Sunday, November 22, 2009

Movie ‘Kurban’ portray Islamic terrorism and the US

Movie ‘Kurban’ portray Islamic terrorism and the US
Syed Ali Mujtaba

Real life couple Saif Ali Khan and Kareena Kapoor comes together in a highly intense melodrama ‘Kurban’ centering around the global theme Islamic terrorism and the US.

Bolywood of late have been catching up with global terrorism and this one is the series on the same theme. While earlier release ‘New York’ tells about how Muslims were targeted in the post 9/11 America, this ones tells the seething anger and frustration that continues to burn in many hearts among the Muslims residing in the US.

The most fundamental statement the movie wants to make is about ones identity. It underscores the point that the debate on religion verses nationalism is still not settled. Opinions are divided on the issue and both sides are equally true in telling the truth.

Kurban’s story revolves around Avantika (Kareena Kapoor) a Hindu and Ehsaan (Saif Ali Khan) a Muslim. Both are working professionals, they fall in love, marry and move to the US.

All’s good, until Avantika discovers her husband works for a terror sleeper cell and along with others, is planning an attack similar to 9/11. She is put under house arrest by her husband and his associates and her only hope is a journalist Riaz Masud (Vivek Oberoi) a Muslim, who is also on a mission to take his revenge on the terrorists, who were responsible for the death of his girlfriend (Dia Mirza).

Riaz’s character breaks the clichés that not all Muslims are terrorists but all terrorists are Muslims. He is firm believer that terrorism cannot be the answer to the Muslims problems rather it complicates and aggravates them. He also holds the view that national identity is as much important as religious identity.

Aided by a powerful screenplay, the movie has managed to keep the intensity level going throughout. Dialogues are very effective, especially those written for Ehsaan and Riaz Masud. Also there aren’t any unwanted scenes or excessive melodrama, due to which the pace remains very consistent. Although there is no much scope for music but the scores by Salim Suleman is of top notch, especially ‘Shukran’ and Ali Maula deserve mention.

The first half is extremely gripping. The second half though, does get a bit heavy with the cold-blooded characters involving themselves in well scripted plotline raises the pace of the movie.

Family audiences may not enjoy a few sequences because as the movie progresses, it does get too heavy and there is a decent amount of blood and gore into it. The climax is shocking and may not be universally accepted.

The most gripping scenes are when Avantika gets to know the ’shocking’ truth that her husband is a terrorist. The other one when Riaz Masud has to undergo the test to shoot the white chef at a burger shop. The goriest of them all was when Avantika cuts open the wound to remove the bullet off Ehsaan’s chest.

The much discussed love making scene featuring Avantika and Ehsaan has loads of skin show and has attracted the ire of moral policemen in India. The Shiv Saniks have reported to have sent ‘Sari’ to Kareena Kapoor to cover herself.

My pick is the last scene when Avantika asks Ehsaan his real name and was told its Khalid. In disbelief she walks back in dismay and agony and hears the gun shot. She realizes Ehsaan has killed himself and she kneels on the platform crestfallen.

Surprisingly, there are no Jhatkas and Matkas of the usual Bolywood style in this movie. In fact there not a moment of relief, till the credits roll on, a good 2 hours 40 minutes later. At the end all one carries is the debate whether those Muslim characters were right or the Americans in this movie?

What makes Kurbaan a must watch is the superlative performance from the entire cast, right from the lead stars to those FBI sleuths played by foreign actors.

Technically the film is brilliant. The movie is high on production value, and there are many action scenes that have been shot with great attention to every small detail.

Kurbaan tends to suggest the gap between Bollywood and Hollywood in movie making department is narrowing slowly. There are elements of truth about it while watching this movie.

Watching Kurban, one can get a feel of the pace of life in New York. This one excels all the Hindi movies that have so far been trying to portray this theme.

No publicity is bad publicity and has only helped raise the curiosity level about the movie. The Shiv Sen protest just before its release has added to it. Infact Saniks protest has worked in favour of the movie and the jam packed audience watching this contemporary global theme is a testimony to this fact.

Overall, Kurbaan is a fascinating film to watch. There is little to compare with earlier movie New York on the same theme. There absolutely no doubt that this one is much better!

Watch the promo on U tube-
Syed Ali Mujtaba is working journalist based in Chennai. He can be contacted at

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