For all the money that Feroz Khan (known to this generation as Fardeen's dad)
is said to have poured into its production, for all the mercs that he smashed
up and all the foreign shoots that he treated his cast to, Qurbani sure could
have been a far better film than it is. I suppose it is a little unfair to judge
a movie as old as this by today's standards, but then again, both creativity and
movie-making aren't really that time-bound, are they?
Qurbani, as the name suggests, is a story of two friends who love the same woman. But it isn't as simple as that. Contrary to the usual way with which these themes are dealt, the focus here is as much on the parallel plots as it is on the "mere dost" aspect. Only, these parallel plots are so pathetic, one wishes Mr. Khan had stuck to the main theme.
Rajesh (Feroz Khan), a skilled thief, is captured by Inspector Khan and sent to prison for three years. His girlfriend Sheela (Zeenat Aman) promises to wait for him. While Rajesh is in prison, Sheela meets Amar (Vinod Khanna), who falls in love with her. That's the gist - told in an extremely leisurely fashion, sprinkled generously with action sequences, fights, villains, bad comedy and more action sequences.
The sub-plot tells of Daka, a criminal who robs his rich wife (Aruna Irani) of her jewels and sends her brother to jail. Wife swears revenge, and engages a confused Rajesh to do the job. Amjad Khan as the persistent inspector Khan makes a number of unwelcome appearances in the film, in the process taking up a lot of screen-space and testing your patience. And then there is this little girl - Amar's motherless child, who thankfully is quite sweet but is of no use to the story until she gets kidnapped by Daka.
Qurbani, as I said, is fragmented. Undue attention is paid to the fights and very less to the story, which as a result goes haywire. The performances are average, though one wishes Zeenat Aman had something better to do than to croon, swoon and moon over Feroz Khan. The saving grace of the movie is - you guessed it - its music. Nazia Hussan's immortal "Aap Jaisa Koi", the sultry "Laila O Laila", the yearning "Hum Tumhe Chahte Hai Aise" and the title song "Qurbani", all excellently composed by Kalyanji-Anandji, probably are the reasons for the film's long-standing popularity.
This Feroz Khan's partially narcissistic movie has nothing much to offer in terms
of a viewing experience. Full of Bollywoodian clichés, the film's attempts at
style and substance are half-hearted. Watch it only if you have an unending horde
of patience or if you really enjoy its music.