- Written by Feroz Khan
- Directed by Feroz Khan
a popular dialog from Qurbani
Qurbani - Movie Highlights
When we watch an old movie, we tend to judge it by comparing it with today's films where in the film making has advanced so much technically. So, it's little unfair to judge a movie as old as this by today's standards. But there is one such movie where in today's films will feel pale in comparison with it. 'Qurbani' (Sacrifice), the biggest box office success of its time is undoubtedly one of the best films made in India and it created a sort of history in Indian Cinema whose popularity remains unparallel to date. The plot of the movie is taken from an 1972 Italian film 'The Master Touch' and Indianised with themes of Love, Friendship and Sacrifice but what makes Qurbani timeless from the rest of Bollywood films is its high-adrenalin action, seductive imagery, exceptional music and western styling etc. A cool slick and stylish, fast-paced action-packed Bollywood flick which was a phenomenal hit with moviegoers across India. It was remade in Tamil as 'Viduthalai' in 1986 starring Rajnikant in Feroz Khan's role and Vishnuvardhan in Vinod Khanna's role, but could not match to the original by any means. This is actor-director-producer Feroz Khan's signature work and will remain etched out in the annals of the Hindi Film Industry, forever.
Qurbani is essentially a story of friendship and sacrifice. Rajesh (Feroz Khan) is a motorcycle stuntman and a thief, expert in breaking open treasuries. Rajesh is in love with Sheela (Zeenat Aman), a gorgeous disco club dancer and a singer. A police officer Amjad Khan (Amjad Khan) who is pursuing Rajesh from a long time soon catches up with him and packs him off to jail. In jail, Rajesh befriends Vikram (Shakti Kapoor), who is lodged there for attempting to kill a notorious smuggler and criminal Raakha (Amrish Puri), who had double crossed Vikram's evil sister Jwala (Aruna Irani). Meanwhile Sheela is devastated after she realizes that Rajesh is a thief, yet she promises to wait for him. Amar (Vinod Khanna), a henchman in Raakha's gang, is upset with the morale of the members and leaves the gang. A widower with a young daughter, Tina, Amar meets Sheela and falls in love with her. Sheela does not reciprocate to him as she still loves Rajesh, however likes Amar's daughter very much. Rajesh completes his jail sentence. And for the first time, Rajesh meets Amar in an unwilling fight drawn with Vikram. This is the beginning of a great friendship between the two. Though Rajesh is unwilling, Vikram and his sister Jwala want Rajesh's help in settling scores with Raakha. Furious at his decision, Vikram's goons kidnap Amar's daughter and beat Amar who is hospitalized, thus settling his previous enmity with Amar. In return for Amar and his daughter's safety, Rajesh agrees to do Vikram's job. He nurses Amar back to normalcy and soon they turn thick friends. Amar promises Rajesh that he will support him in this, one last robbery. They plan to shift to London after the robbery with the money. But things don't go as planned. Rajesh is blamed for Raakha's death and is jailed for a lifetime. A misunderstanding leads Rajesh to think that Amar cheated him for the money and his girlfriend. He escapes from jail and reaches London to apprehend Amar. Vikram and his goons reach London to take revenge against Rajesh and Amar. How the misunderstandings get cleared and the bond of friendship becomes stronger but with the sacrifice of a life forms the crux of the story?
Without a doubt, 'Qurbani' is the highpoint of actor-director-producer Feroz Khan's long movie career. That he was a suave filmmaker was proved in 'Dharmatma' (1975), Qurbani just confirmed the debonair director's skills. It was not the first time that Feroz Khan went against the tide. Over the years, he changed the way Hindi films are made. With more western influence he gave a new dimension to Bollywood which could not be emulated by others and has remained his forte. Feroz Khan had the guts and grace to carry everything larger-than-life with ease. One of the biggest successes of his career, Qurbani, the film and its elements themselves has acquired a special place in the history of Hindi films and has carved a niche of its own. It cannot go without the mention of this most important scene of the film where a brand new Mercedes car (1980 was the time when not many in India had seen a Mercedes) is decimated part by part. With adrenaline pumping extensive car chases, high octane action sequences, Feroz Khan spares no expense to make this a lavish affair. With a great plot, he Indianised the essence of it and made it grand in every department of filmmaking. What may seem like a love triangle at first is essentially a tale of friendship and the sacrifices. Whether it is a romance or bromance, the films tugs your heart. It has a touching ending where the spirit of self-sacrifice is superbly depicted with the title-song. Music of the movie was one of the huge factors in its success. The music and the songs ushered in the 'Disco Revolution' in India. UK-based Pakistani singer Nazia Hassan went on to achieve considerable fame for 'Aap Jaisa Koi Meri' (International Musician Biddu was the music director for this song), which quickly became the rage across India. The rest of the songs and the background score were done by Kalyanji-Anandji. The other hit songs were 'Kya Dekhte Ho', 'Hum Tumein Chahte Hain Aise', 'Laila O Laila' and the evergreen Qawwali 'Qurbani Qurbani' left a lasting impression on the audience as well as in the industry circle. At the end of the day, it is the music that makes Qurbani timeless. The only time the film fumbles is when the bad comedy (of Tun Tun, Jagdeep and Dinesh Hingoo) breaks the racy screenplay.
Casting is a crucial factor in Qurbani. Feroz Khan, the director changed the way Hindi film heroes walked and talked. His flamboyance image coupled with Vinod Khanna's debonair looks gives the film a distinct identity unseen before in any Bollywood film. Vinod Khanna is at his brilliant best and his machismo blends superbly into the film. Check out for a scene as Vinod Khanna runs bare-chested towards a tree gazing at his baby daughter and Zeenat Aman who is playing with her. You would have never seen a hero look as dashing as him on the Indian Film screen. Feroz Khan is also stylish and dashing. He owns all his scenes plus the entire film ably rests on his shoulders in departments both in front and behind the camera. The onscreen chemistry between the two works wonders for the film. The two actors share a very comfortable rapport on screen. The trust between them is evident and adds that extra dimension to their scenes together. The feisty Zeenat Aman in probably the most glamorous turn of her career oozes style and sensuality. She exhibits sex appeal perhaps unsurpassed on the Indian Screen and perfect for the two men to love and fight for her. Amjad Khan as the wise-cracking cop plays his role to perfection. With a touch of comic flair he chews his scenes effortlessly. Shakti Kapoor and Aruna Irani are evil personified. Amrish Puri in a small role is perfect.
Nearly four decades old, this Bollywood classic has aged very well indeed!