In the nineties, Dharmendra and Govinda were staples of Bollywood. A Dharmendra movie sold, a Govinda movie sold. And if both of them were in a film, it definitely sold. So, it was common sense for Arjun Hingorani to bring Dharmendra and Govinda in a film together – along with Hemant Birje, Deepak Tijori and others in Kaun Kare Kurbanie. Only thing, this is the weirdest Bollywood sci-fi film you will see – at least today.
A serial rapist stalks the city, kidnapping women in broad daylight. The police brings in Inspector Arjun, who has an axe to grind with the stalker. Years ago, his sister was raped and killed by the same man. Now, Inspector Arjun, along with his family that comprises of wife, son and brother Ajit come to Mumbai. Arjun has promised to capture the stalker.
If Kaun Kare Kurbanie was not a pulp Bollywood film, it would make the list of the weirdest low bro sci films in history. This Bollywood sci-fi film has a villain who’s stationed in what seems like a palatial bungalow selecting women by seeing then via binoculors, an ape like animal who’s controlled by a ring, an army of henchmen whose only task is to kidnap the women their boss wants them to bring – all this and more formed the mainstay of Kaun Kare Kurbanie.
Kaun Kare Kurbanie is also a study in irony. A Bollywood sci-fi film that talks about women being raped has the victims run on the beach in slow-motion, even Ursula Andress didn’t have a slo-mo in Dr. No. They even put in a boob scene – no idea how the Censors passed this one, not to mention there’s actual bestiality hinted in the film.
Kaun Kare Kurbanie is a study in many things, like how to use the most McGuffins. The Inspector has a bullet lodged in his brains for no particular reason. Another guy loses his hand just so he can look cool fighting with a golden hand in the climax. All this has no contribution to the main arc of the story. Oh, and before we forget, there’s two love stories that begin as a love triangle but evolves into two love stories right bang in the middle of the film. There’s even a dance competition to show off Govinda’s dancing skills and plug Marlex pressure cookers. A man who’s riddled with sten-gunfire is hale and hearty.
While Kaun Kare Kurbanie may not be stellar sci-fi film making, what it succeeds in doing is having maybe the most number of bikini scenes in a Bollywood film. All the victims prance around in a bikini before dying, Govinda, who plays the younger brother, has a girl friend who does exactly that too.
But all said and done, films like Kaun Kare Kurbanie, Khoon Khoon, Chamatkar and several others prove one thing. Bollywood producers, directors and writers wanted to experiment with films and come up with interesting sci-fi tropes. The actors wanted to do films that would remain fun to watch even 20 years down the line. Maybe it was the audience that didn’t accept these films and went over to the romantic sagas. Over to them.