Kabul Express (2006) is a Hindi,Dari,English,Urdu movie. Kabir Khan has directed this movie. John Abraham,Arshad Warsi,Salman Shahid,Hanif Hum Ghum are the starring of this movie. It was released in 2006. Kabul Express (2006) is considered one of the best Adventure,Comedy,Drama,Thriller,War movie in India and around the world.
Suhel (John Abraham) and Jai (Arshad Warsi) - TV journalists from India in search of the ultimate news scoop, meeting the Taliban. Imran Khan Afridi (Salman Shahid) - a soldier of the hated and derided Taliban who needs to escape the wrath of the Afghans and run to his country, Pakistan. Khyber (Hanif Hum Ghum) - an Afghan who is as old as the war in his country. Jessica Beckham (Linda Arsenio) - an American photojournalist ready to risk her life to photograph the Taliban. Five people from different worlds, their paths are destined to cross in a ruthless country devastated by war - Afghanistan. This is a thrilling story spanning 48 hours of five individuals linked by hate and fear, but brought together by fate to finally recognize each other. Set in post 9/11 war-torn Afghanistan, KABUL EXPRESS is a kidnap drama that is alternately funny and horrifying. Narrated in a light hearted manner, this is the story of a unique reluctant bond that develops between people who are otherwise ...
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Kabul Express had been in a number of local festivals here, as well as in the Asian Festival of First Films, and I rue the missed opportunities to have watched this on the big screen. I guess a DVD with extras would have to do, and my interest was initially piqued because it was one of the first films to have been shot in Afghanistan after the fall of the Taliban. Given that we dare not venture into what are currently hot spots in the world, film then serves as the next best thing to be able to see the city of Kabul captured on screen by the filmmakers, for the world at large. Shot entirely in and around Kabul, Afghanistan, Kabul Express features plenty of lush scenery captured by the beautiful cinematography, and it helps that both the writer-director Kabir Khan, and his director of photography Anshuman Mahaley had been in and around the country a couple of times themselves, the former being a documentary filmmaker who had gone a handful of times, and this film summarizes his experiences in the country which he had distilled into his first feature length narrative film. Through their eyes we see worlds that we don't normally see, and they have a very mature and poignant story to tell, steering clear of the very obvious story lines of condemning outright the Taliban here, though not without reasons. Kabir Khan had weaved humanity across all the characters he put into this film, and consciously had everyone from different nationalities and cultures come together in a melting pot known as the Kabul Express, an offroad jeep which is used to ferry them around on a road trip pretty much to satisfy the wishes of the one holding onto the rifle. I thought it was a fine decision to have the actors actually from the countries involved in order to add a little authenticity and to bring across some genuine deep rooted nuances and attitudes to their roles, especially when dealing with the theme of hatred. John Abraham and Arshad Warsi play journalists from India Suhei and Jai respectively, who decided to boost their careers with getting themselves into Afghanistan to interview themselves some Taliban, who are now hunted by the Northern Alliance and the US troops, and are fighting for their lives. With the help of a local Afghan guide Khyber (Hanif Hum Ghum) and a chance meeting cum rescue mission of American photographer Jessica Beckham (Linda Arsenio), they come into contact with an escaping Pakistani Imran Khan Afridi (Salman Shahid), who had fought with the Taliban, and now with the help of an AK47, forces the group to bring him back to the Pakistan border. Kabir Khan had crafted some very nicely done set pieces, be it action or drama, and definitely comedy which hit the right note most of the time, at all the right places. The funny bits do defuse plenty of tension which come inbuilt with the kind of rough wild west lawlessness and terrain that the characters find themselves in, where everyone's for themselves, and self- serving militant groups still around to rule over their self-imposed jurisdictions. And for this Kabir himself got into some flak for portraying the Hazara ethnic group in bad light. There's nothing in black and white, and everything is in grey territory here, such as the symbiotic relationship that Pakistan allegedly shares with the Taliban that gets explored here. But I suppose road movies provide for perfect opportunities where misconceptions are cleared and prejudices get addressed, where fears of the unknown get dissipated once familiarity creeps in. The team in the jeep through time spent together, whether they like it or not, had forged an uneasy alliance and dependence on one another, and if not for their backgrounds, they could be friends, given their common ground for movies, song and love of cricket. Except for the American of course, who's more often portrayed as obnoxious, and doesn't think before she shoots off her mouth. I felt that was one scene where she could have told a white lie in order to ease a tense situation, but in doing what was deemed to be the right thing, had failed to see the obvious repercussions staring right at her face. Blessed by a truly hypnotic score, Kabul Express enthralls, not by being a novelty of achieving firsts in many areas, but through a story which was delivered right by the multi- national cast, and the relevance and importance that we live in a world without strangers, where barriers could be broken down with communication and understanding. Definitely highly recommended in my books!
