Kurbaan poster


wogma rating: Watch if you have nothing better to do (?)

quick review:

All but a couple Muslim's are terrorists. Is that what we need to hear in this day & age? Predictable to the minutest detail and utterly-butterly s..l..o..w. You sure have better ways to induce yawns now, don't you?

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Director: Rensil D'Silva
Running time: 160 minutes
Genres: Action, Crime, Revenge
More Movie Info

"All Muslim's are terrorists." In order to prove that the Western world thinks that way, Rensil D'Souza and Karan Johar go that extra mile to showcase the very same thing. And, hopefully inadvertently, complete the circle and cast the despicable stereotype in a deeper mould. Why are good Islamic citizens left out?

Ok, I'm taking the same route and exaggerating a bit here. But only a bit. A couple of Muslim characters in Kurbaan are not fundamentalists and are not blind followers of their religion. But just 2-3 between 12-13 main characters can see that their faith is being misused. That's a gross overstatement of the human race's irrationality. And even if I'm naïve that that's how things are. How does decorating that fact with a star couple help?

Saif Ali Khan plays Ehsaan and is rather stiff. Somehow, he doesn't seem at ease with the character. Except for a few scenes with Kareena Kapoor (Avantika, the girl next door). And those scenes are really well-done. Kareena looks the prettiest without make-up on and is by-far the most huggable sight when her character is supposed to cry. This woman can act. It's a pity only a few directors find her potential size-exponential worth exploring too. The rest of the cast except for Vivek Oberoi are just doing their drill. No record-breaking performances asked for, none given.

Physical intimacy is not something Indian filmmakers are very good at. But, here there's nothing crude and both actors fit just right. Now, whether the scene was a "script ki maang" (need of the script) or not is very debatable. And clearly, this much-talked about scene is as predictable and lame as ever. The pre-release attention that the scene has been intentionally awarded with makes the timing even more obvious. That still doesn't take away from the fact that it is worth every marketing penny spent on the skin-show. Delicious!

And these things are major let-downs after the slick title sequence. It's so refreshing, especially when you are expecting a Dharma Productions product to bank on a crisp, fresh view of the New York skyline. Thankfully, the smart production values continue after that. The background score and actually, the lack of it for almost two-thirds of the film is not only worth a round of applause but it also tried its best to keep you focused on the acting and reacting. Some great work by the Foley artist. Similarly, the framing of individual shots are very engaging. They are different and try their best to build the curiosity.

But, neither sound nor visuals can take the place of the story and more importantly of the details that make the story. They all take the beaten path. The community that the terrorists belong to feel marginalized and the only way to deal with that is to shoot on sight - even people belonging to their own community, it is martyrdom after all. Every time someone on screen said that, I felt my skin crawl. I'm sure the line, like many other done-to-death dialogues, was a really strong statement when it was used the first time. But, now you know that argument and want to hear the real people talking.

Especially because the makers are very clear about making this a serious, dark film. How in such a case can a small terrorist group act in a void, by themselves, with no apparent help from outside? And it's not like we are following one or the other character's story. It's all plain and stagnant. They want to kill, kill, kill and they kill, kill, kill.

Over 5 hours after the film and I still can't figure out what the purpose of the film is.
To entertain? It got way too many unintentional laughs, right down to the convenient glass of milk showing up as expected.
To tell a story? Whose?
Avantika's? I know nothing about her except that she's a professor in psychology with no apparent insight into human nature. Though her struggle to be in love and the resultant helplessness is obvious.
Ehsaan's? Maybe. But how much do we really know about him? He is in dilemma. Sure, but what about it? I don't empathize with him, I don't hate him, because I haven't a clue why he does what he does.
The story of a terror attack? Which one? The one in the planning of which I wasn't allowed to participate? The games and counter-games seem to be serving no particular end.

I don't like the tone of such films that almost feel like they take pleasure in reinforcing the stereotype. Where's the balance? Where's the grey? Where's the human face of cold-blooded murder? It does have one, or doesn't it? Are our film-makers claiming that there are absolutely no non-Muslims involved in these acts of terror?

- meeta, a part of the audience

50 reviewers(?) - 23 yays 9 so-so 18 nays

Warning: clicking on "full review" will take you to an external website that could contain spoilers.

