Synonymous with romantic epics, Yash Raj Films's Kabul Express is quite a departure. Set in Afghanistan, the film documents the journey taken by two journalists endeavoring to interview a member of the fallen Taliban regime. John Abraham and Arshad Warsi excel in these roles, which present extraordinary challenges. Kabir Khan's intermittent dousing of deadpan humour brings light and shade to the film, and adeptly shot, captures beauty in desolation and humanity, amidst the carnage of war.
Almost immediately, Indian journalists Suhel Khan (Abraham) and Jai Kapoor (Warsi) are taken hostage by Imran Khan Afridi (Salim Shahid), an escaping Pakistani colonel and Taliban member. With their driver and an American journalist in tow, their journey through the heart of Afghanistan uncovers the anomalies of a modern society desensitised to the horrors of conflict. As they evade death, these five travelers from disparate worlds explore the beliefs that divide them and discover a binding sense of humanity.
It's a brave move to even consider making a film centered on current political turmoil. To succeed in making it an entertaining and edifying cinematic experience is the feat of an exemplary filmmaker. The script is perfectly honed, seamlessly blending pathos with sparkling humour. The core cast deliver necessarily naturalistic performances, Arshad Warsi is exceptional as the wise-cracking cameraman and John Abraham is a revelation. Highly emotive throughout, this film engages on every level.