Sunday, December 17

Film: Kabul Express Click for more info

Unconventional Bollywood about a pair of Indian journalists in Afghanistan seeking out that prize interview with a member of the Taliban a few weeks after 9/11.

First things first: the acting is slightly unfortunate, with Arshad Warsi managing to save a pretty wooden bunch (where Linda Arsenio is pretty and John Abraham is wooden). Music-wise, there's nothing to tell since there is none (although the soundtrack itself is pretty good). The film is very well shot and edited, with the camera regularly hanging on scenes while not over-doing it.

And you know what? As a whole, Kabul Express rarely misses a trick. It could have been so easy for it to stick to all the usual stereotypes, but instead it all manages to remain balanced. So, the Indians grow as they learn about Afghanistan, the Taliban isn't as bad as we are led to believe they are, the American is anything but a hero and the Afghan holds prejudices of his own. The film cheats a few times and creates scenarios in order to prove just how impartial it is but this happens so rarely that the film can be forgiven.

I was impressed anyway. At 104 minutes, in theory there isn't much time for much to happen but by doing away with all the fluff Kabul Express manages to give a good and seemingly authentic insight into post war Afghanistan. Much recommended.