Thumbs up, by Amodini, Amodini's Movie Reviews : ...This film is a little different from your standard issue “terrorism” film because it brings the conflict closer to home.... full review

Thumbs up, by Noyon Jyoti Parasara, AOL INDIA : ...You might find it hard to shake off the ‘Fanaa’ and ‘New York’ images from your mind... full review

Thumbs up, by Tushar Joshi, aslibaat.com : ...Neither preachy nor wanting to make a statement, Kurbaan keeps it simple.... full review

Thumbs up, by Manish Gajjar, BBC : ...Thanks to producer Karan Johar's uncompromised efforts; Kurbaan has that classy Hollywood feel to it. ... full review

Thumbs up, by Aly Kassam, Bolly Spice : ...The technicalities are all excellent... full review

Thumbs up, by Taran Adarsh, Bollywood Hungama : ... Drop everything else you're doing to watch KURBAAN... full review

Thumbs up, by Daliya Ghose, Bollywood Mantra : ... As the story moves forward, it becomes more engrossing. You won’t able to understand how time passes.... full review

Thumbs up, by Anand Vaishnav, Buzz18 : ...Post interval the pace slackens and the tension between the lead characters becomes monotonous... full review

Thumbs up, by Rajeev Masand, IBN Live : ...it can't decide if it wants to be a serious film addressing a burning issue, or a commercial potboiler set against the backdrop of terrorism.... full review

Thumbs up, Indicine : ...What makes Kurbaan a must watch are superlative performances (rated below) from the entire cast - right from the lead stars to those FBI characters played by foreigners.... full review

Thumbs up, by Kshitij Mehta, J.A.M : ...Kareena Kapoor looks great and delivers a fine performance. ... full review

Thumbs up, Movie Talkies : ...Rensil does his best to incorporate all the different voices of Islam into the film. ... full review

Thumbs up, by Minty Tejpal, Mumbai Mirror : ...Kurbaan pays enough justice to both - the terrorist plot as well as the story of the cursed lovers. ... full review

Thumbs up, by Subhash K Jha, Now Running.com : ...The film manages to be superior to other films on global terrorism, a theme that now threatens to turn into a full-blown commercial formula.... full review

Thumbs up, by Ankit Ojha, Planet Bollywood : ...The love story is beautifully penned and the fire cracking chemistry between Saif Ali Khan and Kareena Kapoor works to the hilt in this angle... full review

Thumbs up, by Great Bong, Random Thoughts of a Demented Mind : ...The second thing that works for the movie is the uniformly high quality of acting, with Vivek Oberoi being the only weak link and Om Puri and Kiron Kher being the strongest.... full review

Thumbs up, by Chandrima Pal, Rediff : .... This seems to have been an uncompromised film -- right from the convincing extras in the outdoor scenes, the policemen, reporters and FBI agents, to the choice of locations, sets, props and the blast sequences. The detailing is evident.... full review

Thumbs up, by Renzil D'Silva, SmasHits.com : ...quite a perfect film... full review

Thumbs up, by Janhvi Patel, StarBoxOffice : ...This is Salim-Sulaiman’s best score in a long time with the romantic Shukran Allah, the haunting Ali Maula and seductive Rasiya.... full review

Thumbs up, by K K Rai, STARDUST : ...Anurag Kashyap and Niranjan Iyengar dialogues add value to the film.... full review

Thumbs up, by Raghav Ramaiah, Talking Popcorns : ...Dharma Productions have always lived up to the expectations and this time around its no different.... full review

Thumbs up, by Nikhat Kazmi, Times of India : ...Karan Johar’s story has gravitas. ... full review

Thumbs up, by SpiceZee Bureau, Zee News : ...Kurbaan’ is in no way akin to ‘Fanaa’ or ‘New York’ as it does not glorify terrorism nor paints it in a sugary coated frame. ... full review

So-So, by Beth, Beth Loves Bollywood : ... The sensible, pacifist, real-life-centered part of me is glad, but my more emotional side was disappointed. ... full review

