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Revisiting Feroz Khan’s Qurbani: The stylish blockbuster in which the actor put in everything he had

Qurbani, which released in 1980, not only starred Feroz Khan, but was also directed, produced and edited by the late Bollywood star.

FerozIt is Feroz Khan's birth anniversary today. Here's he's seen with Zeenat Aman in a still from Qurbani.

A mish-mash of Hindi and Urdu with a smattering of English, the 1980 release Qurbani, starring the late Bollywood star Feroz Khan, was a beast of its time. Because it was the 80s, we had the disco influence in the soundtrack, and because Kader Khan was the dialogue writer of the feature, the film had lots of masaaledar dialoguebaazi. For instance, sample this line: “Maine jab se hosh sambhala hai … khilono ki jagah maut se khelta aaya hoon,” uttered by Vinod Khanna’s Amar, or the corny but effective “Nasha toh ab utrega … dosti ka, pyaar ka, insaaniyat ka,” mouthed by Feroz’s Rajesh.

And then there was the Feroz Khan influence itself. The bikes, the lovely women and the stylish men; the whole drill. Feroz had not only starred in the movie, but had also bankrolled and helmed it. The actor portrayed the thief Rajesh who gets enamoured by the stunning Zeenat Aman’s Sheela. Zeenat Aman did have some agency in the movie; she was her own woman who chose to be first with Rajesh until he lies about the work he does, and then befriends the dashing Amar (played by Vinod Khanna), who was a widower. But Zeenat, who reigned those days as the sexy diva, was also in Qurbani for her sheer sex appeal. And to be fair, she did look breathtaking and shared a great chemistry with both Feroz and Vinod.

Sure, the film had some problem areas, especially in terms of how fully it capitalised on Zeenat’s looks while overlooking her acting skills. She could have been given something meatier to play with, but when commenting on the nature of such films, it’s significant to note that every movie is a product of its time, especially a full-on commercial feature like Qurbani. So even though we cannot ignore those flaws, but who said it is impossible to appreciate a movie while also critiquing it? The charm of its lead stars made Qurbani what it is, a Hindi cinema classic (at least in the mainstream space). And lest you think Qurbani only had Feroz Khan chasing after a romance with the incomparable Zeenat, it is important to note the film’s ‘dostana’ theme, the bromance of its two male leads, played by real-life fast friends, Vinod Khanna and Feroz Khan, who incidentally also passed away on the same date (April 27).

The motif of Qurbani was ultimately brought in by the sacrifice of Amar (Khanna) who lays down his life to protect his daughter, lover and buddy. So even though Feroz was presented as the main male lead, it was Khanna who walked away with the final applause.

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Qurbani was made with a lot of sweat and sacrifice (pun intended), as actor Fardeen Khan had earlier revealed this year that his father had gambled his last shirt on back to make the movie the way he had always intended it. With the actor even claiming that had the movie not worked, they would have been on streets, quite literally. But Qurbani worked, and worked fabulously well, with IMDb stating in its trivia section that it shattered all box office records upon release, running houseful for three months in Bombay alone. And to further establish its success, the film was later remade in the Kollywood industry, starring superstar Rajinikanth.

Also featuring Shakti Kapoor, Amjad Khan, Aruni Irani, Amrish Puri and Kader Khan, Qurbani is available to stream on YouTube.

First published on: 25-09-2022 at 08:21:07 am
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