Kabul Express (2006)

 ●  Hindi ● 1 hr 46 mins

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The attention of the world is focused, after the terrorist attacks in U.S.A. of September 11, on Afghanistan - a country that has been torn by war for the last 23 years, and has had no media coverage for the last 6, mainly due to it being occupied by the Pakistan-sponsored Taliban, with Pakistani military personnel themselves involved amongst the Taliban. But when the U.S. and it's coalition forces target Osama Bin Laden, Pakistan issues an official denial that there are no more Pakistani military personnel in Afghanistan. This results in a influx of journalist and media from all around the world. Amongst this background a loyal soldier, Subedar Major Jan Mohammed of the Pakistan Border Regiment, estranged from his daughter, Zorya, who detested the Taliban, is now on his way back to the Pakistani border, and in order to do this he has taken four hostages: Jessica Beckham of Reuters; Jai Kapoor and Suhel Khan - two Indian journalists; and their Afghan guide, Khyber. Together he herds them towards the border in an all terrain vehicle labeled 'Kabul Express', but before that he must hide his identity from vigilante groups of the Northern Alliance Mujhaideen, Afghani backlash against the Taliban, as well as the Hazara militants and thieves who use donkeys as road blocks. The question remains will Pakistani officials lower their guard and welcome him back or will he be fated to live and perhaps perish in Afghanistan?
See Storyline (May Contain Spoilers)

Cast: John Abraham, Linda Arsenio

Crew: Kabir Khan (Director), Anshuman Mahaley (Director of Photography), Julius Packiam (Music Director), Raghav Sachar (Music Director)

Rating: U/A (India)

Genres: Action, Comedy, Drama, Thriller

Release Dates: 15 Dec 2006 (India)

Tagline: Two Indians, an American, one Afghan and a Pakistani on a journey together

Hindi Name: काबुल एक्सप्रेस

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Did you know? John Abraham asked an Afghan driver where suicide bombers came from. The driver replied, "Either from the right or the left or the front or the back... Allah can ask for you from whichever direction he chooses." Read More
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Actor
Actress
Supporting Actor
as Mujahidin commander
as Khyber
Supporting Actor
Supporting Actor

Direction

Director

Production

Production Company
Executive Producer
Line Producer

Distribution

Distributor

Writers

Screenplay Writer
Story Writer
Dialogue Writer

Camera and Electrical

Director of Photography

Sound

Sound Designer

Casting

Casting Director

Editorial

Visual Effects

Digital Compositor
Film Type:
Feature Film
Language:
Hindi
Colour Info:
Color
Sound Mix:
Dolby Digital, DTS
Frame Rate:
24 fps
Aspect Ratio:
2.35 : 1
Stereoscopy:
No
Archival Source:
QubeVault (Real Image Media Technologies) [Digital]
Tracklist
Music Label: YRF Music
01 
04:00
Music Director: Raghav Sachar, Julius Packiam
Lyricist: Aditya Dhar
Playback Singer: Raghav Sachar
02 
04:15
Music Director: Raghav Sachar, Julius Packiam
Lyricist: Aditya Dhar
Playback Singer: Shubha Mudgal, Raghav Sachar
03 
04:11
Music Director: Raghav Sachar
Lyricist: Aditya Dhar
Playback Singer: Raghav Sachar
04 
04:29
05 
04:08
06 
04:07
08 
03:24
Music Director: Raghav Sachar, Julius Packiam
Lyricist: Aditya Dhar
Playback Singer: Raghav Sachar
09 
04:17
Taglines:
Two Indians, an American, one Afghan and a Pakistani on a journey together
Filming Locations:
Trivia:
During a five-day shoot, about 125 kg of meat had been devoured.

In December 2001, 'Kabir Khan' met famous Sufi singer Alahaj Syed Abdul Quddus in the Masjid-e-Shahdu-Shamshera mosque in Kabul. He spent three hours in the mosque, captivated by Qudus's voice. Later, when Khan completed this film's script, he wished to include Qudus's singing in the film. Qudus was more than happy to oblige, hoping he could spread "the true nature of Afghans" to the world.

Kabir Khan saw Salman Shahid in Silent Waters (2003) and earmarked the role of Imran Khan Afridi for him.

The cast and crew were sent death threats by the Taliban to force them to stop shooting, but the Afghan government provided tight security to enable filming to be done safely. Some days, there would be more armed soldiers than cast and crew on location for a shoot.

Inspired by director Kabir Khan's experiences and encounters in Afghanistan with Taliban prisoners.

It was impossible to find any women in Afghanistan who were willing to even raise her "burka" (veil) for the crew, let alone participate in the film.

Kabir Khan got an American tourist to act in the film.

The film had four world premieres, in Dubai, London, Pusan and Toronto, at their respective Film Festivals.

The "buzkashi" game was the largest setup in the film, needing 25 of the best "buzkash" (horsemen) in Kabul and about 2000 spectators. A week before it was shot, the Afghan Intelligence Service was tipped off that Taliban militants were to strike at the shooting of the game. Thus, over 100 Intelligence officers were mingled into the crowd of spectators.

In the Afghan film industry, actor Rasool Eman is known to play heroic roles and Farooq Baraki has always been a villain in films. Director Kabir Khan gave them cameo roles in the film as Northern Alliance "mujahedin" (soldier), in which Baraki plays a senior officer, who slaps a junior officer (played by Eman). Eman was not pleased by such an arrangement and threatened Baraki that "wait until the next Afghan film we do together, I will beat the s*** out of you...!"

For authenticity, real mujahedin were used in the film. One of them was supposed to play a bandit, but due to a mistake in communication he discovered this on his second (and final) day of shooting, and refused to portray a bandit. Since half the mujahedin's scenes had already been shot, the crew were in a crisis, until Afghan producer Azim Jaan convinced the mujahedin to go complete the shoot. However, the mujahedin took Jaan aside afterwards and told him, "I am seeing this film when it releases, and if I discover I'm portraying a bandit, I will track you down and shoot you." To this day Jaan begs Kabir Khan to remove the bandit's scenes from the film.

In one scene, a donkey was needed, so Kabir Khan asked his production assistant Sultan to find a donkey that can understand Urdu. It was meant as a prank, but Sultan called him a lunatic.

One of the best "kebabchis" (kebab cook) in Afghanistan was hired to be on location throughout the shooting of the film.

The first feature film to be shot extensively in Kabul, Afghanistan, after the end of the Taliban's reign. The producers thought director Kabir Khan was mad to shoot a film in such a place. However, Khan, a former war correspondent, insisted on doing so on the grounds that Kabul was a major element and character in the film; that he himself had been to Afghanistan no less than ten times and came back in one piece every time; that he had a soft spot for the country, having shot his first film in it; and that he would be betraying all his Afghan friends who had helped him during his trips to their country not to shoot such a film in their own land.

For authenticity and realism, all the actors in the film were cast according to their nationality.

John Abraham asked an Afghan driver where suicide bombers came from. The driver replied, "Either from the right or the left or the front or the back... Allah can ask for you from whichever direction he chooses."

John Abraham reportedly feel ill during the shooting of this film in Afghanistan and was rushed to the same hospital (Nanvati Hospital, Mumbai) as Amitabh Bachchan and two were neighbors for a few days.