So-So, by Bobby Sing, Bobby Talks Cinema.com : ...Kareena gives him tough competition with a superb portrayal of a helpless girl caught in the web of terrorism. ... full review

So-So, by Hiral Sachde Thakkar, DearCinema : ...It does not judge terrorists or terrorism from any perspective. Kurbaan is neither as flimsy as Fanaa nor as hard-hitting as A Wednesday.... full review

So-So, by Deep, Deep's Home : ...Kareena Kapoor was the best.. she acted very well, Saif was pretty good too but nothing so impressive.. the worst part was, Vivek Oberoi..... full review

So-So, by Deepa Garimella, fullhyd.com : ...Kurbaan's sketchiness then starts peeking out from underneath all the gloss. ... full review

So-So, by Ashok Nayak, Now Running.com : ...Apart from the storyline flaws, Kurbaan as a movie works.... full review

So-So, by Namrata Joshi, Outlook India : ...the film suffers from a fatal duality, between what it says and what it shows. ... full review

So-So, real bollywoood : ...Hemant Chaturvedi’s camerawork matches international standards and so does Nakul Kamte’s Sound work.... full review

So-So, by Sonia Chopra, Sify Movies : ...His original thought or opinion on the subject is sorely missed and the portrayal of terrorism follows exactly what we’ve seen in films so far.... full review

Thumbs down, Apun Ka Choice : ...I can go on and on in exposing the ridiculousness of this so called blood-stained love story which is nothing more than a colossal sham in the name of serious cinema... full review

Thumbs down, by Blogeswari, Blogeswari : ... When in doubt, add an Allah, Khudafeez to the lyrics. Yes, Salim-Suleiman's background score is really good but the tunes are so... predictable.... full review

Thumbs down, by Baradwaj Rangan, Blogical Conclusion, The New Sunday Express : ...Avantika adds nothing to the discourse. If she’s an instrument of change, it doesn’t register forcefully. If she’s a mouthpiece for ideology, that’s not evident either. She’s simply a pawn. She’s nothing.... full review

Thumbs down, by Rakesh, Desicritics : ...Saif and Kareena have been together for so long that no matter how hard they try to act like strangers; they come across as a couple having a love tiff.... full review

Thumbs down, by Aniruddha Guha, DNA : ...Funnily, Avantika who had got a job in the first place, is never shown to go to work.... full review

