I walked through Loew’s theaters about a month ago and was surprised to see Indian Cinema posters in the aisles. Kareena and Saif for the movie Kurban, what a match! I thought it might be some twisted love story and boy was I wrong.
I’m not one to read reviews , I feel it spoils the movie. So off I went with my husband, excited to catch our first Bollywood flick in theaters since our wedding. I wanted to convince him that a three hour spicy cinematic was just what we needed on our Saturday evening outing.
So the movie began with a quick developing romance between the two, great. They move into a new town in New York where they are greeted by a quiet Muslim family, great. The family turns out to be women oppressing lunatics who take no shame in honor killings- WHAT?!
So here is where my disappointment began. I’ve seen Bollywood movies which build on the sad and untrue sterotypes of how other’s see Muslims since the so called “War on Terrorism.” Though I thought perhaps over some time, plots would evolve and Bollywood as big as it is would use it’s influence to create tolerance and understanding between groups- not breed scare and hatred.
Throughout the rest of the movie, the story became all the more cynical. Older characters tried to preach the so called “justification” of suicide bombers, Saif Ali Khan himself played the most wanted bomber on the scene.
Everyone says that as Muslims, we have to create a movement to build tolerance and friendship among other groups. That our image has been tarnished due to people who take the name of religion in their wrong doings. Fine, as Muslims we’ll stand up. But how effective will we be, for instance in India, where Bollywood is driving us against the grain.
In a country where there is a history of clash between religions and peace between the Hindus and Muslims is still a long time coming- what justifies an image of a cynical portrayal of Islam? For the sake of stirring up controversy to drive box office hits Bollywood has aimed to duplicate the tension that already exists.
I can appreciate flair and creativity in movies, however when it is used to exploit the difficulties of recent global agendas, I am not in favor. Stand up Bollywood for all of the good things you can bring to the table. Grasp a difficult situation and use your stage to promote peace and tolerance. Make our three hour spicy cinematic worth the watch on a Saturday evening.