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Kurbaan

The dialogue might sound politically correct but visually the film ends up emphasising the prevalent prejudices against Islam

Kurbaan
Kurbaan
outlookindia.com
-0001-11-30T00:00:00+0553

Starring: Saif Ali Khan, Kareena Kapoor, Vivek Oberoi
Directed by Rensil D’Silva
Rating: **

Sometimes you can tell right at the start whether a film is going to work for you. The tepid romance between Saif and Kareena sets an indifferent tone for Kurbaan. It is indeed difficult to accept the duo as professors, with Saif lecturing on Islam. A lot more goes wrong. There are way too many holes in the plot and characters. The narrative is slack and acting automated and deadpan (Vivek Oberoi rolls his “Rs” at times to make his English sound American and then conveniently forgets the accent in the next sentence). Moreover, there’s an overwhelming sense of deja vu, the film feeling like a curious mix of Fanaa and New York.

In a nutshell, it’s all about a sleeper cell planning to bomb the New York subway. The theme is topical—Islam as a religion under fire—but doesn’t get articulated persuasively. For the kind of emotive subject it is dealing with, neither does the film rouse your feelings nor does it make you think and introspect. There is lots of good talk about the US invasion of Iraq, how they created the Taliban to fight the Russians and why Muslims are feeling short-changed—3,000 people might have died in 9/11 but 1,5000 were wiped out in Afghanistan. There’s some more talk of how the Quran refers to peace 355 times and jehad only 41 so why should the entire community be branded as terrorists. But the talk sounds facile and offers no new perspectives on an issue that has been dissected endlessly.

Moreover, the film suffers from a fatal duality, between what it says and what it shows. The dialogue might sound politically correct but visually the film ends up emphasising the prevalent prejudices against Islam. There’s something terribly disconcerting about the images of the claustrophobic, patriarchal, conservative and extremist Muslim world where the only breath of fresh air is the vulnerable Hindu girl. In effect, visually, the film highlights the “otherness” of the community, seems to justify the widespread fears about them being fundamentalists at heart. The biggest joke, however, is the FBI, shown to be like some idiotic local police of Hindi films, arriving at the end when the action is wound up. Salim-Suleiman’s music stands out in the chaos. 


High Fives

Bollywood

1. 2012 (dubbed)
2. Ajab Prem ki Ghazab Kahani
3. Kurbaan
4. Tum Mile
5. All the Best

Hollywood

1. The Twilight Saga: New Moon
2. The Blind Side
3. 2012
4. Planet 51
5.A Christmas Carol

Pop

1. Whatcha Say (Jason DeRulo)
2. Paparazzi (Lady Gaga)
3. Party in the USA (Miley Cyrus)
4. Down (Jay Sean featuring Lil Wayne)
5. Sweet Dreams (Beyonce)

Courtesy: Film Information

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