Thumbs down, by Martin D'Souza, Glamsham.com : ... Kurbaan Director : Music : Lyrics : Starring : Rensil D'Silva Salim Merchant and Sulaiman Merchant Niranjan Iyendar & Irfan Siddiqui Saif Ali Khan, Kareena Kapoor, Vivek Oberoi, Dia Mirza, Kirron Kher and Om Puri Kurbaan Movie Review November 20, 2009 11:15:49 AM IST By Martin D'Souza, Bollywood Trade News Network Send to Friend view KURBAAN videos view KURBAAN videos KURBAAN is NEW YORK. But with a different set of actors. KURBAAN is also SHOOT ON SIGHT, again with different actors. The plot remains the same, the twists and turns fails to surprise you and the end is inevitable. However, here, the love story has been hyped, thanks to Saif Ali Khan and Kareena Kapoor having an off-screen romance as well. But the intensity and the love undercurrents between Katrina Kaif and Neil Nitin Mukesh, and the romance between Kaif and John Abraham that was visible in NEW YORK is missing in KURBAAN. Technically the movie is sound; acting wise, everyone chips in with a fine performance. The look, feel and action sequences are top class, but then you are not seeing anything new that has not been shown in the recent past. The above-mentioned films are just the recent references. Ehsaan (Saif Ali Khan) falls in love with Avantika (Kareena Kapoor). Both teach in the same college in New Delhi. Avantika is back from the US, as she had to tend to her ailing father. Six month later, she gets a call from her University to come back. Ehsaan says he does not mind sacrificing his career to join her. He is traditional he says, not selfish. So off they go to the US and manage to find a home in an Indian neighbourhood. She also manages to find him a job in her college. Their neighbours befriend the new couple and that's when things spiral out of control. There are many loose ends. The US knows Ehsaan as Khalid the dreaded terrorist. They have his photograph. When he comes back to the US with Avantika as Ehsaan, he has just trimmed his beard to a French cut. He still looks the same, yet they cannot detect him entering Kennedy Airport! view KURBAAN movie stills view KURBAAN movie stills In one scene, where Saif and his fundamentalist pal are going off to dispose a dead body, they are trapped in a routine road check. Bullets are exchanged and there is a chase. It is hard to digest the fact that these cops in the US would not have called for a back up. They all get killed and Saif escapes with a bullet wound. He gets it treated at home and a few minutes later, he is in the shower. The wound is still fresh. There are a few more loose ends but the biggest joke is the character (a television journalist) played by Vivek Oberoi. An aircraft carrying a delegation of US officials along with hordes of journalists has been blown up mid air. He loses his girlfriend Dia Mirza in that blast. In his office, he hears Avantika's frantic message asking Dia not to board the flight as there is a bomb on board and her husband too is involved. Armed with the most vital clue, Vivek decides to investigate the bombing himself! He joins their network to learn more and no one misses him at his work place. All he had to do was give the FBI a tip-off after learning of their activities in the first two meetings, if not at the first instance. I mean, c'mon, this here is a big bombing, and you are sitting on the most telling lead! Nothing adds up but for the hyped romance between Saif and Kareena. Both are in terrific form. Rating - 2/5 Read Comments & Post Your Comments AddThis Rate this Movie Submit * Wallpaper * Posters * Stills * Broadband Kurbaan 1024x768 | 1280x960 Send to Friend Kurbaan 1024x768 | 1280x960 Send to Friend Kurbaan 1024x768 | 1280x960 Send to Friend More Kurbaan Wallpapers... Kurbaan Views : 2974 Kurbaan Views : 1269 Kurbaan Views : 1243 More Kurbaan Posters... Kurbaan Views : 574 Kurbaan Views : 399 Kurbaan Views : 536 Kurbaan Views : 415 More Kurbaan Stills... Video Video U were rude SAIF I am HURT Video U were rude SAIF I am HURT more kurbaan videos... Tell us what you think of this movie ... full review

Thumbs down, by Mayank Shekhar, Hindustan Times : ...a perennially reworked spinning a yarn of sorts... full review

Thumbs down, by Mihir Fadnavis, india.com : ...Saif Ali Khan is pretty good and restrained throughout, but he hams it up by making asinine expressions in the otherwise thought provoking scene where Kareena tends to his bullet wounds... full review

Thumbs down, by Amrita , Indiequill : ...In the end he makes the worst possible choice and made a Bollywood movie about bad guys and good guys and the hot chick in the middle that pauses to reflect upon the Meaning of Terrible Things.... full review

Thumbs down, by Anupama Chopra, NDTV : ...But the performances, melodious music and snazzy camerawork cannot camouflage Kurbaan’s specious logic and faulty writing. ... full review

Thumbs down, by Sahil Rizwan, Off the Record...On the Net : ...Kurbaan is to socially relevant cinema what Savita Bhabhi is to the empowerment of women.... full review

Thumbs down, by Magik, Passion for Cinema : ...even the older ones seemed way too dignified & sensitive in handling the issue.... full review

Thumbs down, by Munis Syed, Passion for Cinema : ...I know that Kurbaan is just another not-to-be-taken-seriously Bollywood potboiler but I believe even if the popular forms of entertainment take up topics as serious as terrorism/religious extremism, it should at least do so responsibly.... full review

Thumbs down, by Padmaja Thakore, Passion for Cinema : ...die smiling and we’ll make sure there is a massive publicity campaign supporting your story... full review

Thumbs down, by Khalid Mohamed, Passion for Cinema : ...most shallow film of 2009... full review

Thumbs down, by Tony, Radio Sargam : ...Music on the other hand does fit in well with the film. Hands up to Salim-Suleiman.... full review

Thumbs down, by Martin D'Souza, Upper Stall : ...The performances too fail to lift the film. But one has to grant the actors that they have nothing to work with. ... full review

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This page has additional observations, other than the ones noted in the main review.

Plot Summary

Boy, Ehsaan (Saif Ali Khan) meets girl, Avantika (Kareena Kapoor). They fall in love. But do they? Are they really who they say they are?

