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KURBAAN - Movie Review : Though well made but surprisingly similar to 'New York' (Review By Bobby Sing)

20 Nov, 2009 | Movie Reviews / 2009 Releases

Dharma Productions, known for its well planned movies and remarkable success ratio returns to the screen with a strong thriller supported by a fiery star-cast and an eye catching promotional campaign. The controversial posters in the news and the secrecy regarding its story plot surely helped in creating a buzz for the movie before its release. So everybody was forced to expect yet another well made movie from Karan Johar’s production house with a unique kind of storyline never told before on the screen.

But the final outcome has got a completely different story to tell which also raises many questions on the cut-throat competition between various big banners of the industry. Undeniably, “Kurbaan” is a well crafted thriller with its brilliant direction and visibly grand production values. It has its own worth seeing moments along with some superb thought provoking sequences relevant to the current scenario in the western countries. But the real shocking revelation lies in its story plot which is strikingly similar to “New York”.
In fact it’s like Kabir Khan and Karan Johar got hold of a similar idea and then wrote two different scripts with minor changes as per their own film-making styles.
In order to prove my point, here are the similarities between the two movies, which unfortunately would also reveal the storyline of “Kurbaan”.
1. “New York” has got two college students (John & Katrina) falling in love with each other and later living a happily married life abroad. Here John plays a muslim character who is secretly working for the pride of his religion and planning a big disaster in the city.  
In “Kurbaan” instead of students there are two professors (Saif & Kareena) in the college, who fall in love with each other, get married and settle abroad to live a happy life together. Here Saif plays the muslim character who is a wanted terrorist in disguise and also planning for a big disaster in the city.
2. In both the movies the lady of the house (Katrina & Kareena) doesn’t know about the real identity of her husband which is later discovered by her as a shock of her life.
3. “New York” has Neil Nitin Mukesh working on a secret mission, who enters John’s gang with a different identity and tries to catch him before the big disaster planned with the help of FBI.
In “Kurbaan” there is Vivek Oberoi who after losing her love in a bomb blast plans to enter Saif’s gang with a different identity aiming to get him behind the bars with the help of FBI.
4. “New York” has Irfan Khan playing the role of an FBI officer helping Neil, whereas in “New York” the role is not that significant played by a foreign actor who is constantly talking with Vivek on phone in the climax.
5. In both the films, the new entrant in the gang is given a test to pass where he is asked to shoot an unknown man just like that without any reason.
6. Both the movies have a similar sequence where an associate gang member from the extremists group panics when few policemen start searching his car and ask him to get out. In both the scenes the man loses his life due to the unexpected emotional reaction.
7.  In “New York” John suspects Neil talking with someone on the phone and then takes away his phone saying that no-one will use any phone from now on.
In “Kurbaan” Om Puri suspects Vivek talking with somebody on phone and then takes away his phone again saying that no-one will use any phone from now on.
8. Both the movies gradually move towards a big disaster planned by the terrorist in the end which also results in their leader getting killed by the police. Both John & Saif meet similar fates towards the climax in strikingly similar circumstances.
In short, if you have seen “New York” then you have already seen “Kurbaan” in a different version. However both the movies hold their own distinctive merits due to their respective talented directors. “New York” was more definitive and expressive in its characterisation, romance and songs. On the other hand “Kurbaan” is more intense, exciting and well executed as a fine thriller with some creditable performances by all the three leading characters.
Saif once again delivers a polished and calm performance as the terrorist. Kareena gives him tough competition with a superb portrayal of a helpless girl caught in the web of terrorism. Vivek also shines bright after a long gap in his important role of an informer cum reporter. Dia Mirza looks ravishing in her few scenes. Om Puri is top rate as usual but the most impressive supporting act comes from Kiron Kher in the role of an angry muslim lady ready to fight for her revenge.
Unexpectedly the musical score by Salim-Sulieman is not up to the standards of Karan Johar productions with no particular song standing out with its melody. But, Cinematography clearly gives the movie an international look from all angles. It also seems that the movie was specifically made for the overseas market and metro cities. Since, there is heavy use of English language in the movie, with one particular scene of a seminar having conversations going on in English for a good period of time.
Writing also has got too many flaws in it with things moving on very easily without any complications. For instance, two mature professors go on flirting with each other freely in the staff room and class rooms within the college campus (which was like the creative liberty taken for a ride). Saif easily gets Visas for abroad without any hassles and he even gets a professor’s job in the foreign university just like that. Kareena takes out the bullet out of Saif’s wound in few seconds and even applies stitches to it like a pro. There are shoot outs going on and people moving fearlessly holding a gun in the tube train with no trace of any policemen around. Even the hot bed room scene between Saif and Kareena looks like deliberately added later on and also seems to be edited in a great hurry. It lacks the warmth as one recalls in the similar scenes from “Parinda” and “Dayavan”. Hence at some places the execution goes too filmy, far below the expectations from a Dharma Productions movie.
But what impressed me the most were the well written, explosive dialogues in the script which may be taken as offensive by many. They surely had the truth spoken in the most blunt way ever on the Indian Silver Screen. In short, director Rensil D’Silva undoubtedly proves his command over the medium with his noticeable directorial debut. But I am still confused why they made a movie on the same storyline of “New York”. With a different story plot it surely could have been the finest thriller of the recent times.
Rating : 2.5 / 5

