Disclaimer : The box office number indicates the approximate lifetime earnings of a film in India. Although it has been collated by extensive secondary research/ resources, we don’t guarantee its accuracy and assume no liability or responsibility for any errors or omissions. However it is sufficiently indicative but not exact figures of the box office performance of a film since release.
I have always maintained in all my blogs with the age old clich, that for a film to work commercially and critically, content has to be KING! Debutante director Abhishek Sharma and Walk Water have done exactly that. They touched upon a novel concept, gave it a comic angle, threw in genuinely good performances and let the script do the talking!
A small time yet ambitious reporter, Ali Hasan (Ali Zafar), who like millions of people of this generation, aspires to make it big in the land of dreams, Amreeka! After having procured the visa to reach New York and being deported from the airport under the guise of being a terrorist, the movie starts off on a perfect note about immediate post 9/11 sentiments in the USA towards South Asian Muslims!
Repeated innovative attempts by Ali to procure a visa to reach Amreeka land only in further rejection! Working for a run down TV channel based in Karachi (beautifully recreated in our own Hyderabad), Danka TV, owned by an irritating megalomaniac of a boss, Majeed Khan (Piyush Mishra), Ali along with his cameraman-cum-best friend Gul (Nikhil Ratnaparkhi), Ali still plans to pursue his dream under any circumstances. He negotiates a deal with Lashkar-E-Amreeka, a travel agency, specialising in sending illegal immigrants under their two indigenous schemes. It is now that Ali comes across in a chance encounter in an inane competition involving roosters, with Noora (Pradhuman Singh), who bares an uncanny resemblance to he who must not be named. Thus starts off the entire charade, which is intended to be a one-time ploy for Ali and his team enough money to realise their dreams. The events that follow, how the said tape exchanges hands across the border to a commercially viable Indian news channel, how the world media reacts to the tape and how the USA plan their counter strategy, is what makes Tere Bin Laden a fast, dark, intelligent comedy.
Ali Zafar looks handsome and has a knack for good comic timing. He lives his character very well. Remarkable is his reaction when the Pakistani agent, Usman charges him with helping Osama escape.
Barry John as Agent Ted Wood, epitomises the average American Special Agent, who 'cannot spend billions of dollars just on coffee!". Piyush Mishra is first rate as always. Sugandha Garg (Zoya the beautician), Rahul Singh (Qureshi, the RJ), Nikil , Chiraj Vohra (Lateef the editor) come up with competent supporting roles. Rajendra Sethi as Jamaal, the travel agent comes across as a natural conman. It is all these people put together, which make this movie a treat to watch. But the scene stealer, is Pradhuman Singh as the poultry farmer / Osama look alike. You cannot describe the pleasure one gets seeing him on screen, be it the cleavage shot of Zoya, the realisation of the con or the grenade scene.
The real hero of the movie is the script! The dialogues are witty and the comedy is smart. You come out of the theatre happy that people are still making such intelligent comedies. The subtle nuances is where the film scores, for example, the Pakistani dialect of the Indian actors is perfect. For example, the emphasis on the word by the media baron's wife, Shabbo (Seema Bhargava) 'tallaq' and not 'talaq'.
However, the one place wherein I feel that the script writers should have focussed on is that they should have shown the after effects of the video in the real Osama camp. That is something which would have made this movie a couple of notches higher. Also it could have been a good place to have a role for the icon of Pakistani comedy, Umer Sharif.
Rest all is fine, the climax is very realistic and plausible, seeing the way Americans react to every situation. Reminds one of the Coen brothers dark comedy, Burn After Reading.
While booking the tickets online at a popular ticket booking site, the show was relatively empty, hence yours truly was lucky enough to get the seats of his choice. Upon entering the hall, the show was approx 85% full, with all the premium seats sold out! This is exactly the word of mouth publicity that I had mentioned in my yesterdays blog, that this movie requires.