Kurbaan (2009 film)

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Theatrical release poster
Hindi क़ुरबान
Directed by Rensil D'Silva
Produced by Hiroo Yash Johar
Karan Johar
Screenplay by Rensil D'Silva
Story by Rensil D'Silva
Karan Johar
Starring Kareena Kapoor
Saif Ali Khan
Vivek Oberoi
Om Puri
Kirron Kher
Rupinder Nagra
Dia Mirza
Music by Salim-Sulaiman
Cinematography Hemant Chaturvedi
Edited by Asif Ali Shaikh
Distributed by UTV Motion Pictures
Release date
  • 20 November 2009 (2009-11-20)
Running time
160 minutes
Country India
Language Hindi
Budget 380 million (US$5.6 million)
Box office 240 million (US$3.6 million)

Kurbaan (Sacrifice) is a Bollywood crime drama film directed by Rensil D'Silva and produced by Karan Johar. The film, set against the backdrop of global terrorism, features Kareena Kapoor, Saif Ali Khan and Vivek Oberoi in pivotal roles along with Dia Mirza, Rupinder Nagra, Om Puri and Kirron Kher.[1] 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) who lives in the United States returns to Delhi after her father has a cardiac arrest. While in Delhi she meets Ehsaan Khan (Saif Ali Khan), a University professor from Mumbai. Being in the same career field at the same place, love blossoms between the two. Meanwhile Avantika gets a call from New York asking her to rejoin her job. She breaks this news to Ehsaan and expresses her desire to work in the US, Ehsaan agrees and joins her but Avantika's father has some reservations about his daughter marrying a Muslim. However he gives in as the couple has decided to get married. Eventually they get married and move to the USA.

Avantika helps Ehsaan in getting a job at the same university where she teaches and Ehsaan is appointed as a professor to teach Islam and the Modern World. Avantika's life changes when her neighbor Salma (Nauheed Cyrusi) informs her about her house arrest and requests Avantika to help her by contacting her friend Rihana (Dia Mirza), a TV reporter. Avantika meets Rihana and tells her about Salma's problem and meanwhile she meets Riyaz (Vivek Oberoi), Rihana's boyfriend and colleague who takes Salma's problem as a case of domestic violence. Unfortunately, Rihana has to fly out of the city before meeting Salma and she gets her flight information when Avantika is still at her office.

Avantika becomes pregnant and waits at her house to share this with Ehsaan but when she hears voices coming from their neighbor's house, she investigates and finds out that her neighbors Bhaijaan (Om Puri) and the others are planning to send Tahir (Taher Shabbir) and blast the flight in which Rihana is traveling, and expose them. Her neighbors see her and chase her to her house where she meets Ehsaan who consoles her but soon reveals that he is also a part of the terrorist group. Bhaijaan asks Ehsaan to kill her in order to make their operation successful, but after learning that Avantika is pregnant, Ehsaan denies to do so. Ehsaan keeps Avantika in house arrest and threatens to kill her father in India if she tries to inform anyone. Avantika realizes that she is a pawn in Ehsaan’s game. It turns out he married her to legitimately obtain Social Security Cards and a new identity in the USA. Avantika calls Rihana and leaves a voice message on her office number to stop her from boarding the flight. Unfortunately, the plane explodes killing Rihana.

Riyaz, heartbroken and revengeful finds Avantika's voice message for Rihana and begins a mission to uncover the real culprits behind the flight bombings. Riyaz also joins Ehsaan's lectures and soon befriends him. Ehsaan finds him to be a perfect replacement for one of his group member Aqeel (Salma's husband) who was killed by Ehsaan while they were taking out Salma's body to bury it. Ehsaan introduces Riyaz to Bhaijaan who becomes suspicious of Riyaz's thoughts to fight against the Americans. He tests Riyaz by making him shoot at an innocent guy serving at a fast food counter, which Riyaz proceeds to do hesitatingly. However it turns out there was no bullet in the gun thus leaving the man alive. Ehsaan makes Riyaz a part of their next mission to bomb several subway stations in New York, having seen Riyaz's conviction for the cause in his ability to kill a man in cold blood.

Riyaz tries to spoil the plan with the help of Avantika. Time starts running out for Riyaz and Avantika and they become helpless when Bhaijaan advances the mission by three days. While carrying bombs in the subway Riyaz's colleague bumps into him and tells Ehsaan & Bhaijaan about his real identity. Riyaz tries to escape and in the chaos, shoots Bhaijaan. While taking his last breath, Bhaijaan informs Ehsaan that there are three more bombs placed in the bags of two wives of the terrorists involved and one of it placed in Avantika's bag which is being escorted by Aapa (Kirron Kher). He has a change of heart to save his love and child and doesn't kill Riyaz when he corners him and instead they both make a plan to stop all the other terrorists. Riyaz tries to save the people at the train stations but two bombs explode killing Hamid and another terrorist. Ehsaan kills Aapa while saving Avantika who he tells later to take care of their child. He disarms the bomb and then kills the three policemen who are chasing him, getting wounded fatally in the process. Before leaving, Avantika asks Ehsaan his real name, 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.[2]


The film company Swish Films issued thousands of dollars in bounced checks to the city of Philadelphia and local crew members.[3]

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.[4]


Soundtrack album by Salim-Sulaiman
14 October 2009
Genre Feature film soundtrack
Length 24:08
Label Sony Music
Producer Salim Sulaiman Karan Johar
Salim-Sulaiman chronology
Rocket Singh: Salesman of the Year

The music of Kurbaan is 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.

Song Singer(s) Duration Notes
Shukran Allah Sonu Nigam, Shreya Ghoshal, Salim Merchant 04:50 Picturised on Saif Ali Khan & Kareena Kapoor
Dua Sukhwinder Singh, Kailash Kher, Marianne D'Cruz Aiman 05:00 Picturised on Saif Ali Khan & Kareena Kapoor
Ali Maula Salim Merchant 04:37 Picturised on whole cast
Rasiya Shruti Pathak 03:05 Picturised on Saif Ali Khan & Kareena Kapoor
Kurbaan Hua Vishal Dadlani 04:18 Picturised on Saif Ali Khan
Ali Maula (Remix) Salim Merchant 04:08


Critical reception[edit]

Kurbaan received positive critical reception. The dialogues, background score and cinematography were appreciated by the critics.[5][6]

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. It has been declared a Flop on the basis of collections at the box office.[7]

In the US, the film has grossed $743,209.[8]

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

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Bollywood Hungama News Network. "Saif Ali Khan and Kareena Kapoor playing terrorists in Rensil D'Silva's film". IndiaFM. Retrieved 2009-02-26. 
  2. ^ Jha, Subhash K (24 November 2008). "Kareena says no to British PM for KJO". IndiaFM. Retrieved 2008-11-26. 
  3. ^ http://www.philly.com/philly/blogs/the-insider/Philly_film_scandal.html
  4. ^ "Bombay High Court allows release of Karan Johar's 'Kurbaan'". Sify. Retrieved 20 November 2009. 
  5. ^ Malani, Gaurav (20 November 2009). "Kurbaan: Movie Review". The Economic Times. Retrieved 20 November 2009. 
  6. ^ "Movie Review: KURBAAN thought provoking, discerning audience will relish". Stardust. Retrieved 20 November 2009. 
  7. ^ Lakra, Usha (24 November 2009). "'Kurbaan' suffers rejection at box office | Kurbaan". ApunKaChoice.com. Retrieved 2011-11-30. 
  8. ^ "Kurbaan (2009)". Box Office Mojo. 24 December 2009. Retrieved 2011-11-30. 

External links[edit]