3.5 Very Good

Kabul Express

Kabul Express: A thrilling journey!

Most movie freaks, especially among the masses and the audience, averse to watching films based on the tragic realities, would unjustifiably ignore Kabul Express hitting the marquee since the track record of such films is not very encouraging and such films are generally so tragic that they suddenly change the track leading to a mere presentation of facts sounding more or less like documentaries. Bhopal Express is an example of this sort of film making that collapsed at the box office. Obviously, the attempt to convey the message miserably fails since commercial viability is not taken into consideration at the time of writing the screenplay. Kabul Express has overcome all these calculations. Watching Kabul Express is an experience in itself. Although first week collections would never be 100% due its theme, Kabul Express will pick up at the box office in the second and the third week as a result of word of mouth among the young audience and curiosity among multiplex viewers.

Suhail and Jay are two Indian journalists who reach the war-torn Afghan land to interview the Taliban and get some boost to their respective careers in the field of news reporting. During their journey in the smashed land, they come across a Taliban who is trying to reach the Pakistan border in order to escape the torturous treatment extended by the angry Afghanis to the very few living barred Talibanis. He holds them, their Afghani assistant and an American journalist, hostages and threatens them to escort him up to the Pakistan border. Kabul Express is an analysis of human behavior in different situations.

It investigates the mentality of the hurt Afghanis who have had their share of wars, violence, tyranny and fear. Now they want to lead a peaceful life.
It sheds light on the rotten interests of Pakistan involved in the war and their various selfish foreign strategies designed to fuel violence and create warlike situations for some petty gains.
It examines the involvement of the USA in the entire tragedy.
It shows the present Afghanistan, broken, deprived of everything that a human being needs to lead a peaceful life and brutally damaged. It shows how an average Afghani has been subjected to numerous attacks, uncertainties, violence, bloodshed, instability and fear. It shows how extremists create mayhem and how innumerable innocent people pay the price for their hotheadedness and vested interests.
It shows how still a father loves his daughter. It shows how a man can be grateful to the other. It opens up the humane side of the destructive fanatics.
It shows how a religion cannot be a deterrent in being friendly to each other.

Suhail and Jay are two characters that take the audience through the different experiences. They are the indirect storytellers. The duration of the movie is roughly 2 hours but the writer and the director have done full justice to the theme, so much so that audience hardly gets a second to think about any other thing while watching the movie. You might even forget to buy your dose of popcorn in the interval. Kabul Express is beautifully written. Kudos to the writer and the director! Arshad Warsi has again proved that he is an actor of great caliber. John Abraham is alright. Arshad steals the show. His expressions and timing are just inimitable. Salman Shahid, the Talibani, is superb. He has great sense of acting and he too steals his share of the show. His scenes when he longs to meet his daughter, sees his daughter from distance, keeps some currency notes on the ground and without talking a single word to her, heads towards the vehicle and thereafter with moist eyes, looks through the window glass of the vehicle and bids adieu to her…are simply superb. Salman Shahid makes an impact. He definitely is a seasoned actor and his expressions were priceless. The Afghani friend-cum-driver and the American journalist have performed well. The American journalist, Linda looks pretty and she should get some good roles to play. Cinematography is first rate. Background score gels well with the plot.

All in all, Kabul Express is a nice blend of entertainment and thought provocation. It apprises the audience of the facts and the dark side of the human psyche. At the end, it underscores the meaning of being a human being. It highlights the importance of humanity and its need in today’s world. After all, anywhere in the world, a father still loves his daughter and a Good Samaritan still extends a helping hand to those in distress!!

Kabul Express
Producer – Aditya Chopra
Production House – YR Films
Director – Kabir Khan
Cinematography – Anshuman Mahaley
Cast – Arshad Warsi, John Abraham, Salman Shahid