‘Kurbaan’-Engaging in spite of the script being ‘kurbaaned’
Posted by Kartik Srinivasan on November 24, 2009 | No Comments
For starters ‘Kurbaan’ definitely has it’s heart in the right place, kudos to Karan Johar for attempting something out of his comfort zone of feel good mushy NRI oriented love stories. The film deals with Islamic fundamentalism and the stance of the moderate Muslim on the subject. It doesn’t glorify nor does it empathize with either side, which works in favour of the film.
What could have been a very good film unfortunately holds your attention only in parts thanks largely to a flimsy script and an even weaker screenplay. Set in post 9/11 New York, Saif Ali Khan and Kareena Kapoor star as newly married professors Ehsaan and Avantika. They move into an Indian neighbourhood and seem fairly settled when things begin to happen after a dinner visit to their orthodox Muslim neighbours. Kareena soon discovers her husband is part of an Islamic sleeper cell planning a series of bombings on the New York subway. She is then kept under house arrest and the only way she can escape is with the help of Vivek Oberoi
The film gathers momentum with the entrance of Vivek Oberoi, a daredevil war journalist Riyaaz who is out to seek revenge for his girlfriend’s death in a terrorist attack and manages to infiltrate the terror cell in an attempt to foil their plans.
The film has its few moments like the scene where Vivek Oberoi argues with an ignorant American student on terrorism thereby indicating the film’s neutral stance on the subject, or the very realistic scene where Kareena’s father tells Saif that he would never want his daughter to marry a Muslim boy. The climax is extremely long and predictable with no surprises and one wishes the director had made the film shorter by 35-40 minutes.
My biggest problem with Kurbaan is the confusion in the stance the director is trying to take. Is this film addressing a serious issue like terrorism or does it want to be a commercial potboiler catering to the masses?
The film is definitely watchable thanks to credible performances from its leads. Saif Ali Khan is good and does display shades of his suave cold bloodedness similar to his character in ‘Ek Hasina thi’. Kareena Kapoor once again displays that she is a versatile actor and emotes very well through her eyes. It is Vivek Oberoi who impresses the most and should walk away with all the accolades even though his character has a weaker graph. He is first rate and comes up with a spontaneous performance inspite of a rickety accent. One wishes his character had a better role to play in the climax scenes.
To sum it up ‘Kurbaan’ is a respectable debut from Rensil D’Silva and far more compelling watch than ‘New York’ but not inspiring enough to be a thought provoking film.