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QURBANI (1980)

True Friendship Requires Sacrifices


Qurbani 1980

Feroz Khan (FK) was a stylish personality and his movies also had his touch of style. Qurbani was one of his best with a good storyline, execution and fantastic songs and music. This definitely was one of the best movie roles after Hare Rama Hare Krishna for Zeenat Aman, role that was tailor made for her.

Qurbani also kick started the career of Shakti Kapoor as a villain and also gave us the exotic Pakistani singer Nazia Hassan with some chartbuster numbers in the movie. Produced and directed by FK it released on 20th June 1980, FK spared no cost in the production department, there is a scene right at the beginning where FK ruins the Mercedes of the villain (Mercedes was an expensive car and in those days it was not so common to see it around). In fact some scenes were even lavishly mounted and that showed in the final product, it was one of the best movies with rich production values for a long time until years later when Hum Aapke Hain Koun and DDLJ happened.

Amjad Khan was also much appreciated as an Inspector, in contrast to his Gabbar Singh of Sholay, with probably the best lines in the movie going to him. Foreign stuntmen were used for creating some great stunts in London schedules.

Rajesh (FK) is a bike stuntman turned thief expert in cracking safes, has an eye for good things in life and is in love with Sheela (Zeenat) a night club singer. Rajesh is caught in one such robbery by the clownish but sharp Inspector Khan (Amjad) and is in incarceration for a few years, in Jail he befriends Vikram (Shakti Kapoor) one half of the venomous brother – sister duo who has a score to settle with the crime boss Raka (Amrish Puri) who has usurped his sister Jwala’s (Aruna Irani with cat-eye contacts) wealth.

On the other side there is Amar (Vinod Khanna) a widower with a kid daughter Tina, the right hand man of Raka who also has a bad experience with him and has left him he saves Sheela from a gang of bikers and befriends her as they meet often due to Tina and he falls in love with her. Vikram contacts Rajesh for helping him loot Raka as there is a safe involved but Sheela has reservations about Rajesh returning to crime and he has a change of heart.

Rajesh and Amar meet when Vikram has come to threaten Rajesh, Rajesh saves Amar from being shot by Vikram after a fight with him. Rajesh and Amar become friends, when Rajesh introduces him to Sheela they feign ignorance. Vikram is relentless and kidnaps Tina, Rajesh agrees to do the job and rescues Tina. They device a plan that will not only make them rich but also live a luxury life in London. On the day of the job, Jwala murders Raka and after the robbery at Raka’s den as per plan Rajesh hands over the booty to Amar and asks him to be off to London with Sheela where he will join them after he returns from prison for the robbery. But he is caught by Khan for Raka’s murder and doubts double cross by Amar of framing him. He runs off from the law straight to London where the truth is revealed but too late as Amar sacrifices his life for Rajesh when Vikram also reaches London to take revenge with Rajesh.

There were a few disconnects in the tale but were glossed over by the tight screenplay and glossy narrative of Qurbani. The highlight of this racy story were its songs, which gave a start of the disco and pop culture in India.

Who can forget ‘Aap jaisa koi’ by Nazia who won the Filmfare award for the song. This song was arranged by Biddu whom FK had to plead to do the song for him. The other songs were equally hummable like ‘Laila O Laila’ and the soulful ‘Hum tumhe chahten hain’ and last but not the least the invigorating title song ‘Qurbani, Qurbani’.

FK and Vinod Khanna became real life friends and so much so that he is rumored to have shared the profits of the movie and went on to make ‘Dayavan’ with him. The movie was made at a budget of Rs. 1.55 crores (an unheard of production cost at the time), as lot of expensive equipment were purchased, but went on to make a whooping 12 Cr at the Box Office and was declared a blockbuster.

Qurbani was remade in Turkish and also in other Indian languages. The soundtrack of the movie was the highest selling at that time with over a million records and cassettes sold cutting a platinum disc. Comedian Jagdeep did a cameo a la Soorma Bhopali in Sholay.

– Revisited by PAWAN GUPTA

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