to convey the point. Kurbaan is about how a terror camp operates from a New York basement and how one in the camp looses his way in the journey of Jihad to instead Kurbaan his life for his ladylove and his unborn child. In one scene, the protagonist after cold-bloodedly killing one comes home and lays beside his pregnant wife and starts lovingly feel the unborn through her tummy. He, the Jihadi, in the end Kurbaans his life not for some one's death but for his own unborn child's life.

The first half is gripping with thoughtful dialogues by Anurag Kashyap and Niranjan Iyengar. The screenplay is taut and paces the movie treating it like a thriller. Saif, Kareena, Dia Mirza and Vivek Oberoi are well cast and they do very well. It is only in the second half that despite the obvious grind towards the climax, nothing new, like a twist or some developments in characters, spices up the proceedings and for a 2 hour 40 min movie, this matters. The main loss here is for Saif's character and so the whole point of the movie gets diluted a bit. Saif's character should have been explored a little more towards the end to show his vulnerability, predicament. Instead, the movie here masquerades as an action thriller which it is not. The writer D'Silva should have also implied that this terror camp has some other centres of support apart from the NY basement. Otherwise, it is tough to sell the audience that this basement camp blew up a plane full of high-profile US and UN delegations and yet continued to operate from the same base evading the CIAs and FBIs. And in 2nd half, thrown in are more and more amateur American extras playing FBI and cops. Inadvertently, the b-grade cops make some scenes comical. But yes, they are much better American cops than those we have seen earlier in Indian movies!

However, despite these minor flaws, the movie does not cease to engage till the end. The background score, photography and acting is excellent. After some sensible writing for Rang De Basanti and Maniratnam's forthcoming Ravan, Rensil D' Silva makes the big transition into direction. He is the reason for me watching and I am not disappointed. And I hope so would you be.


angel said...

kurbaan movie is a great 'bakwaas'..
jihad has got a new meaning through this movie..if anyone gets time go through quraan translation..then speak about jihad..
This film is abt terrorsm..wht dey do s terrorism,bt dey r not muslims..dey are 'munafik's...
they call maula ali,4 a muslim der z nly 1 god allah to whom dey should pray..
ds s abt a few ppl who has bcm ds world der s no terrorism called islam terrorism..cos islam is a religion of peace..n those terrorists r nt muslims dey r kafirs...

Amar said...

The movie never claimed it is showing jihad in quranic sense. It told a tale about people who claim they are Jihadis in the spirit of Koran. And this is now a universal phenomenon.