I went to see Kurbaan today even though it is a certified flop and I am far from a Saifeena fan.
Why did I decide to undergo this torture? Brenden Theatres in Concord was playing this Bollywood movie and when an American establishment plays a Hindi movie, I feel compelled to support it. Alas, I am probably the only Indian who feels this way given I was the only person at the movies. And I didn’t even get my Intermission break!
About Kurbaan – While interviewing for a lecturer position at New York University, Saif Ali Khan’s character (Ehsaan) states that he likes people with opinions. It’s the people without opinions that scares him. Taking that meta-narratively, Kurbaan should be scary since it comes out with no political opinion. The viewer is simply taken through a tale of global terrorism and given honest facts without any sort of social message that resonates home.
Maybe that is where Kurbaan fails as a movie and where New York shined. At the same time, New York almost justified terrorism by glorifying the wronged protagonist while Kurbaan gives us a cold, hard look at the narratives on the global terror platform without casting any judgment or delving into the background of sleeper cell members to find motivations.
Never one to be a Kareena Kapoor fan (let alone a Saifeena one), when the Shiv Sena took out a ‘morcha’ against the new poster of Kareena in Kurbaan, with her back in nude, I momentarily agreed to not just cover her back but the whole poster. Just get the ungodly and offending sight of her away from my eyes.
A Shiv-Sena activist said:
“We objected to the posters as they showed the actress semi-nude and we found to be in very bad taste. It violates our Indian culture.”
Well, a semi-nude Kareena is certainly bad taste but I am not sure it violates our culture. Maybe all our other senses. Still, it is a wonder how and why the Shiv Sena is attacking the posters a whole month after they were plastered all over the city.
My ragging on Kareena is in jest. She has the freedom to pose with her back nude. We have the freedom to avert our eyes. The Shiv Sena has a right to take to the streets for our pure entertainment, and as a result, create more publicity for the movie that they are ‘morally policing.’
What is disgusting about claims of ‘bad taste’ by the Sena is that Kareena is the one being morally policed even though we see no ‘offending’ parts of her body. Why is Saif Ali Khan allowed to show his bare-chest? Why isn’t anyone covering him up? Double-standard much?
Gunda-gardi (gangster tactics) is not new to the Sena. A month ago, the Sena objected to the use of Mumbai’s name, Bombay, in Wake Up Sid (another Johar production), and he bent over backwards to insert a disclaimer in the film.
Wake Up Sid turned out to be a hit. I wish the same luck to Kurbaan.
Maybe the Sena is lucky for Johar after all.
I wonder what they think about L word posters.