Comedy is a serious business. In an industry of zero-brainers 200-crore earners, rarely do we get to see smartly-scripted satires with a tinge of humour or sometimes dollops of it, like Jane Bhi Do Yaaron, Tere Bin Laden, Welcome to Sajjanpur, Well Done Abba, Filmistan and Tere Bin Laden- Dead or alive.
Furthermore, when it comes to a nation like ours, satires have slim chances of not rubbing anyone the wrong way or ‘offending’ few communities. The film, ‘Tere Bin Laden – Dead or alive’ has a character of US President Obama in it. Imagine a film set against the backdrop Indian politics, wherein the filmmaker and writer makes digs on our Prime Minister.
One won’t bat an eyelid if the director’s effigy is burned and the film is banned. Religion is far riskier terrain. Umesh Shukla’s ‘O My God’ got away with it unscathed, while Rajkumar Hirani’s ‘PK’ bore the brunt of its kind of humour and satire. Kiku Sharda got arrested just for mimicking a certain ‘spiritual leader with electric guitar’.
Well, pardon the indulgent digress, but the point I am trying to drive home is, films of Tere Bin Laden’s ilk must be encouraged and celebrated. ‘Tere Bin Laden-Dead or alive’ isn’t a masterpiece, but has a touch of a master filmmaker. Director Abhishek Sharma, take a bow.
Actor Praddhuman Singh is first-rate as Paddi, a character we would like to see more often. Manish Paul is convincing as the struggling director, who strikes gold with ‘Tere Bin Laden part 1’. Sikandar Kher surprises with his wonderful double-role performance. Ali Zafar plays an interesting cameo, especially the six-pack ab song, perhaps hinting at SRK’s Dard-e-disco. Heck, it even ridicules its producers, Pooja Shetty Deora and Aarti Shetty as the silent ‘Shetty sisters’.
Despite its myriad flaws that make it short of matching scales with its predecessor, one can still go on enlisting what works in ‘Tere bin Laden – Dead or alive’ – The Obama speech turned into hip-hop is hilarious to the hilt. Americans’ fixation for technology is brilliantly spoofed at. The Osama Bin Laden’s zero dark thirty hunt, too, isn’t spared here, making one wonder, ‘what if the entire Osama hunt was a hoax?’
Last, but as the cliché goes, not the least – the ‘jannat naseeb nahi hogi’ speech by Piyush Mishra as terrorist leader and the terrorists’ competition scenes are sure to leave one in splits – Just like it did to the 8-10 odd viewers in the auditorium. Now you know why we need to encourage and celebrate this genre of Tere Bin Laden –Dead or alive, a satirically intelligent film.