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Kabul Express (2006)

 -  Action | Comedy | Drama  -  15 December 2006 (UK)
6.9
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Ratings: 6.9/10 from 2,097 users  
Reviews: 34 user | 11 critic

The attention of the world is focused, after the terrorist attacks in U.S.A. of 11Sep01, on Afghanistan - a country that has been torn by war for the last 23 years, and has had no media ... See full summary »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Suhel Khan
...
Jai Kapoor
Salman Shahid ...
Imran 'Talib' Khan Afridi / Subedar Major Jan Mohammed
Hanif Hum Ghum ...
Khyber
Linda Arsenio ...
Jessica Beckham
Wali-o Qhab ...
Mujahidin at pick-up truck
Khader Arya ...
Mujahidin at pick-up truck
Haji Gul Aser ...
Mujahidin at pick-up truck
Abdul Basir Mujahid ...
Mujahidin at pick-up truck
Saeed Meeran Farhad ...
Mujahidin at pick-up truck
Raziq Zargar ...
Mujahidin at pick-up truck
Farooq Baraki ...
Mujahidin commander
Anjamuddin ...
Crippled boy
Hashmatullah Fanai ...
Kibabchi at kibabchani
Sunil Godse ...
Pakistani soldier
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Storyline

The attention of the world is focused, after the terrorist attacks in U.S.A. of 11Sep01, on Afghanistan - a country that has been torn by war for the last 23 years, and has had no media coverage for the last 6, mainly due to it being occupied by the Pakistan-sponsored Taliban, with Pakistani military personnel themselves involved amongst the Taliban. But when the U.S. and it's coalition forces target Osama Bin Laden, Pakistan issues an official denial that there are no more Pakistani military personnel in Afghanistan. This results in a influx of journalist and media from all around the world. Amongst this background a loyal soldier, Subedar Major Jan Mohammed of the Pakistan Border Regiment, estranged from his daughter, Zorya, who detested the Taliban, is now on his way back to the Pakistani border, and in order to do this he has taken four hostages: Jessica Beckham of Reuters; Jai Kapoor and Suhel Khan - two Indian journalists; and their Afghan guide, Khyber. Together he herds them ... Written by rAjOo (gunwanti@hotmail.com)

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Two Indians, an American, one Afghan and a Pakistani on a journey together


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Details

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Release Date:

15 December 2006 (UK)  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office

Opening Weekend:

£49,928 (UK) (15 December 2006)

Gross:

$296,586 (USA) (5 January 2007)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

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Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

During a five-day shoot, about 125 kg of meat had been devoured. See more »

Quotes

Khyber: You needn't worry, though. they've pulled this scam so many times, there're no donkeys alive now
Imran Khan Afridi: [deadpan, looking straight at Khyber] Some of them are. They're now drivers.
See more »

Soundtracks

Banjar (Lounge Mix)
Sung by Sunidhi Chauhan
Composed by Raghav Sachar
Lyrics by Swaratmika Mishra, Aditya Dhar and Vijay Kumar
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Two great films neatly wrapped up in a terrible one
18 December 2006 | by (London, England) – See all my reviews

Kabul Express is not a hideous failure. It's just not very good.

Two Indian journalists head into war-torn Afghanistan to interview a Talib for an exclusive scoop back in India. Quickly they fall victim to the very thing they went to find, and end up on a nightmarish road trip in the custody their putative rebel, played very effectively by Salman Shahid. Along the way, sidekick Jai frequently berates hunk Suhel for "another fine mess he's got him into", starts a shooting war with his Talib captor about whether Kapil Dev or Imran Khan was the greatest all-rounder, and witness (and photograph) the death by beating of two runaway Taliban prisoners.

Kabir Khan might have made two good films out this material. Instead he chose to combine the two, which just didn't work. The opening moments of the film promised a harrowing docu-drama (including what looked like a real life execution of a veiled woman). In the next scene we have our two heroes doing a Laurel and Hardy routine. This pattern was repeated (and certainly repeated on me) for the rest of the film.

Juxtaposing violence and humour is no bad thing of course. But Khan lacked the inclination - or perhaps the experience - to make an effective black comedy. His film is at its most assured during its comic phases. Some of these touches are memorable (the cricket fight, the donkey etc). The film is at its worst when indulging in bizarre, cod-serious non-sequiturs on the futility of war, love or photojournalism – usually from the mouth of the appalling (in this film) Linda Arsenio. Possibly it's not her fault – her dialogue was also the worst in the film, but she didn't improve it.

The film could have been redeemed by a powerful message, but Khan couldn't quite bring himself to show a Talib fighter as a real human. So what we got instead was a cheap shot at the Pakistani government. To me, this symbolised the whole film. It was a missed opportunity. It had all of the elements for a great black comedy, and all the elements for a serious study of war. But in the end it was just a mess.


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