#REVIEW: “ROCK THE KASBAH”
Review by Justin Waldman for Mr. Will Wong
Director Barry Levinson returns to comedy after his stint in drama with the Bill Murray lead Rock The Kasbah. The Movie which at times has a few laughs, comes off as something completely different as it devolves into what can easily fall under “offensive” territory. However, the Movie is saved by yet another great performance from Murray, who manages to steal the show with pure charisma.
Rock the Kasbah centers on a down-on-his-luck Music Producer Richie Lanz (Bill Murray) and his assistant and aspiring musician Ronnie (Zooey Deschanel). Richie is always on the look-out for new acts, despite his career being in a slump and not being able to tour or land a decent act. A friend then informs him that Afghanistan is a great kick- off point to get acts to open for superstars and create superstardom for his clients. Ronnie and Richie travel to Afghanistan and shortly after their arrival Ronnie takes all of Richie’s money and passport, as she flees home leaving Richie stranded in Afghanistan. While staying in Afghanistan, Richie is sent on a mission by two ridiculous Americans (Danny McBride and Scott Caan), who sell weapons to and ammunition to citizens at a cost. This sends Richie to a Pashtun village where he discovers the greatest voice he’s ever heard Salima (Leem Lubany). With the help of his new found friends Bombay Brian (Bruce Willis) and Merci (Kate Hudson), Richie tries to get Salima on Afghan Star, Afghanistan’s American Idol. Can Richie makes Salima the star he believes she can become, or will politics get in the way and squander their dreams?
What drives Rock the Kasbah are the performances from Bill Murray and a surprising comice relief in Bruce Willis. The two actors transcends any offensive humour the story might be laced with, purely likable going over-the-top. Murray and Willis both seem to be having a ton of fun here and it truly rubs-off on the audience. The Film’s greatest revelation however, ultimately is Leem Lubany who is immensely captivating as the leading lady, leaving us all in awe and captivated.
VVS Films release ROCK THE KASBAH in theatres on Friday. October 23, 2015.