Sunday, November 22, 2009


I don't remember when I watched a movie the last time around, but thanks to my cousin who got us complimentary passes to the premier show, I caught up with Kurbaan. A decent effort from producer Karan Johar who is always known to make candy floss movies, but I found it to be a very simplistic take on America v/s Islam terror war. A young Delhi college professor Kareena Kapoor meets co-professor suave and charming Saif Ali Khan and falls in love after being briefly pursued. They fall in love and migrate to the US as Kapoor gets a job opening there. Saif Ali Khan too gets a job there and they move into a new house in an Indian neighborhood and life seems to go on Happily every after. Till the time that Kareena Kapoor accidentally stumbles upon a terror plot unraveling- and also a dead woman's body-  in a neighbour's house. The story kickstarts from there as she unwillingly falls into a well of deceit and terror.

The movie, though a taut thriller compared to Bollywood standards- takes a very potboiler, cliche Bollywood route to reach its goals. For instance, I cannot fanthom that a girl who has lived in the US (only to briefly migrate to India to look after her ailing father) does not dial the US emergency number 911 when she stumbles upon the terror plot. Saif Ali Khan gets a job at the university so easily. He also passes through the airport security checks so easily despite being on the US watchlist. Anyone who has been to the US post 9-11 would know that US is a totally different country and how seriously it takes its own security. Vivek Oberoi plays the supporting cast as the boyfriend who loses his girlfriend to terrorism. He decides to not to inform the police even after he gets a credible lead, but instead- and this sounds very Bollywoodish- decides to join the gang to get to the crooks himself. You'd probably expect a home grown character to behave like this, but this sort of approach is a little hard to digest for someone who is shown to have lived in the US and worked within the parameters of the US machinery. He also gets admission in the terror cell without so much as a background check done on him by the members. Also, the plot line of Kareena Kapoor seducing her husband in bed to get hold of the terror plot details sounds- if not exactly far-fetched- very amateurish. And do we really need such close-ups of how a person removes a bullet and also stitches up the skin?

Despite being in the same genre of New York (also produced by Karan Johar) and his upcoming My Name is Khan, Kurbaan is an edge-of-the-seat thriller and keeps you hooked on. The movie scores on good cinematography and screenplay. Unfortunately, there is no chemistry between the lead pair despite good performances.

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