Why Kabul Express deserves an Oscar Entry?
Director Kabeer Khan, with the backing of a big production house such as Yash Raj films, has brought out a truly wonderful film. Kaabul Express is the first full-fledged feature film, to be shot in Afghanistan, in the post Taliban era. The film, which traces the journey of two Indian journalists, enacted by John Abraham and Arshad Warsi, is brilliantly shot, amidst the rugged but breathtakingly beautiful locales, of Afghanistan.
Even as the Taliban rule has crumbled, the locals are shown hunting down those who have gone into hiding. There is a constant threat of violence, and the air is tense with fear. The film explores the psychology of the Taliban, and of the locals vis a vis the Americans, Pakistanis and Indians. What makes the film so interesting is the fact that it explores human relationships, and shows us that humans are all the same, irrespective of caste, creed or nationality. On a personal level, it hardly makes a difference whether on belongs to the Taliban, or to any other country. At one level, we are all the same.
The film shows human bonding and altruism between people, who have never met before, and who are from totally different backgrounds and cultures. It shows the triumph of human values of goodness and fairness, above anything else. It is indeed surprising to see two Indians actually helping a Pakistani to escape. It is equally shocking to see the same Pakistani being gunned down, not by his enemies, but by his own countrymen. Such are the effects of politics, religion and of war.
The film deserves to go to the Oscars, for man reasons. One, because it is the first of its kind, to be shot in post Taliban Afghanistan. Secondly, because of its universal theme and appeal. Thirdly, because it brings to fore the problems faced by the people of this beautiful country. Fourthly, because it ultimately shows us that all humans are connected, at one level, without bias or prejudice to caste or nationality. And finally, because the film is crisp, with wonderful locales, and a lovely screenplay and excellent editing. And to top it all, the film has brilliant performances from the entire cast.
Films that are sent to the Oscars need to satisfy all these criteria, which this film does. Also, the director has wonderfully captured the local flavor, by expertly using the various tongues and dialects, of the region. Hence, we can see that the same Hindi or Urdu, as spoken by the Afghan is totally different from that spoken by the Pakistani or by the Indians. Such nuances need to be appreciated and awarded.