Qurbani, spark & sizzle

Two pin-up-worthy heroes are conmen in cool suits minus a tragic back story. A heroine sings in a night club and loves two men (almost!). A big baddie gets overshadowed by a pair of manic siblings. A fat cop who’s nobody’s fool. 

By Sulagana Biswas
  • Published 22.06.18
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Zeenat and Feroz in Qurbani

Two pin-up-worthy heroes are conmen in cool suits minus a tragic back story. A heroine sings in a night club and loves two men (almost!). A big baddie gets overshadowed by a pair of manic siblings. A fat cop who’s nobody’s fool. 

Well, that’s Feroz Khan’s Qurbani, the 1980 monster hit that on its June release extracted the ultimate qurbani from other films around that time like Rishi Kapoor’s Karz and the underrated Mithun Chakraborty-Zarina Wahab starrer Sitara. 

Qurbani ruled, the others became also-rans and Rishi Kapoor, by his own admission, went into depression. Rishi could have watched Qurbani instead. 

A feel-good entertainer, the film killed people, blew up cars, made love and music, touched upon bromance and love triangle, but without taking itself too seriously. It helped that the three leads — Feroz Khan, Vinod Khanna and Zeenat Aman — were yummy. And somehow, that these two men were rogues without the moral justification of a sad childhood — think mera baap chor hai tattoos — made them more likeable.

Far from likeable were siblings Shakti Kapoor and Aruna Irani. Kapoor, in his breakout baddie role, is ably helped by Irani, who’s as trigger happy as any Bolly henchman and nurses the anger of a woman scorned. Amrish Puri, playing Rakka, had dumped Irani, setting in motion this whole saga of revenge and gore. Amjad Khan as the jolly inspector is here, there, everywhere.

In the end, one good guy gets Zeenat, the other good guy the death scene. So eighties. But the film still sizzles. Aap jaisa koi, sung by 15-year-old Nazia Hassan, is hot. And when Zeenie emerges from the sea in a bikini towards Feroz Khan, and asks him playfully, why didn’t you join me for a swim, he ripostes, Janeman, the sea would’ve caught fire. Sigh.

Creative differences between this actor-producer and film director seems to be growing. And it looks likely to be going the way it went with another one, when eventually the actor and the filmmaker fell out with each other. This time, too, the actor is apparently meddling with the creatives in the post-production of the film, which is not being liked by the director. The filmmaker is bearing with the actor’s tantrums as he is one of the top stars, capable to spoil it for him. Hope history does not repeat itself... because this director is not as assertive like the other one who had taken the actor head on.