Kabul Express***

A 2 hour movie, set in the desert with no song and dance ? There are no heroes? And it's from Bollywood ? Huh ?

Well, that's why this year has been so effective for Bollywood. They have dared to differ...finally. 2 Indian journalists decide to go to Afghanistan to get an elusive interview with a Taliban member. What they do not expect is to be held hostage by a disillusioned member who wishes to just return home. It is a race against time to reach Pakistan for our 2 Indians and the Afghan driver. Do they make it ? Why do the journalists end up looking to save their kidnapper, rather than give him up on numerous opportunities to the authorities or the blood-baying mobs ? Is there more to the American woman than meets the eye ?

This is a story of relationships - it is a journey not from Kabul to the Pakistan border, but across discriminations. The director has done a laudable effort honestly, not allowing himself to get too preachy while at the same time, getting the messages he wants across to the audience. Salman Shahid as the Talib/ Pakistani trying to get home is simply excellent in his portrayal and will touch your hearts . It is his constant banter with Arshad Warsi that carries this movie along to be honest. Another bunch of actors would have doomed this movie - these two hold it aloft. Arshad has more of less settled into his unique style now and it shows in the ease of his performance and the audience reaction to him.. John Abraham ? Well, it's tough to say but I'm quite sure it was the same facial expression throughout the movie .. and it's annoying to see him get top billing for this ham performance..sigh!
Overall, this is no chick flick..it ain't a date movie and the only chicks around are kababs on skewers. What it is is a well told, short story of a journey of 48 hours and its impact on the lives of 5 people. You do feel sorry, though, seeing Afghanistan. It looks like it could once have been a beautiful country... but then came W-A-R.



  1. Yeah I watched it and liked it too! I mean people around me went "aawww no Item number thu thu". I am really glad there are at least a handful of directors who believe that Hindi films do not need that quintessential prancing around the trees flashing your belly button and cleavage. Its time the audience stopped acting juvenile and for once appreciated a film for something else: content/context/realism/cinematography. In fact I am almost certain that if the Americal journo had done a kajrare on some Kumaon hills our immature audience would have been a little less scathing on their reviews.
    What I really liked about the movie was the cinematography: look at the way the contours of Afghanistan got captured on the lens: So beautiful even though there wasn't a speck of green. The shadows of the ranges, the reflection of the jeep in the clear waters, the azure blue sky outlining the landscape, the dust rising from the jeep defining the colours of the day: sheer poetry.


So...what did you think ?