wogma rating: Beg or borrow, but do watch (?)
Tere Bin Laden is a subtle slapstick, if such an oxymoron exists. You'll miss out on loads of fun if you miss this one. When you are helpless and can do zilch, the least you can do is present a laughable solution to a hopeless situation.Read more
NOT A REVIEW - Just hoping it's a good dark comedy...
One would think that a film character based on a reputed terrorist would use every bit of juice it can get out of controversy generated as publicity. But, director Abhishek Sharma, claims that Tere Bin Laden is not as much a take on the terrorism Bin Laden has brought about but more of a commentary on our media's hype-creation capacity and our gullibility and/or nonchalant attitude as their audience. Ironically, the reference to plausible controversy is also being anticipated by the same media. The netizens seem to be absolutely comfortable with it.
Bin Laden is a mass murderer, the very face of evil. There’s nothing funny about what he stands for or the crimes he’s committed. And yet…I’m totally rooting for this movie. Anything that turns Al-Qaeda into a laughingstock is okay in my book.
And the director doesn't seem to be concerned at all.
As it is a comedy, even if the movie is watched by the actual Laden, he too will enjoy it and will not have any issues on it
The other worry is also that the film might become a sermon to this face of evil. But looks like Abhishek intends to do it his way . His interviews make him out to be a level-headed guy who wouldn't put things in his film just for the sake of doing it.
As a filmmaker, I do not believe in driving home any message as much as in commenting, because in that case you will be biased, since when you are commenting, you do not tell what to do to the audience.
The moment you get into temptations beyond the story, like money, stars etc, you are corrupted as an artiste.
In the same article his confidence is clear. The only 'filmi' connection he's had is working with Adlabs. He claims -
You do not become an assistant to a writer to become a writer. You can create your own voice and signature of your own, if you take a camera and start shooting.
Another thought that struck me while watching the borderline-slapsticky trailer was that is the story going to be about making Don comical - criminal lookalike being used to get to some end or the other.
But turns out its just some wannabe journalist trying to pull a fast one on the rest of the world. What I found hilarious was that in this age of people getting offended at the drop of a hat, especially with movie content, one would think poking fun of the situation in a sensitive region would be cause of concern. But our censor board seems to be living in its own little cocoon.
The censor board had a problem with the word pencho and asked for the scene to be removed. But somehow Abhishek managed to convince them to include the scene making known that pencho is the name of an old artist and that no pun was intended
That's not all in the funny zone as far as pre-release buzz goes. Check out this video of the Pakistani singer-turned-actor doing the rounds to publicize Tere Bin Laden. After you have survived 1.16 minutes of his singing, he says something like, "important for an actor to have a singer in him and viceversa". Mr. Zafar, how about a singer having a singer in him. You definitely don't sound too good here -
Ps. Yes, indeed. Here's more about Pencho, the poet.
- meeta, a part of the audience
3 issue-based films in a day - Two related to global political situations (Lamhaa and Tere Bin Laden ) and one addressing a social issue that needs immediate attention (Udaan). Lesson at the end of the day - there are two ways of looking at any matter of importance. Bear me for the colloquial usage - one is 'load leke' and the other 'chill maar ke' (seriously and the other lightly). Tere Bin Ladentakes the chilled-out route and how!! The snotty attitude that I have towards both slapstick and satire, I'd never have imagined I'd laugh even once at a combination of both. And when I wasn't laughing out loud, I was forced to wear a wide smile at the subtle references to current affairs.
The tongue-in-cheek remarks hardly ever stop. If not words, some prop, or something in the background is vying to reach out to your funny bone. The sequences and situations also are one fun one after the other. And all this is happening while constantly making a remark on the futility of the war and the unashamed mask of righteousness people wear to justify killing each other. If not that the remark is on some stereotype.
Every bit makes you realize how much thought has gone into making the point but without making it dramatic. While the first half is setting the situation, the second half becomes surreal or what we can easily call a Tom & Jerry affair. The transition is a bit disorienting. But the so-silly-and-farfetched-that-you-have-to-laugh situations use dark humor, spoof stereotypes, mock media, and ridicule reality shows. They tickle, make you think, and get you worried about the characters, all in one go.
I wish I could give out some of the brilliant understated statements made. I just wouldn't be able to take it on my conscience if I spoiled even one gag for you. All I can tell you is Ali Zaffar, a Pakistani reporter lands himself in a situation where he makes an Osama look-alike make a statement to the US. He puts together an entire crew - make-up artist, voice artist, editor, actor, and an executive-producer. You can only imagine how crazy it can get if it is done right. And done right it is.
May I thank you Mr. Abhishek Sharma for doing exactly what you believed in without heeding to supposed commercial requirements. No hero who has a heroine to woo, no over-the-top garishness just for the heck of it. I know it's a shame that we live in times that make us appreciate the things avoided in a film, rather than what it contains. But this once, we have a winner that has achieved both and more.
- meeta, a part of the audience
Thumbs up, by Taran Adarsh, Bollywood Hungama : ...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 event... full review
Thumbs up, by Bollyfan, Cinemaa Online : ...Under the façade of its superlative humour, the film carries subtle indictments of several ways of common people as well as the powers that be... full review
Thumbs up, by Mayank Shekhar, Hindustan Times : ...This ingenious, mockumentary style script (Abhishek Sharma) stupendously lets itself go off in all directions on a wild flight of imagination.... full review
Thumbs up, by Kaveree Bamzai, india today : ...Directed by first timer Abhishek Sharma and shot in Mumbai and Hyderabad standing in for Karachi, this is one film that delights in ruffling feathers... full review
Thumbs up, Mixed Bag : ...The movie, unlike most of the ‘comedy’ movies of the recent and distant past gains on the void of gay jokes, nonsense plots, washboard abs, premature expressions and ill-timed songs... full review
Thumbs up, by Mr Care, Pak Smile : ...The first half in fact races through a series of unpredictable sequences, situations, and events, giving you absolutely no time to think about the film. ... full review
Thumbs up, by Nikhat Kazmi, Times of India : ...The actors are having a ball, that's evident. The scriptwriter (Abhishek Sharma) is just loving it: making digs on America's war against terror. And the viewers are in for some breezy fun.... full review
So-So, by Sailesh Ghelani, Filmfare : ...The gags and jokes are corny and the acting isn’t all that good with the exception of Pradhuman Singh who plays Noora, the Laden doppelganger convincingly.... full review
So-So, by Deepa Garimella , Fully Hyderabad : ...The star of this movie is Ali Hassan, who tends to go SRK-ish several times, but who is a pleasant mix of good looks and promising acting skills. ... full review
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This page has additional observations, other than the ones noted in the main review.
Ali Zaffar, a Pakistani journalist, aspires to go to the US. His one last attempt gets him to do the most desperate deed one could have thought of. And the ramifications it had, could have skipped ones' attention.