I remember many, many years ago, someone said to me, "I don't think Andy's coming - do you want his place?" Before even the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, before the middle east became a constant war-ground, a number of my friends would follow the 'hippy trail' - overland to India through the strange and wonderful lands on the way like Afghanistan. I didn't go. I often dreamt of the strange civilisations of Iraq, Pakistan, Afghanistan, lands of jinn, ancient cultures, strange customs. Today, visiting Afghanistan for a Westerner is almost unthinkable - travelling there overland probably suicidal. Understanding the country through anything but a western political lens almost impossible. How refreshing to see a film made there with care and attention to authenticity. A film that is half thriller, half comedy. And one that conveys some of the complex attitudes of a warring people for whom it is the only home they ever know or want. Indian director Kabir Khan, although with considerable security, is able to come and go much easier than any Westerner could. I can't imagine even Mel Gibson going out to Kabul to make a motion picture right now. Khan's actors are all cast according to their nationality. Two Indian rookie reporters make the strangest roadtrip ever - trying to get an exclusive story on the Taliban following 9/11. They meet up with an Afghan driver, a gorgeous American Reuters photographer, and a Pakistani 'Talib' who by turns holds them hostage or doesn't. They are waylaid by police, bandits and mujahedin as they make a treacherous trip across a vivid no-man's-land through breathtaking scenery to the border. On the way they discover much about the complexities underlying Afghanistan as well as about themselves and each other. Kabul Express is the first feature film to be shot extensively in Kabul after the official end of the Taliban's reign and demonstrates the director's love of the country and its people, as well as an incredible sense of humour that both accurately portrays and caricatures all the various races involved. The film seems to have no particular political agenda, and if the Taliban and Pakistan probably come off a bit worse than anybody else, the locals who reinstate fairly barbaric time-honoured sports and customs are not a picture of civilised thinking either. The different reactions of our travellers to a game involving tearing an animal to bits, or beating a couple of Talibs to death with bare hands, speak volumes. In one particularly moving scene, the extremely resourceful Taliban fighter is re-united with his daughter. I found the moment where she only lifts her burka (veil) secretly watching him depart particularly heart-wrenching. Kabul Express is a film made by an Indian company and not totally divorced of bias - there's no love lost between India and the Taliban over Kashmir, for instance - but as it's not the bias we are used to in the West it is nevertheless a invigorating look into a country that has become almost unintelligible. It may be uncomfortable or even disjointed viewing for anyone emotionally locked into a politicised and over-simplified picture of Afghanistan, but if you can put that aside for an hour or so it is truly an eye-opener. While not exactly a blockbuster, the film comes across as warm, genuine, exciting and displays a range of humour I've rarely come across. I am also indebted to several Indian members of the audience without whose laughter I would have missed several subtle and very Indian-type jokes. Kabul Express is a rare film experience and I strongly recommend it.
