Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Self-sacrificed in the name of Kurbaan

WHY did a movie which has the potential and the story to become a powerful social commentary become such a ghastly farce? Terrorism is a burning and complex topic. Why break it down to the lowest common denominator? (I suspect that it was shadow directed. Rensil D'Silva was a colleague of mine (look at the way I subtly name drop ahem. But its true for all that, I have sat across conference tables and swigged chai and biscuits with him). He is a bloody intelligent man. He has also written Rang De Basanti which was a powerful film - this one was a serious anti climax.

I think the fundamental flaw in the movie was the fact that it tried to appeal to everyone. A movie can either be a serious, real, topical and gritty movie catering to the intelligentsia - in which case, I would watch it a serious frame of mind. OR can be out an out a Hindi-film, which I can watch after suspending my disbelief. I cannot do both at the same time.

Why expect me to believe for instance, that a so-called professor (who seems to spend much more time drinking coffee and romancing than actually professing), presumably with SOME intelligence will go traipsing into dark dungeons in a place which she suspects of being dangerous. Why would anyone with half a brain DO that? Why would an otherwise supposedly bright reporter again NOT contact the cops after a message on the answering machine, and instead chose to go all swashbuckling solo ( and incidentally fall asleep on a stake out). Why are the neighbours especially the women so uni-dimensional, almost robotic–– whose only role seems to be to serve coffee while the husbands plot their nefarious deeds? (I kept on having the wall video in my head for some reason when they would file out with the coffee trays singing “We don’t need no terrorism”)

The folks behind the movie also seemed so reluctant to actually HAVE an opinion about terrorism – so rather than a story, it seems to be a composite of disjointed shots put together just giving random tidbits of information. An infomercial rather than an editorial approach to movie making as it were. And even the infomercial is quite tentative and full of backtracks, justifications and self-exculpating disclaimers. Thus, for a Muslim fundamentalist, you have the convenient counter of Muslim Liberalist. The accommodative Hindu who is not against his daughter marrying a Muslim because he is Muslim, but just because he is “different “and so on.

The acting and emoting was pedestrian and just diffused any impact the story could have. That of an ordinary woman who wakes up in a nightmare, married to a terrorist. It’s actually a plot with so much potential for taut tension - the conflict of the loyalties whether to sacrifice herself (and her yet-to-be-born-baby) for the greater good, or the greater folks for herself.
Kareena made an unqualified hash of it – NOWHERE does she appear torn, or conflicted or vulnerable or anything except whiny (All those dialogues about “So, after all, you were just USING me?”. Woman, the fellow is cheerfully contemplating mass terrorism. It is not about you, get a grip yes?). Saif again, was disappointingly bland – I didn’t find him particularly scary, ominous, dark, intense or “pathar eyed” (As Kirron Kher would say).

That famous love scene was such a complete yawn-fest. The camera panning up and down backs – so what?

The movie had some moments of inadvertent hilarity though. That breathtakingly insightful comment of Riyaz as he steps off the plane “Iraq is a mess”. This beautifully pithy and understated profundity had us all rolling in the aisles. Kirron Kher’s extraordinary Afghan- accent which brought to mind the atrociously bad Kabul Express.

All and all, the movie leaves one feeling rather cheated - that something that could be so powerful and moving, just ended up being such a damp squib.

Sigh.

26 comments:

Thanatos said...

Good review, great piece of writing!

Dreamer said...

Honest review! Thanks. Will now wait to see it on TV.

Anonymous said...

Bingo!.Esp on vivek oberoi's wise here n theres. The man's a waste and now he should accept it with grace and move on.... i want my money back i want my money back!!!:)

Trauma Queen said...

u sure it was not just saif and kareena who ruined it?

btw since when has blogspot introduced a rating and 'similar posts' feature? just when i move to wordpress...grrrr

Swati said...

If you are that good at "reviewing" movies, why dont u fucking make a movie and show us all how a good movie can be made,Miss Genius? huh??

Swats said...

You go to hell too and dont u ever visit my blog again!

Swats said...

Did i ask you to visit my site?. My blog is too pure to be puttrefied by the visit of iniquitous girls like you.You idiot i hate you, so dont u ever fucking come back to my site again. By the way why dont u fucking make a good movie and "teach" us how to make one?

Swats said...

Chupp kuthi kamini.......i pray to the Almighty to RUIN you and your family and fill your lives with utter chaos and pandemonium...Amen. Yes i will wait for that day when u make a movie and then i will RIP IT APART with my caustic comments just like u did to Kurbaan....waiting eagerly for it.

Karan Johar said...

Ok gals...cool down...its ok...You people dont have to fight on my film. Kurbaan already is declared a hit and is making roaring business, so stop fighting like cats now :)

Karan Johar said...

Cynic you shouldnt have written a review on my film in such a way. Well...i am in fact offended with the way you wrote this review. Wish you knew what it makes to make a good film. Anyways its your blog and you are free to comment in whichever way you want. No issues...tc :P

Cynic in Wonderland said...

Karan i am sorry for this review. I admit i got carried away while writing it. Please forgive me Karan. I promise i wouldn't review any movie in such a disparaging way from now on. Kurbaan is not at all a bad movie..keep up the good job karan, cheers!

stefy said...

Hey.. what the heck? The comments section was damn funny yaar, cynic.
And you apology part was the best. So tell us you final word- Is the movie good or not?

And hey.. the movie never belongs to a producer or writer... the ultimate craftsman is the director.. So I would say there is an inconsistensy when Karan says it's his film...

I haven't seen Kurbaan yet and this is not the first bad review I read about it. So there might be some truth in this

Parul said...

Oho, so this was what was happening! What fun, Cyn!

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Nandini Vishwanath said...

I HAD to come back for this :D

Thanatos said...

Drama, suspense, mystery, tears and bloodshed, reconciliation. Cynic's blog is THE place to be!

Riswan Khan said...

I too HAD to come back for this :D

Cynic in Wonderland said...

Mind you this is the FIRST comment i am writing in this post so far. I realised the doppelganger-impersonator had far more dramatic potential than i can ever hope to. So i forebore to say anything!

narendra shenoy said...

Pure genius! Both the post itself and this comment stream!

Dreamer said...

:D Looks like someone liked Kurbaan a lot!

Messenger from Outerspace said...

So true that you have realised the dramatic potential i have and accepted it wholeheartedly. THANK YOU. Don't be afraid of me Cynic. I am just an messenger from outer space wishing good things for one and all during my brief stay here in this world but when something dazes our eyes(my fellow people) that's when we jump onto a island, emend it and then move on to other space. By the way i know of a word called forbore, what is the meaning of this word forebore? ^-^

Dreamer: Yes my fellow messengers liked Kurbaan a lot(KJ arranged a special screening for all of us) and hence someone amongst us had to hop onto this space for a while and do the "needful"

narendra: Don't irk us with your comments(pure genius! ???) or else i have to "drop" someone onto your space too. Needless to say what we aliens can do.

Long live all you human beings!

Thanatos said...

And now a threat. Whee, this is so much fun.

Maddy said...

saw the movie last week - rather terrible, if you ask me. it was slick and all that, but the core of the movie was weak. the entire relationship build up was not credible.

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San said...

it wasn't a great movie. so many flaws. waste of my £7

roop said...

whoa rofl!!! swati was MAD!!!