In case you’re curious to know the story, here it is. Ehsaan (Saif) plays his charm on Avantika (Kareena) who’s come to Delhi from the US to take care of her ailing dad. Ehsaan is a professor at a local university where she too teaches psychology. Well, sparks fly and sooner than we know Avantika is married to Ehsaan, and he tags along with her to the US where the newly married couple moves into a desi neighbourhood next to a conservative Muslim family with perpetually scowling faces. Turns out that all of them have been victims of the US war on terror in one way or another and have now come to wage a war on the US soil. There’s a sleeper terrorist cell operating here and Avantika comes to know of it. But the biggest shock for her is when a darker side of her husband Ehsaan comes to the fore.
From then on, Avantika mostly stays confined to her bedroom while Riaz (Vivek), a TV reporter on a personal vendetta against the terrorists, penetrates the sleeper cell.
Absurdities pile up from then on in ‘Kurbaan’. Saif is involved in a deadly shootout with cops, but continues to roam scot-free even as FBI remains clueless about what’s going on in their backyard. Another absurdity - Om Puri (who’s the head of the terror cell) gives a strict instruction that no one in the sleeper cell could use cell phones, and what do we see in the very next scene - Saif getting a call on his mobile from none other than Puri. Another one - Vivek gets a lead on the terrorists and decides to take them on himself. No FBI, no cops for him! Why? Because he wants to avenge the killing of his sweetheart (Dia Mirza).
Karan Johar, who has written the film, ought to credit the audience with more intelligence than he imagines them to have. Saddled with a flawed script, Rensil D’Silva cobbles together a film that takes itself too seriously without ever becoming serious.
Only Kareena Kapoor and Om Puri come up with performances worth mentioning. Saif’s character sadly has little or no gravity. There’s nothing in his character to suggest the seething anger within him that makes him more loyal to his mission than his pregnant wife. Kirron Kher hams it up with her phoney Afghan accent. Vivek Oberoi is rusty at places but shows flashes of good acting at times.
The film’s music (Salim Suleiman) and cinematography (Hemant Chaturvedi) are good, but they fail to gloss over the gaping holes in the script.
In a nutshell, ‘Kurbaan’ is a massive disappointment. In fact, it’s almost terrorizing.