22 Dec 2006

kabul express

saw kabul express yesterday
to all you south dilli walahs
who are not able to catch it because some PVR Yashraj spat
try and see it
on the big screen
its worth it

these are the film that big production houses
should make once in a while in between
their weepy flicks

i cannot for the life of me understand all the bad reviews
Kabul Ex got
the film has faults but then
this is the first film that has placed indian characters
in a foreign country
dealing with contemporary issues
issues important to people in the subcontinent
none of the old fogies (or young ones for that matter)
have been able to move beyond essays they call films
the only exceptions have been Hazaaron Kwahishein (saw limited release in Delhi)and Paanch (which did not get a release)

Kabul Ex is short
all of 120 mins
maybe the director had a lot of time before the release to go over his cut
(the film had been completed many months ago)
the visuals are stunning
(although i felt that some locations were repeated in other sequences)
the story is crisp and the characters believable
the background score is minimal and powerful

arshad warsi is good but he is getting into the habit
of playing the funny guy
the shashi kapoor of contemporary films
john abraham is cast well
but he does not get much to do

what was interesting was how the five characters are thrown in together
and the conversations they have
(who is responsible for aghanistan's fucked up state, the best all rounder in cricket kapil or imran, hindi film songs)

the best scenes i liked was when cans of pepsi fall on the pakistani
while arshad and john are arguing what drink it is
another one was the tribute to the Dev Anand song
and the donkey on the road

however some of the lines were too predictable
and stilted
(conversations between the american and john, john's comment on cricket)
i think the director should have gone over them with a finer comb

the only real failing if i call that is that
in the end the characters get off too easily

the indians - they are not responsible for this situation buy they empathise since they belong to as third world country

the pakistani - because he was doing his duty and does not belive in most things the Taliban does

the aghanistan - because his country has been ravaged by outsiders (how green was my valley etc.)

the american - because she has a concience and she knows that as a journalist she knows how much ever we do it will never be enough

also the film being short is not able to deal with the complexities of the problem
but the film does leave you with many questions
important questions, searching questions that don't leave you

not silly stuff which you think when you leave a bollywood flick

just for that Kabul Ex is worth a watch

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