Director, Producer and Writer: J P Dutta
Stars: Abhishek Bachchan, Kareena Kapoor, Sunil Shetty, Jackie Shroff, Kulbhushan Kharbanda, Anupam Kher, Reena Roy, Puneet Issar, Geetawali Rajkumari
Music: Anu Malik
Cinematography: Basheer Ali
Editor: Deepak Wirkud
Release date: 30 June 2000
Running time: 207 mins
Awards: Kareena Kapoor won Filmfare Award for Best Female Debut
Film’s music received two National Film Awards: one for Best Music Direction and the other for Best Lyrics (for the song “Panchi Nadiya”).
National Film Awards:
Best Music Direction – Anu Malik
Best Lyrics – Javed Akhtar for Panchhi Nadiya
Best Supporting Actor – Sunil Shetty
Best Male Debut – Abhishek Bachchan
Best Female Debut – Kareena Kapoor
Best Lyricist – Javed Akhtar for Panchhi Nadiya
Best Male Playback – Sonu Nigam for Panchhi Nadiya
Best Female Playback – Alka Yagnik for Panchhi Nadiya
Best Dialogue – O.P. Dutta
Best Cinematography – Bashir Ali
If you do get to see Refugee, do not judge Kareena Kapoor by the Kareena Kapoor of today, who is the sexiest, yet versatile actress amongst all her contemporaries. By no means was the movie a commercial one, as this was supposedly a launch pad for two star children. Yes, Kareena is definitely Randhir Kapoor’s younger daughter but Abhishek Bachchan, the son of Amitabh Bachchan also made his debut in this film produced, written and directed by the legendary JP Dutta.
In her first movie, Bebo was portrayed as a beautiful village belle named Naaz who belonged to a family of Muslim refugees, trying to illegally cross the border of Kashmir which exactly separates India and Pakistan. She falls in love with Bachchan, who is called Refugee because his name was not known by anyone in the movie. His role was to help other refugees cross the border illegally and he is an Indian, while Naaz was a Pakistani. Perhaps having him as a co-star might have made her more comfortable and relaxed her nerves since both were new to films and acted in a similar fashion. Sunil Shetty, who plays the role of a Pakistan Border Officer, also is in love with her and thus began the complications of a trans-border romance.
The film did average at the box office and is popular till date only because of its songs, Kareena did win accolades for her performance as Naaz. She won the Filmfare Award for the best Female Debutant, which is a huge honour for any upcoming Bollywood actress.
Bebo proved that she had the ability to carry forward the rich legacy of the Kapoors and do much better in the future than her sister, Karisma Kapoor.