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Rock the Kasbah

Bill Murray plays music producer Richie Lanz who is stuck in Afghanistan. When he discovers the talented Salima, he decides to help her compete in the men-only casting show “Afghan Star”.


When Afghanistan is looking for a superstar, the men are in charge of it. Women aren’t allowed to enter the popular TV reality show “Afghan Star,” much to the chagrin of the village chief’s daughter Salima (Leem Lubany) who would like to show off her singing ability. Scruffy music producer Richie Lenz (Bill Murray) is staying in Kabul to organize a concert for US troops. The last remaining singer Ronnie (Zooey Deschanel) takes off shortly after landing and takes Richie’s wallet with his ID. Richie is all alone and gets involved in deals that lead him to the village Salima lives in. It’s clear that Lanz will immediately hear her voice and from then on he pulls out all the stops and tries to get the singer on the show.
Richie does seem lethargic when he ambles along the Afghan desert and Kabul’s alleyways and the comedy of manners seems a bit sedated on the whole. A few storylines are toneless and the conflicts remain on the surface despite the satirical edge. It is fun to see the mess Bill Murray gets himself into. The interesting female characters and the unpatriotic depiction of US Forces in Hindu Kusch are also amusing. And then there’s Bill Murray, who plays the role of the grumpy groundhog again which was the icing on the cake in films like LOST IN TRANSLATION and BROKEN FLOWERS.

Christian Horn

Translation: Elinor Lewy


USA 2015, 100 min
Language: English
Genre: Comedy
Director: Barry Levinson
Author: Mitch Glazer
DOP: Sean Bobbitt
Montage: Aaron Yanes
Music: Marcelo Zarvos
Distributor: Splendid Film GmbH
Cast: Bill Murray, Zooey Deschanel, Bruce Willis
FSK: 12
Release: 24.03.2016




  • OV Original version
  • OmU Original with German subtitles
  • OmeU Original with English subtitles

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