Kurbaan written and produced by Karan Johar (Dharma Productions) is a love story with terrorism as its backdrop. Rensil D'Silva, who has written films like Rang De Basanti and Aks, directs - Saif Ali Khan, Kareena Kapoor and Vivek Oberoi - in his directorial debut.
Avantika (Kareena Kapoor) and Ehsan (Saif Ali Khan) are professors at a Delhi university. The two fall in love and decide to marry. Just then, Kareena gets a job offer from a university in US. Both move abroad with dreams of marital bliss, at least Avantika, who goes into shock and depression when she discovers her husband is a part of a terror sleeper cell. Her journey through terror, sleepless nights and eventual freedom with help from a journalist friend (Vivek Oberoi) forms the rest of Kurbaan.
Kurbaan is a well executed thriller with a taut first half and a slightly slower second. Director Rensil D'Silva keeps the audience hooked with several powerful sequences like - Kareena serving coffee to Vivek - Om Puri asking Vivek to gun down the innocent man at the food counter - steamy sex scene between Saif and Kareena - when Kareena discovers her husband is a cold-blooded terrorist - the gruesome bullet which Kareena removes from Saif's chest and the climax, which received a huge applause from the audience.
Having said that, Kurbaan has several loopholes. With a cell phone available, why Kareena never calls 911 (emergency number) is never explained, how Ehsan manages to escape from the shootout, the ease with which Vivek involves him into the terror sleep cell, are one of the many cinematic liberties taken. What's also unconvincing is a small family of around 6 people masterminding a huge attack on a nation that is yet to witness any terror post 9/11.
Apart from the storyline flaws, Kurbaan as a movie works. The dialogues are good while the music is better. Saif Ali Khan is brilliant in a hard-hitting performance. Kareena Kapoor shines in the second half, didn't like her in the first. Vivek Oberoi's diction is perfect for an American national; he puts across a good performance. Om Puri is fine. Nice to see Kirron Kher in a non-Punjabi role.
To sum up, Kurbaan is worth the price of your ticket for the thrill it provides and for the performances and direction.
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