6.9/10
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34 user 11 critic

Kabul Express (2006)

Not Rated | | Adventure, Drama, Thriller | 15 December 2006 (UK)
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A thrilling story spanning 48 hours of five individuals linked by hate and fear but brought together by fate to finally recognize each other.

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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

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 ... Written by Official Source

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

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


Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Details

Official Sites:

Yash Raj Films

Country:

Language:

| | |

Release Date:

15 December 2006 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

Кабульский экспресс  »

Filming Locations:


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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$142,591, 17 December 2006, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$296,586, 7 January 2007
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

|

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

John Abraham reportedly feel ill during the shooting of this film in Afghanistan and was rushed to the same hospital (Nanvati Hospital, Mumbai) as Amitabh Bachchan and two were neighbors for a few days. See more »

Quotes

Imran Khan Afridi: My name is Imran Khan Afridi
Jai Kapoor: That's a pretty powerful name, "Imran Khan". You play cricket?
Imran Khan Afridi: Is every Indian named 'Sachin' a batsman?
See more »

Soundtracks

Kabul Fiza
Sung and Composed by Raghav Sachar
Lyrics by Aditya Dhar
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User Reviews

 
Probably tells you more than most documentaries
22 December 2006 | by See all my reviews

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.


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