Kurbaan (2009 film)

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Theatrical release poster
Directed byRensil D'Silva
Produced byHiroo Yash Johar
Karan Johar
Screenplay byRensil D'Silva
Story byRensil D'Silva
Karan Johar
StarringSaif Ali Khan
Kareena Kapoor
Om Puri
Kirron Kher
Vivek Oberoi
Dia Mirza
Music bySalim–Sulaiman
CinematographyHemant Chaturvedi
Edited byAsif Ali Shaikh
Distributed byUTV Motion Pictures
Release date
  • 20 November 2009 (2009-11-20)
Running time
160 minutes
Budget500 million (US$7.0 million)[1]
Box office429 million (US$6.0 million)[2]

Kurbaan (transl. Sacrificed) is a 2009 Indian Hindi-language action thriller film[3] directed by Rensil D'Silva and produced by Karan Johar. The film, set against the backdrop of global terrorism, features Saif Ali Khan, Kareena Kapoor, Om Puri, Kirron Kher, Vivek Oberoi and Dia Mirza in starring roles.[4] Released on 20 November 2009, the film deals with an underground organization's attempt at instilling fear by means of terrorism in the United States. It also intersperses philosophical arguments over the corruption of religious beliefs in an attempt to rectify the damage to non-involved Muslims the world-over.


Avantika Ahuja (Kareena Kapoor), an academic living in the United States, returns to Delhi after her father falls ill. While in India she meets Ehsaan Khan (Saif Ali Khan), a University professor from Mumbai; and the two become friends and soon fall in love. After some time, Avantika must return to work. Ehsaan readily agrees to emigrate for her, and the couple are soon married and living in America. Avantika helps Ehsaan in getting a job, and he is appointed as a professor to teach 'Islam and the Modern World' at the same university where she works. The pair live a happy life in a quiet suburb populated by many South Asian families.

Salma (Nauheed Cyrusi), Avantika's neighbour, is effectively being confined in her own home by her husband Hakil. She manages to inform Avantika about the situation and requests her to contact Rehana (Dia Mirza), a friend and TV reporter. Avantika meets with Rehana and her boyfriend Riyaz (Vivek Oberoi), a Muslim American war journalist who has just arrived from Iraq. Together they discuss Salma's problem and the trio conclude that Salma is probably the victim of domestic violence. Rehana plans a meeting with Salma, but is unable to meet her since she is leaving to Iraq, as part of a United Nations envoy.

Avantika is overjoyed to learn that she is pregnant. While waiting for Ehsaan, she takes a walk around her street. Overhearing voices, she decides to investigate and finds out that a group of men from her neighborhood, lead by the elder Bhaijaan (Om Puri), are planning a mission. They aim to bomb the plane that Rehana is travelling in, since it is carrying a large group of diplomats and media personnel. Avantika realises that they are part of a terrorist group and also comes across Salma's dead body. The men see her and chase her to her house, where she meets Ehsaan. At first he consoles her, but soon reveals that he is also a part of the terrorist group. Avantika realizes that she is nothing but a pawn in Ehsaan’s game - he married her to legitimately obtain residency in the United States.

Bhaijaan asks Ehsaan to kill Avantika since she is now a liability, but after learning that she is pregnant, Ehsaan decides not to. Ehsaan keeps Avantika captive in their home and threatens to kill her father in India if she tries to inform anyone of what she knows. Avantika manages to make a phone call, and calls Rehana in order to warn her. The call goes to voice mail and it is too late, Rehana has already boarded the flight and the bomb has already been planted. The plane explodes, killing Rehana and all others on board.

A heartbroken Riyaz finds Avantika's voice message for Rehana, and begins his own quest to uncover the real culprits behind the flight bombing. Going undercover, Riyaz joins Ehsaan's lectures and soon befriends him. Avantika and the other wives of the group are watched over by Aapa (Kirron Kher), Bhaijaan's wife. Aapa explains the reasons for Jihad to Avantika, and also reveals that Ehsaan was a Pakistani man with no political ideology, until his first wife and son were killed by American bombs. Riyaz engages in a passionate debate with other students regarding the topic of Islam, and Ehsaan is impressed. While trying to dispose of Salma's decomposing body, Hakil and Ehsaan attract the attention of police. Ehsaan kills Hakil and the surrounding policemen, and sets the car on fire. Salma's partially burnt body is found, and the FBI distributes pictures of her in order to learn her identity.

Ehsaan finds Riyaz to be a perfect replacement for Hakil. Ehsaan introduces Riyaz to Bhaijaan, who is initially suspicious of the new recruit. He tests Riyaz by ordering him to shoot at a random man serving at a fast food counter. Riyaz is reluctant but follows through, however it turns out there was no bullet in the gun thus leaving the man unharmed. Having passed the test, Ehsaan makes Riyaz a part of their next mission to bomb several subway stations in New York.

Riyaz and Avantika begin to work together to foil the plan and bring down the terrorist group. Riyaz sets up a meeting with the FBI for the next day but his plan is derailed when one of the men sees Salma's picture, and Bhaijaan decides to bring the date of the mission forward.

