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Barren Earth

The truth about Afghanistan. A facet that is difficult to imagine, when you read a book. Yet the film comes close – that’s KABUL EXPRESS for you.

I missed the film in the cinema – so I caught it on vcd. It evokes emotions – strong and light. The horrifying imagery of war mixes with the lightness that accompanies life. It all blends in, and the acting is good too. I didn’t really think an Indian director could come up with such an offbeat topic and make a good show of it. Kabir Khan does well.

John Abraham gives a fresh performance & Arshad is his usual comfortable self – fitting into the role of the sidekick cameraman. I think the best portrayal is that of the Taliban by Salman Shahid. He’s darn effective – the quintessential soldier following his orders, not really believing in the war or its vagaries. He only wants to live.
How difficult is that?

Very – I would say.
Especially, if you’re a Taliban in Post 9/11 Afghanistan.

I had the good fortune of reading “The Afghan” before I saw the film. It added another dimension to understanding the film. This is the story of 5 individuals from different worlds coming together as the threads of fate intertwine. The initial relationship I the predictable one – hate & fear. Human emotions experience metamorphosis over time as survival is linked to sharing the burden of life.

It forces me to question myself. Would I be able to do that - protect a man – knowing the man in front of me is a Taliban and a Pakistani. I don’t know the answer – no matter how hard I force the mind to think. I guess these answers are only available in real-time, unplanned like life.

It also questions the role of the media in our lives. Are they good – only for the sensationalist stuff – or can they actually make a difference. Do they want to make a positive difference?

Questions.. questions .. so many , as yet unanswered…

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