Tags : Kurbaan Movie Review by Bobby Sing, Movie Review Kurbaan, Kurbaan Film Reivew by bobby sing, Review by Bobby Sing, New Bollywood Movies Reviews at bobbytalkscinema.com, Bobby Sing Bollywood Reviews, New Bollywood Movies Reviews, New Bollywood Movies Released, New Hindi Films Reviews, New Hindi Movies Reviews, New Hindi Movies Released, New Bollywood Reviews, Bobby Talks Cinema Review, Reviews By Bobby Sing, New Hindi Films Reviews at bobbytalkscinema.com
20 Nov 2009 / Comments ( 8 )

Nice review Bobby. I am going to watch it tonight!

Bobby Sing

Thanks Rajneesh,
but do write about your views on the movie after you have watched it.

Shandilya Dixit

One of the worst movies of the year.
I am very happy to see that Kareena delivers it once again.
She truly deserves it.
Her way of attracting viewers by wearing as less as possible, going size zero, giving intimate scenes, showing her skin.. Nothing is enough.
She claimed that people will remember her performance after watching the movie. Well, definitely, people will remember one of the most horrible star of indian cinema.
Kareena is one-film wonder (Jab We Met).
Wishing her all the very best to continue giving these kind of movies- Tashan, Golmal Returns, Kambakht Ishq, M&Mrs Khanna and now Kurbaan.
She has given us enough reasons to hate her.

Bobby Sing

Hi Shandilya,
There was really nothing great in the movie apart from its film-making standards, dialogues and Kiron Kher. I still wonder why two friendly production houses made their 2 big movies on the same subject and script.

Keep Writing.....

Manjot Singh Dullat

7. In New York John suspects Neil talking with someone on the phone and then takes away his phone saying that no-one will use any phone from now on.
In Kurbaan Om Puri suspects Vivek talking with somebody on phone and then takes away his phone again saying that no-one will use any phone from now on.

there was a flaw in the movie ..after this scene ... saif still carries the cell... remember when salma \'s posters are pasted all around ... om puri call saif to get back to home
disaster movie

but u r review is kewl :)

Bobby Sing

Thanks Manjot for appreciation the write-up..

And Keep Visiting......Cheers!


Interesting analysis. I haven\'t seen Kurbaan yet but will watch it very soon. One thing to note though is that New York itself was quite similar to the movies Arlington Road (1999) and Rendition (2007), but at least it wasn\'t a carbon copy like many other Bollywood films.

Bobby Sing

Hi Neel,
Thanks for visiting the site.

Regarding the similar concepts I have already written an article on it which you can access at the following link :


Keep writing......Cheers!

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