“Ek tape se jung chhid sakti hai toh dusre tape se jung ruk bhi sakti hai (If you can start a war with a tape, you can also stop a war with a tape),” is what Abhishek Sharma’s leading man mutters on screen. Is it that easy?
Tere Bin Laden film is supposedly set in Pakistan but it’s obviously shot in Hyderabad. There’s the protagonist Ali Zafar, a news reporter who is desperate to move to the US of A (you never figure out why). With his visa application repeatedly rejected, Zafar’s future seems tied to an obscure news channel in Karachi.
But his life takes a U-turn when he comes across an Osama Bin Laden lookalike. So he hatches a plan – to produce a fake Osama video, sell it, make some money and fly to the land of milk and honey.
The idea to impersonate the Al Qaeda leader is pretty convincing, even intriguing. But moving the plot into the realm of the impossible simply does not work. Taking cinematic liberties is okay as long as the plot remains believable. But can you really get a terrorist with a name that’s internationally known (even among kids) to dupe a television news channel and then the White House?
The opening shots of the film, where the director introduces the leading man as a nincompoop, are full of gags and lively. The protagonist’s working environment and the type of boss he’s stuck with makes you look forward to what’s in store. But the moment the plot thickens, you’re transported into a world of the unbelievable.
There are too many questions unanswered and details overlooked, suggesting that Sharma assumes his audience has suspended all power of thought. For one, don’t the protagonist and his aide realise the implications of what they’re doing? Next you have leading news channels paying ‘khabris’ without even checking the authenticity of the tape. Finally, the White House gets involved and instead of getting serious about nabbing the man suspected of blowing up the Twin Towers, they indulge in some serious buffoonery.
But the film does have its redeeming moments, mainly the dialogue and performances. And of course, the length. It’s really short compared to the average Hindi film.
Sharma manages to extract good performances from all his actors. Santosh Thundiyil’s cinematography is apt. The music is good but the song Ullu da patha reminds you of Duniya ek tamasha from Khosla Ka Ghosla.
Ali Zafar in the lead is competent but inconsistent. Sometimes he’s perfect but sometimes, he’s forced, and in places, he excels. But his look is good and he definitely has screen presence.
Sugandha Garg is just perfect for her role and acts ably. Nikhil Ratnaparkhi is funny. Rahul Singh is all right. Barry John tries to act and Chirag Vohra lends able support. Piyush Mishra is wasted. However, there’s one performance that stands out – Pradhuman Singh as Osama Bin Laden’s lookalike. He’s hilarious!
In a nutshell, Tere Bin Laden’s fate depends on how well the audience connect with the witty dialogue and business will be best in metro cities, mainly in Mumbai. As for tradewallahs, don’t keep hope.