Osama Bin Laden. Just Google this name and I am sure, the results would be amongst the highest on the web. Post 9/11, terror has a new name and also a face. Now imagine Osama Bin Laden running a poultry farm and also running behind chickens. Imagine Osama Bin Laden ogling at a makeup woman. Imagine Osama Bin Laden urinating outside a television studio, but ready to hand-over his business card to the person urinating on the other side. Imagine Osama becoming a business partner in a tacky salon.
Smiling, are you? That, in a nutshell, is TERE BIN LADEN, a wicked comedy with an out-of-the-box concept that offers laughter unlimited. In fact, I don't think I've flexed my facial muscles in any other film in the recent past as much as I did while watching this satirical comedy. What gives TERE BIN LADEN an edge over other comedies is that it's not the slapstick humour that keeps you entertained. This one has a story to tell as well, which also delves deeply into the minds of today's youth.
Final word? Grab a popcorn, sip your cola and get ready to laugh non-stop for the next two hours. You would love Osama Bin Laden, for a change!
TERE BIN LADEN is a tongue-in-cheek comedy about an ambitious young news reporter from Pakistan [Ali Zafar], who is desperate to migrate to the U.S. in pursuit of the American dream. His repeated attempts to immigrate are shot down as his visa is always rejected. But when things couldn't look worse, he comes across an Osama Bin Laden lookalike. Ali then hatches a scheme to produce a fake Osama video and sell it to news channels as a breakthrough scoop.
Unfortunately, there are serious ramifications as the White House gets involved and dispatches an overzealous secret agent on Ali's trail.
Although TERE BIN LADEN uses a surname that's known across the globe, there's not one serious moment in this film. Even the modus operandi of the Americans to nab Laden [which, frankly, could've turned the film serious] is so juvenile and crazy that you can't help but smile at the sequence of events.
Again, in a film that has Osama Bin Laden playing the central role, you're curious to know what its culmination will be like. Whether debutant writer-director Abhishek Sharma would settle for a realistic conclusion or an open ending. Thankfully, the film doesn't get preachy at all, nor does it get serious in those penultimate moments. It's as funny as the rest of the film and makes you wonder, kaash, the solution would be as simple in real life.
Debutant director Abhishek Sharma takes an offbeat story and gives it an interesting twist. Who would've ever thought of making a film on Osama Bin Laden and that too a comedy? This guy sure has courage to swim against the tide. Besides writing a crazy film and decorating it with madcap characters, Abhishek also does justice to the subject by handling it so well. Making people laugh is a herculean task and maintaining the tempo is, perhaps, the biggest challenge. One continues to smile from Scene A to Z and in two sequences specifically, I ended up laughing hysterically. One, when Piyush Mishra falls in the drain and lands straight on the hot seat and the second, when a bomb explodes inside the studio. Outrageously funny sequences, both!
The first-time director also deserves credit for recreating Pakistan in Hyderabad in India. Right from the look to the language to the costumes to the artefacts to the typical truck that you see in Pakistan, TERE BIN LADEN gets it right. Santosh Thundiyil's cinematography is good. Dialogue are witty and the one-liners specially evoke mirth. The review would be incomplete if I didn't highlight the invaluable contribution by its music composers Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy. 'Ullu Da Patha' is already a rage, while 'I Love Amreeka' is foot-tapping as well.
Casting new, confident and most importantly, talented actors gives the film the right push. Ali Zafar is a star, no two opinions on that. The youngster is a package of good looks, super talent and the right screen presence. He charms his way into your heart with a super-confident performance and I strongly feel that there's no stopping him after this film. In fact, TERE BIN LADEN heralds the arrival of a new star in Bollywood.
Pradhuman Singh is a replica of Osama Bin Laden and is in terrific form in the film. In fact, the film would've fallen flat had it not been for the actor enacting this part so convincingly. Piyush Mishra is exceptional, like always. Sugandha Garg [as Zoya] is first-rate. Nikhil Ratnaparkhi [as Gul, the cameraman, Ali's partner in crime] is very good. Rahul Singh [as radio jockey Qureshi] is perfect. Barry John [as Ted] is competent. Chirag Vohra [as Lateef, who writes the lines in Arabic language] supports well. Chinmay Mandlekar [as Barry John's sidekick] is decent. Rajendra Sethi [travel agent] is natural.
On the whole, TERE BIN LADEN is a fun-ride that makes you smile constantly and even laugh outrageously in those two hours. A thorough entertainer, this film has all it takes to not only make its viewers laugh in the aisles, but also its investors laugh all the way to the bank.