I have just finished watching Kandahar Break - and it is far from the low-budget-hidden-gem I was expecting.
It's a film about an aid worker - who through his own foolishness and ignorance ends up on the run (or rather walking at a dehydrated stagger) to the Pakistan border through the Afghan desert. It's pretty boring - there are only 2 real gun fights and these are pretty poorly handled.
The script and story are weak. I also had a problem with the supporting cast who were meant to be Afghanis. I may well be wrong, as I'm no expert on ethnicity - but they didn't look convincing to to me. The majority looked to be Pakistani rather than Arab of Afghani. But again, I may well be wrong on this. Also I'd have liked some subtitles as we're left to guess what they're saying (in some films this works well, but not in this instance I'm afraid) . The lead actor, Shaun Dooley, is good but the rest of the British cast are average at best - it's probably not their fault though - if you don't have strong material in the first place it must be hard to put in a good performance.
And speaking of the lead actor, you immediatley take a dislike to him because, as far as I can see, the trouble he ends up in is all his own doing. He must be an idiot if to go to a place like Afghanistan not knowing the local customs, disrespecting their laws and generally showing no regard for the way things are done over there - well in that case mate, sorry: you made your bed, lie in it... ever heard the sayin when in Rome? Again, I'm no expert in these matters - but even I know that it would be wise to tread lightly over there and that you risk offending people quite easily. You think an international aid worker might be a little more hip to the facts of life under Taliban rule.
The score is rubbish too - none of the pieces of music stood out and all the music sounded like none-descript library music. It was just strings. String sections followed by more string sections and went on and on throughtout in a desperate attempt to add some substance to a film. Substance it was lacking. By the end of the film, it really started to grate on me.
There was also some sort of weird subplot (I think) between 2 aid workers who were also looking for the lead actor in an attempt to help him. But again this was handled so badly, that I can't confirm this.
The end itself just confirms that the whole story was a complete waste of time as any (dubious) moral high-ground our 'hero' had managed to hang on to goes straight out the window when he returns 2 years later and orders the execution of the Taliban leader. Oh-OK... so it's OK you YOU to execute people, but when he executes people it's and international crime and they're savages... These double standards left me dumbfounded. Were they there to make some sort of point? Perhaps they were meant to be some sort of final twist - a Nietzsche-esque 'don't stare into the abyss too long' type thing? Who knows... more to the point, who cares.
There's little more I can say about this film. It was low budget, granted, but it felt very 'made for TV'. This isn't really a war film if that's what you're thinking, so if you want a low budget war film (with a twist') try 'The objective' over this.The Objective [DVD]  It's not British, but it felt a lot more real, the secenery looked a lot more stunning and its story - written by the guy who wrote 'The Blair With Project' - was a lot more original.
For me Kandahar Break was a big, big let-down.... Overall this gets 4/10. It's nearly 3 stars but no quite. It would be an OK watch one night if it was on TV, but other than that I'd say give it a miss. My copy's going straight to the 2nd hand shop next weekend.