The group go ahead with their plan - the women travel together with Aapa and the men have three bombs between them, to be detonated at separate stations. While on the subway, Riyaz's colleague bumps into him and accidentally reveals his real identity to Ehsaan and Bhaijaan. Riyaz tries to escape and, in the chaos, shoots Bhaijaan. Before dying, Bhaijaan informs Ehsaan that there are three more bombs, which were placed in the bags of the women, unknown to them. One bomb is with Avantika, who is being escorted by Aapa. Realising that both Avantika and his unborn child will die, Ehsaan decides to let Riyaz go, and sets out to find Avantika.

Riyaz informs the FBI of the situation and they rush to each station, trying to find both the men and women. They are able to safely retrieve the explosives from the women, while the men detonate their bombs. Ehsaan kills Aapa in order to free Avantika, and he admits that he loves her and asks her to take care of their child. Ehsaan manages to disarm the last bomb, but is fatally wounded as he escapes from three policemen who were chasing him. Before leaving, Avantika asks Ehsaan what his real name is, which he reveals to be Khalid. As she leaves the train, she hears the gunshot of Ehsaan killing himself.



Shooting for the film began in November 2008 in Philadelphia and in Brooklyn in May 2009.[5]


Soundtrack album by
14 October 2009
GenreFeature film soundtrack
LabelSony Music India
ProducerSalim–Sulaiman Karan Johar
Salim–Sulaiman chronology
'Rocket Singh: Salesman of the Year'

The music of Kurbaan was composed by Salim–Sulaiman, with lyrics by Niranjan Iyengar. The songs have contemporary Sufi base. The music of the film was received warmly by the critics and audience with "Shukran Allah" and "Kurbaan Hua" turning out to be huge hits. "Ali Maula" too was critically acclaimed. But the song "Rasiya" received most acclaim due to its soothing - melodious feel and its lyrics. It is based on Puriya raag and Shruti Pathak's singing was highly appreciated.

Salim Merchant and Sonu Nigam were nominated for Filmfare Award for Best Male Playback Singer at the 55th Filmfare Awards in 2010 for the song "Shukran Allah".

1."Shukran Allah" (Picturised on Saif Ali Khan and Kareena Kapoor)Sonu Nigam, Shreya Ghoshal, Salim Merchant04:50
2."Dua" (Picturised on Saif Ali Khan and Kareena Kapoor)Sukhwinder Singh, Kailash Kher, Marianne D'Cruz Aiman05:00
3."Ali Maula"" (Picturised on whole cast)Salim Merchant04:37
4."Rasiya" (Picturised on Saif Ali Khan and Kareena Kapoor)Shruti Pathak03:05
5."Kurbaan Hua" (Picturised on Saif Ali Khan)Vishal Dadlani04:18
6."Ali Maula" (Remix)Salim Merchant04:08


Critical reception[edit]

Kurbaan received positive critical reception. The dialogues, background score and cinematography were appreciated by the critics.[6][7]

Kareena Kapoor was nominated for Best Actress at the 55th Filmfare Awards in 2010.

Box office[edit]

The movie grossed around ₹40 million approx on its opening day. Overall its collection was mediocre except in Mumbai territory where it collected around ₹15 million on its first day. The Saif Ali Khan-Kareena Kapoor starrer couldn’t boost the collections even on first weekend. The collections did not show a big leap and the movie just managed a fair business over its first weekend. The collections dropped on Monday taking its four-day business to only ₹157.5 million approx. At the end of first week of release it seemed that the film would not even do a net business of ₹300 million. .[8]

In the US, the film has grossed $743,209.[9]


A petitioner, Mohammed Ali, filed a petition in Bombay High Court to stay the release of movie after claiming two of the songs in the movie were obscene. The court declined to stay the release and sought the responses of Karan Johar, Saif Ali Khan and Kareena Kapoor.[10]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ https://boxofficeindia.com/movie.php?movieid=158
  2. ^ https://boxofficeindia.com/movie.php?movieid=158
  3. ^ "KURBAAN". British Board of Film Classification.
  4. ^ Bollywood Hungama News Network. "Saif Ali Khan and Kareena Kapoor playing terrorists in Rensil D'Silva's film". IndiaFM. Retrieved 26 February 2009.
  5. ^ Jha, Subhash K (24 November 2008). "Kareena says no to British PM for KJO". IndiaFM. Retrieved 26 November 2008.
  6. ^ Malani, Gaurav (20 November 2009). "Kurbaan: Movie Review". The Economic Times. Retrieved 20 November 2009.
  7. ^ "Movie Review: KURBAAN thought provoking, discerning audience will relish". Stardust. Retrieved 20 November 2009.
  8. ^ Lakra, Usha (24 November 2009). "'Kurbaan' suffers rejection at box office | Kurbaan". ApunKaChoice.com. Retrieved 30 November 2011.
  9. ^ "Kurbaan (2009)". Box Office Mojo. 24 December 2009. Retrieved 30 November 2011.
  10. ^ "Bombay High Court allows release of Karan Johar's 'Kurbaan'". Sify. Retrieved 20 November 2009.

External links[edit]