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Friday, December 29, 2006

'Kabul Express'

Just as the year 2006 comes to an end, I am proud to announce the name of yet another Bollywood movie that has made me sit up and take note of a young director named Kabeer Khan who has made his debut with 'Kabul Express'.
The movie, thankfully, doesn't have the usual trappings of a Bollywood vehicle and deals with a subject which many acclaimed directors wouldn't want to touch with a barge-pole. It is set in the contemporary war-torn Kabul, capital of Afghanistan, portraying the raw wounds that has left the country at strange crossroads, post 9/11 and the ousting of the Taliban regime. The director has already had some experience as a documentary filmmaker and seemingly finds himself at ease exploring the backdrop. Chronicling the experience of a couple of journalists wouldn't have been anything new; but 'Kabul Express' is a landmark Indian film for the deemed travesty and the daring that might irk the average or below-average merited offerings that make moolah. The motley group of characters include an American woman journalist, an Afghan who is a Taliban-hater and a Taliban extremist who is later revealed to be a secret Pakistani commander. The best thing about the movie is the cinematography that stunningly captures the real locales. The heart of the movie also happens to be in the right place, deliberating a politically incorrect realism would have been sheer harakiri for the filmmaker, he is after all backed by the Yash Chopra banner. Far removed from the mindless Yash Chopra romances,
'Kabul Express' is film that would surely find its place amongst this year's top 10 Indian films, alongside other gems like 'Rang De Basanti', 'Being Cyrus', 'Omkara' and 'Khosla Ka Ghosla'.