Kabul Express is the Journey of two rookie journalists from India (looking to interview the Taliban), with an American, an Afghani and a Pakistani in the wilderness of Afhghanistan post 9/11. Kabir Khan presents Afghanistan the way he saw it in his travels: At once beautiful, and at once ravaged, raped and destroyed. A cynical reporter's vision of a nation whose fate was changed by external influences and internal conflict. Khan examines the flaws and weaknesses in human nature, the greed of money and power, the fear of pain and death. He Also highlights the strengths that keep us from destroying ourselves: love, friendship and compassion towards our fellow humans. While the story is constantly evolving, the motives of each character are quite clear. The dialog is pacey and casual. The use of language is superb: English, Hindi and Afghani are used efficiently without repetition. While the subject matter is quite grim, the light-hearted dialog eases the tension. The movie also makes it's point without being preachy. The characters are ones that the audience can relate to, which helps the film. Kudos to Khan for a brilliant first attempt at direction. The cinematography does full justice to the barren landscapes, the towering mountains, the destroyed cities and the troubled souls residing within. The acting deserves special mention. Arshad Warsi strikes a chord with the audience with his childishness and quips in the face of danger. He helps lighten the mood. While John Abraham has a long way to go as an actor, he is nothing really to complain about. He is learning the craft, and it shows. Linda Arsenio does justice to her role as the practical American journalist and Hanif Hum Ghum as Khyber, is simply endearing. He is the typical Afghani who wants to live in peace and earn a decent living. Salman Shahid takes the cake as the Talib you want to hate, but the one you love the most. His acting is superb and his character is the strongest in the film. It is full of internal and external conflicts and his eyes convey them all. OVERALL: The Good: The Direction, The Cinematography, the Dialogs, The Acting and most importantly, the points the film makes about human nature. The bad: Editing is patchy sometimes (I saw it at the World Premiere at DIFF and the quip about Osama bin Laden had been Chopped off- and it was obvious!) but for the most part nothing to complain about. The Ugly: the fainthearted may find some scenes of violence disturbing Final Word: A MUST watch!
That is a great film from two main aspects. The first aspect is, everyone is in. A Paki, an Afghan, Two Indians and of course an American as a non-hero late role which is literal. As an actual America in general plays the head role in this film. Those people all traveling in one Jeep. Unbelievable. Their attitudes, the one who gets the gun, shows power, the cricket loving, cigarette talks. I like this film a lot from the second aspect.The humanness oaf all of those men. Even terrorist. The sense of the American in the Pepsi scene. This film is like a reality shoot. Marvelous. I did not like the end. Very soft ending but still very good film.
The movie raises 2 BIG questions. Who is the culprit for the situation in Afganistan and who is world's all time greatest All Rounder in Cricket. Yes, its this unique and fine blend of humor and world politics' BIGGEST burning issues that makes Kabul Express easily one of the finest films of the year. With some convincing acts by immensely talented Arshad Warsi and great looking John Abraham and rest of the cast, coupled with great direction and splendid (simply splendid) cameraman-ship, this movie is a treat. Its essentially a big screen movie. Kabul Express takes you to the soulful journey through the heart of Kabul with Express paced narrative but making sure you don't miss a shot due to fast speed. If there is any establishment like Kabul Tourism, this would be a perfect advertisement for it, as the cinematographer captures exactly what needs to be captured, leaving you wondering if you could some day go for a vacation on those rugged roadways. Beauty of the film lies in the effortless ease with with which it tries to find the cause of the destruction in Afganistan and making us believe that no one, including the soldiers fighting there, wants a war. It's all about money honey. You know what's it all about when one of the protagonists says, "Its all Only for money, only to suck all the oil and sell Coke and Pepsi here." You might just laugh away at the dialog, only later realizing how true was it. The best part is that you wont realize that you are actually watching a film which deals with such serious issues with the director extracting humor from least likely situations. Despite being very convincing the movie leave one question unanswered, Who is better among Kapil Dev and Imran Khan :o) Go and watch it, essentially on the BIG screen.