Friday, October 23, 2015



1/2 star

Mini Review:

If you thought the TV show Homeland was racist and presented the Pakistanis and Middle Eastern people in a partisan way, then this movie will make you cringe and cringe about the 'white saviour' who saves the uncivilized Afghans... You will absolutely hate Bill Murray. I did.

Main Review:

So it takes a white man (a man down on his luck and a conman at that) to go to a conflict zone and 'save' a Pashto girl from her repressive family and society and get a chance to sing in Afghan Star, a popular TV show like 'American Idol'

It is based on a story of a real person Setara Hussainzada who broke all tradition and appeared on the wildly popular Afghan Star. But to watch Bill Murray hustle in a space clearly not meant for him is simply awful.

Bill Murray plays the part of a smooth talking (NOT!) music agent who has a reluctant Zooey Deschanel (in the worst role ever!) working for him. They are contracted to a multi-city tour in Afghanistan. 

And in a really really annoying introduction to Afghanis, we are shown Zooey throwup because it is a 'hellish' flight. The flight is full of people who look like the quintessential al quaeda terrorists: turbans, beards, angry looks...

They land in Kabul and the airport is made to look like a hole in the corner, where luggage is brought in with push-carts, and of course Bill Murray's luggage is lost. There's more stereotyping with the hotel (the man at the reception accepts a bribe to get them room upgrades and the room looks hellish, really). Of course there are mercenaries and gun runners and Zooey run away with all of Bill's money. I hated her act, so was happy to see her vanish from the screen. But there were more cliches to come. Kate Hudson is a prostitute named Merci with a golden heart... 

Of course, the story is about how Murray 'discovers' a beautiful singing voice in a Pashto girl and smuggles her to Kabul and inspires her and helps her appear in the singing contest. You won't believe it really happened, so you look for some beautiful Afghan landcapes...

There is not much relief there as well. The Afghan mercenaries, the villagers who look mostly angry, the feasting at night where Bill Murray ruins 'Smoke On The Water' forever and ever... What's worse, there's Bruce Willis who looks like he's trying hard to not laugh or has a mouthful of superglue he wants to spit out but cannot...

Either way it's an awful movie. If you want to see how amazing this young woman is, watch the documentary on her brave appearance here:

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