A has-been rock manager from California stumbles upon a once-in-a-lifetime voice in a remote Afghan cave in 'Rock the Kasbah', a dramatic comedy inspired by stranger-than-fiction, real-life events. Richie Lanz (Bill Murray), dumped and stranded in war-torn Kabul by his last remaining client (Zooey Deschanel), discovers Salima Khan (Leem Lubany), a Pashtun teenager with a beautiful voice and the courageous dream of becoming the first woman to compete on national television in Afghanistan's version of "American Idol". Richie partners with a savvy hooker (Kate Hudson), a pair of hard-partying war profiteers (Danny McBride and Scott Caan) and a hair-trigger mercenary (Bruce Willis) and, braving dangerous cultural prejudices, manages his new protegee into becoming the "Afghan Star".
A funny little comedy set in wartorn Afghanistan
- Rock the Kasbah review by PV
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You rated this film: 5
It's great to see a film like this made, though no idea if it was actually filmed in Afghanistan (and at the end the film is in tribute to a girl who took part in an Afghan 'Pop Idol'-style TV show, who I suspect was murdered for it).
The idea seems too odd to be true, but it is - though like all 'true' stories it has embellishment (Titanic, anyone?)
The desperation of a has-been (or never was) manager in the amoral cut-throat music business is shown in all its gory details (this could actually be watched together with the UK film 'Kill Your Friends').
Then the desperation of life in a wartorn Afghanistan with all the spivs is realistic - this is what happens in chaotic wartorn places.
OK so the ending and some parts may well be unrealistic, but it's a film and a comedy to boot, NOT a documentary. I do wish people would learn the difference.
For being original and funny too I give this five stars. It was going to be four BUT the music is ace and gets an extra star, and a lot by Cat Stevens (now known as Yusuf Islam after converting to Islam in 1977 - after all this great songs were written, of course!) The first song by him is 'Pop Star' - one I have never heard before.
Far better than the last few tedious Hollywood romantic comedies I've watched.
Yes, this is loosley based on a true story where Afghan girls bravely entered the TV competition Afghan Star and received death threats as a result,but this film is completely misjudged on almost every level, from the patraonising attitudies ascribed to almost every Afghan character to the ridiculous portrayal of Kate Hudson as an upmarket call girl.
Even the great Bill Murray doesn't manage to pull this out of the fire and is one of his few bad judgement calls. iI you want to see Murray at his recent best, watch St Vincent which came out earlier this year and avoid this.
Bill gets old hippie
- Rock the Kasbah review by NC
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You rated this film: 0
Based extremely loosely on something that happened.....like many films appear to be now. Bill has some fun, although his attraction to women is somewhat stretching it, as is the stunning looking Goldie Hawn daughter as a prostitute working flat out in a caravan in 45 degrees..........wishful thinking by the director methinks...........she looks more like a glamour queen from Sunset Boulevard!