What Worked

  • Kareena Kapoor's makeup all through the film.
  • The fact that a person loves his parent more than his unborn child.
  • The entire bullet-retrieval scene. Very intentionally wants you to squirm and succeeds.
  • The classroom argument.

What did not

Note: This section simply lists the things that I did not like in this movie. This is not the overall impression about this movie. Please read the full review here

  • The self-referencing Coffee Khan!
  • The horror film like sound and direction when Avantika finds out about her neighbors.
  • How come Avantika is home waiting for her husband every day?
  • Why was the entire gang of terrorists required to stay in the same neighborhood?! Hush-hush activity - stay away from each other, no?
  • Could the pregnancy have been more convenient!!?
  • Ok. A pregnant lady suffering from morning sickness, doesn't as much as gag while doing a blood-oozing act of mini-surgery. If she were a doctor, that could still have been acceptable, but this…hmmm…
  • What was the plan to kill the guy at the bar if there was no fork around?! Where were all the guns that they blatantly used throughout the film?
  • How does one slip out of a car from the floor of the car, again?
  • The perfect timing between Vivek Oberoi and Kirron Kher's entries and exits at the shopping mall. A bit too coincidental.


This section lists things that I think are not important to the overall impact of the movie. In most cases, it could be explained away by something like, "we noticed the glitch after the scene was shot and there were schedule/budget issues and thus we could not re-shoot it". I like giving the makers the benefit of doubt, but I am amused nevertheless. Hopefully, they will tickle you too.

  • Avantika's first meeting with Ehsaan. "Swine" that's all a strong-willed girl like her could say??

Parental Guidance:

  • Violence: A very nicely done but very gory shot of a bullet being pulled out. Other than that gun fights, blood splatter, etc in plenty.
  • Language: No profanity. But it reeks of fanaticism.
  • Nudity & Sexual content: A few lip-locks and a bedroom scene with bare backs shown. Also the same scene implies the couple reaching a climax.
  • Concept: That of fundamentalism and citizens feeling marginalized, committing acts of terror in the name of revenge.
  • General Look and Feel: Dark and grim.

Detailed Ratings (out of 5):

Lead Actors:
Character Artists:
Music Director:

Kurbaan - Cast, crew, links

Supporting Cast:
Action Choreography:
Costume Designer:
Running time:
160 minutes

Comments (4)

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I haven't seen the movie yet but read reviews online. Most of them said 3 to 3.5 stars out of 5.

Your review says otherwise. I don't understand this huge difference to be honest.

Thing is, maybe you were too much trying to find out the logic behind everything that you lost the soul of the movie. Firstly, you just cannot expect that much logic from Indian films NOT because the directors are incapable but because such movies are not commercial viable.

Secondly, even without that logic, it's not that the movie will suck! There is STILL a lot of things to be seen and thought of.

In short, I found your review to be too extreme. Of course this is your blog and you can write anything you wish ;) but as a reader I didn't find it worth reading and coming back for more ;)

Yup...I agree with you esp when you said- no great performance asked, no delivered.

Kareena kapoor is the only best part of this movie. Wish they would ve utilized her presence better and try to make a more reasonable movie than the streotype the did.

I didn't like this movie as well. For slightly different reasons though.

My dislike is not the result of the director's depiction of 'all Muslims are terrorists'. I don't think a director necessarily has a social responsibility. He's making a movie. A piece of fiction. And I don't care what he chooses to show - if the story demands all Muslims to be terrorists, so be it. As long as it's convincing in the universe of the movie, I don't care if it breaks all the rules and notions of our REAL universe. It's FICTION.

Having said that, I think the story-telling and plot was executed unconvincingly. As you correctly mentioned, the director was unable to invoke any empathy in audience's mind for ANY of his characters. Avantika almost became a piece of furniture after the intermission. Saif's ethical dilemma was left completely unexplored. Heck, the movie's title is based on his character (he's the one who got kurbaan for his love in the end) but he was not even given a few lines that stuck with me after the movie was over. (Sorry, Anurag Kashyap, but the dialogues were just sloppy - for the most part.)

a totaly bore
copy of new york
no songs to enjoy
i don`t understand what to watch in it

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