Refugee (2000 film)

Refugee is a 2000 Indian Hindi romantic drama film written and directed by J. P. Dutta. It marked the debuts of Abhishek Bachchan, son of actors Amitabh Bachchan and Jaya Bachchan, and Kareena Kapoor, is the daughter of actor Randhir Kapoor & Babita Shivdasani & the younger sister of actress Karisma Kapoor. The film also starred Jackie Shroff, Sunil Shetty and Anupam Kher. Refugee performed moderately well at the box office and was the sixth highest-grossing film of that year.[1]

Refugee (film) poster.jpg
Directed byJ. P. Dutta
Produced byJ. P. Dutta
Written byJ. P. Dutta
StarringAbhishek Bachchan
Kareena Kapoor
Jackie Shroff
Sunil Shetty
Music byAnu Malik
CinematographyBasheer Ali
Edited byDeepak Y. Wirkud
Vilas Ranade
Distributed byHR Enterprises
Release date
  • 30 June 2000 (2000-06-30)
Running time
210 minutes
Budget150 million
Box office₹354 million

It is the story of an unnamed Indian Muslim, who helps illegal refugees from India and Pakistan (including modern-day Bangladesh) cross the border through the Great Rann of Kutch. The film is attributed to have been inspired by the short story "Love Across the Salt Desert" by Keki N. Daruwalla.


Bihar-based Manzur Ahmad and his family had migrated to East Pakistan after the partitioning of India in 1947. However, after the formation of the state of Bangladesh in 1971, he and several other people were forced to relocate to the western part of Pakistan. To do this by land, they will have to cross India. The route from Dhaka leads to Guwahati in India then to Delhi then to Ajmer then to Bhuj, and then on to Haji Peer in Pakistan.

They get as far as Bhuj, but afterward they are assisted by an agent known only as "Refugee", who helps them trek their way across the Great Rann of Kutch to Pakistan. Refugee considers his clients as mere items of luggage and refuses to be emotionally involved with them and their stories. Then he meets Nazneen Ahmed, the daughter of Manzur Ahmed: He forgets this rule and falls in love with her.

Police on both sides of the border are aware of the illegal refugee traffic and the Indian police regularly questions Refugee and his old father Jan Muhammad. One day, Refugee helps four men enter the Indian side of the border. These men enlist the help of Mr. Muhammad's other son to get to Delhi. Shortly thereafter, explosions take place in trains, buses, and buildings in the Indian capital.

Refugee crosses the border once again to visit Nazneen. She asks him to take her with him since her father wants to marry her to Mohammad Ashraf, a Pakistani border security officer. While crossing the border through Rann they are captured by Pakistanis rangers. Refugee is beaten up and sent to India on a camel. The Indian BSF captures him and treats him in hospital. The Indians inform him that he unknowingly helped terrorists cross into India and caused several deaths. Refugee joins the BSF and fights the terrorists who laid siege to his village.

The film ends with Nazneen giving birth to Refugee's child at the border between the two nations. Indian BSF and Pakistani Rangers personnel discuss the child's nationality in a lighter vein.



The music of this movie is composed by Anu Malik. Refugee's music received two National Film Awards: one for Best Music Direction and the other for Best Lyrics (for the song "Panchi Nadiya").

Song Singer(s) Duration Picturised on
"Aisa Lagta Hai" Sonu Nigam, Alka Yagnik 7:28 Abhishek Bachchan, Kareena Kapoor
"Jise Tu Na Mila" Sukhwinder Singh, Shankar Mahadevan 10:58
"Mere Humsafar" Sonu Nigam, Alka Yagnik 7:50 Abhishek Bachchan, Kareena Kapoor
"Panchi Nadiya Pawan Ke" Sonu Nigam, Alka Yagnik, Abhishek Bachchan, Kareena Kapoor 9:46 Abhishek Bachchan, Kareena Kapoor
"Raat Ki Hatheli Par" Udit Narayan, Alka Yagnik, Abhishek Bachchan, Kareena Kapoor 6:58 Abhishek Bachchan, Kareena Kapoor
"Taal Pe Jab" Sonu Nigam, Alka Yagnik 7:13 Abhishek Bachchan, Kareena Kapoor

Taran Adarsh gave the album 4.5 out of 5 stars and praised the songs by saying "The music touches the heart of every listener. Every moment you feel like a heavenly moment." According to the Indian trade website Box Office India, around 35,00,000 albums were sold.[2]


48th National Film AwardsEdit

Filmfare AwardsEdit

The awards it won are highlighted in bold.

Locations filmedEdit

The crew having traveled from Mumbai was based at the city of Bhuj and majority of the shooting took place around in the Kutch District of the Indian state of Gujarat including the Great Rann of Kutch (also on BSF controlled "snow-white" Rann within), villages and Border Security Force (BSF) posts in Banni grasslands and the Rann, Lakhpat Fort village, Tera Fort village, a village in southern Kutch, some ancient temples of Kutch, and with parts and a song filmed on set in Mumbai's Kamalistan Studios.


Bipasha Basu was convinced by another judge, Jaya Bachchan, to play the role of a village belle opposite her son Abhishek Bachchan in J. P. Dutta’s Aakhari Mughal. The film was cancelled, and Dutta changed the script and made Refugee with Kareena Kapoor.[3] Basu was offered a role in Refugee opposite Sunil Shetty, which she declined.[4] Tabu was signed to play a doctor but her role eventually got scrapped.J.P. Dutta initially wanted Akshaye Khanna to play Shadab Khan's role but decided against it as the role was very small.


Refugee is attributed to have been inspired by the story based around the Great Rann of Kutch by Keki N. Daruwalla titled Love Across The Salt Desert.[5] It is included as a short-story in the School Standard 11 and 12 syllabus English textbook of NCERT in India.[6][7][8]


  1. ^ "". Refugee does moderately well at the box office. Archived from the original on 18 June 2006. Retrieved 9 July 2006.
  2. ^ "Music Hits 2000–2009 (Figures in Units)". Box Office India. Archived from the original on 15 February 2008. Retrieved 20 December 2016.
  3. ^ "Bipasha thanks Bobby, Akshay for career". Hindustan Times. 27 December 2011. Archived from the original on 8 January 2012. Retrieved 16 January 2012.
  4. ^ "Bipasha Basu's Debut-Go-Round Saga!". 5 January 2012. Retrieved 16 January 2012.
  5. ^ "LOVE ACROSS THE SALT DESERT". 2 December 2013. Archived from the original on 2 December 2013.
  6. ^ "(iii) Supplementary Reader; Selected Pieces of General English for Class XII; English General - Class XII". 29 January 2011. Archived from the original on 29 January 2011.
  7. ^ "INDIA SCHOOL CERTIFICATE (YEAR-12) EXAMINATION MARCH 2011" (PDF). 2 September 2009. Archived from the original on 2 September 2009.
  8. ^ "Prescribed Lessons from - `The Web of Our Life'". Archived from the original on 10 April 2009. Retrieved 6 January 2010.

External linksEdit