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New Age Cinema- <i>Kabul Express</i>

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Friday, December 15, 2006
New Delhi, Dec 15 (UNI) Iqbal, Rang De Basanti, Dor, Khosla Ka Ghosla, Lage Raho Munnabhai and, now, Kabul Express- the 'new age' cinema bandwagon rolls on! Success of films like Rang De Basanti and Khosla Ka Ghosla, films which this year have fired the imagination of cinegoers with their unconventional storylines and innovative cinematic treatment, in a way also marks the resurgence of 'New Age' cinema in India.

For a change, however, it is the 'Big Guns' in Bollywood -top notch film production houses like Mukta Arts of Subhash Ghai, Vinod Chopra Productions of Vidhu Vinod Chopra, Dreamz Unlimited of Shahrukh Khan and Juhi Chawla and UTV owned by Ronnie Screwvala - that have held aloft the rampart of 'new age' cinema in India, lending their financial backing as well as their production wherewhithal behind the various 'New Wave' filmmakers bubbling with innovative and creative story ideas.

Kabir Khan's Kabul Express, which releases across the world today, is the latest in line of 'new age' films backed by the financial might of big filmmakers in Bollywood.

Featuring the adorable hunk John Abraham and Arshad Warsi, Kabul Express marks the foray of Yashraj films in 'experimental' or 'different from mainstream' cinema, dealing with topics and subjects different from those touched upon by the mainstream cinema.

Based on the director Kabir Khan's experiences as a documentary journalist in Afghanistan, Kabul Express is far different from the action thrillers and the 'sweet love stories and romantic sagas' that Yashraj Productions have made in the past.

According to producer Aditya Chopra, Kabul Express marks a departure from the usual mainstream larger than life extravaganza that the production house has been associated with till date.

''I wanted to come out of my comfort zone of creating popular blockbusters and create a film that connects to a wider, international audience. When I read the script of Kabul Express I knew I had to make this film, and make it now,''Aditya Chopra said on the eve of the film's release.

Talking to UNI on the eve of the film's release, Arshad Warsi said, Kabul Express is different from what I have done till now. The film is based on director Kabir Khan's own experiences as a journalist in Afghanistan. In that sense, it is a realistic tale which captures the sweat and toil that war reporters have to put in to deliver breaking news from the war front.'' Set in post 9/11 war-torn Afghanistan, making it the first international feature film to have been shot entirely in Kabul after the end of the Taliban, Kabul Express is inspired by director Kabir Khan's own experiences in Afghanistan as a documentary filmmaker, specially his encounters with Taliban prisoners.

Kabul Express is a kidnap drama that is alternately funny and horrifying.

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