Rating: – * * *
Each and every department of a movie, no matter how perfect and up to the mark, can go unnoticed if the basic plot is infected with flaws. That’s exactly the problem with Rensil D’Silva’s directorial debut Kurbaan. One really wishes the plot was as flawless and watertight as the performances, of each and every artist, and the technical aspects.
The story goes around professor Avantika (Kareena Kapoor), who thought her life is a bed of roses when she married her lover Ehsaan Khan, also a professor, (Saif Ali Khan) until she discovered she is being used as a pawn in a huge terror conspiracy. There’s also Riyaaz (Vivek Oberoi), a war journalist with disguised intentions.
As stated earlier, the problem with Kurbaan lies in the plot itself. The whole idea and motive of Riyaaz is devoid of much logic (not going through the details in order to avoid being a spoiler).
Another scene, the most vital in the plot, is plain laughable. Just figure this out – Avantika gets to know that the plane, in which her friend (Dia Mirza) will be travelling, is going to get blown up. What does Avantika do when she couldn’t get through Dia’s mobile phone? She phones at Dia’s office landline just 15 minutes before takeoff and leaves a recorded message urging and pleading her not to take the flight. How the hell can she expect Dia to receive the message in her office just 15 minutes before the takeoff? She could have called the police, the FBI or the airport authorities but looks like she didn’t trust them.
The above two loopholes turn you off from a rather well made thriller with some terrific edge-of-the-seat moments. Another flipside is the duration of 2 hours 40 minutes. One could afford to miss the initial 20 odd minutes where the hero goes head over heels when he sees his heroine and flirts with her in a typical 90’s fashion. In some more places, the editor should have used his scissors.
Despite the problems, D’Silva does leave a mark. Shooting such a film can be a hell of a task especially when it’s your first one. Therefore, D’Silva should get full credit for it. But the strongest factors come in the form of Hemant Chaturvedi’s cinematography, Salim-Sulaiman’s revolutionary background score, Parvez Khan’s action and Anurag Kashyap and Niranjan Iyenagar’s dialogues.
Salim-Sulaiman’s duo, as music directors, does produce some tuneful melodies but sadly the songs end up being interrupters and the most memorable title track appears at the end credits.
Both Saif Ali Khan and Kareena Kapoor enact their parts with flawlessness. Their emotional acts in the climax stay etched in your memory. However, it’s Vivek Oberoi who comes as a total surprise. He has played his part so well that it won’t be an overstatement to assert that the actor is back to his Company, Saathiya and Dum days. In a film which relies mostly on performances, the supporting cast needs to deliver top notch performances and Om Puri, Kiron Kher and the rest of the filling cast do exactly that.
The information and statistics provided in the script and the issues taken to light need special mention. Not many would have known that the US, in their efforts to curb terrorism, ended up taking many more than 15,000 lives in Iraq and Afghanistan which is five times more than the death toll in the 9/11 attacks (3,000).
All in all, Kurbaan is for those who like to enjoy some spine chilling moments without troubling their brains. Despite the big starcast, the film has had just an average opening which will make its going tough at the box-office.