Movie review 'Tere Bin Laden: Dead or Alive': The brilliance of Sikander Kher

Watch Tere Bin Laden: Dead or Alive for some really brilliant nonsense, great comic timing, funny dialogue and Sikander Kher.

Cast: Manish Paul, Pradhuman Singh, Sikander Kher, Ali Zafar, Piyush Mishra, Iman Crosson, Sugandha Garg, Mia Uyeda, Rahul Singh, Chirag Vohra
Director: Abhishek Sharma

Tere Bin Laden: Dead or Alive begins in 2009, when Osama bin Laden was alive and kicking. It opens in Chandni Chowk — at a halwai’s shop while he’s handing over his kadchi, frying ladle, to his son, Sharma (Manish Paul), and both blessing and instructing him: “Khub man-laga-ke talna”.

On son Sharma’s face and T-shirt is an identical pronouncement: Ullu ka Pattha.
Sharma goes to his room, strikes the classic back-lit Pyaasa pose before turning to the posters of directors framed and hung on his bedroom wall. He dreamt of becoming a director, in Bollywood. Off he goes to Mumbai, and on a Best bus finds a besura singer, Paddi Singh (Pradhuman Singh), who looks like, well, Osama bin Laden.

Sharma’s pitch for a film on Osama, along with Osama humshakal in tow, to the producer Shetty Sisters is accepted and he makes Tere Bin Laden, the one that released in 2010, starring Ali Zafar and the rest who are in continuum mode here.
The film is a hit and then, after this and that and a funny take on dard-e-disco by Ali Zafar, just before he is to start another film on Osama, he is offed by the Americans.

This is when the film gets nonsensical and very, very funny. Till interval.
Tere Bin… glides with a happy, duffer expression into nonsense territory.
In “Somewhere in Somewhere”, a land that’s rocky and dusty, a group of Mujahideen, led by their chief Khaleeli (Piyush Mishra), are busy with Olympia-e-Dehshat. They have to compete with each other in games like Bomb Relay and Landmine Jump.

Meanwhile, the CIA’s David Do Something (Sikander Kher), is happy playing the Game of Drones. And when Osama is killed, President Obama (Iman Crosson aka Alphacat, a brilliant impersonator of Obama), does a press conference in rap. But America wants proof of Osama’s death and there is none. He turns to David Do Something.

In the Mujahideen camp there is a revolt because very few are getting shaheed doing something worthwhile and are now that Osama is dead, they are worried about losing their slot in jannat. Khaleeli wants Osama alive to regain his followers’ support. Enter, Paddi Singh and Sharma.

David Do Something becomes David Chaddha, an NRI Hollywood producer and a two-member team of Mujahideens sets off to get Paddi. President Obama, meanwhile, is being stalked by Osama’s ghost. All arrive, separately, in “Somewhere in Somewhere”, and are joined by others to up the film’s nonsense quotient.

There’s a Gujarati dialogue writer, a Bollywood bimbette who is a make-up artist, and a Bollywood voiceover star. The confusion, silliness and rank stupidity is, as they say, international level ki. It’s superb and delightful.

President Obama hallucinating about Osama, and the scene of Osama’s assassination being shot in Bollywood style — complete with rain, a glass of milk and love-making scene — are hysterical. I got chakkar laughing.

I am a die-hard fan of writer, director and now actor Chris Morris, once described by Daily Mail as the “most loathed man on TV”. His Four Lions remains, for me, the abiding take on Islamic terrorism. It is satire of the wicked, violent, offensive kind. There should be no other.

Tere Bin Laden: Dead or Alive is not Four Lions. But it has moments of brilliance and subversion, especially of the Hollywood-led narrative about Islamic terrorism that’s born out of a ménage à trois of the American arms industry, American siege mentality and American need for braggadocio.

Increasing, in Bollywood as well we are seeing a similar priggish narrative about Islamic terrorism, courtesy, largely, Akshay Kumar. It’s born out of commercial and survival compulsions, of course, of an ageing action hero who can no longer beat up college goons. He needs to slow down and thus needs to make his enemies more menacing, and the threat...
I digress.

Manish Paul gets a lot of footage but he is really the weakest link in this laugh affair. He even gets a narrating script scene, a la Mehmood in Pyaar Kiye Jaa. He’s frantic, not so much fun. Ali Zafar, who makes a special appearance as Ali Zafar the insufferable star, is funny. As is Pradhuman Singh.

But the star of the show is Sikander Kher. Unrecognisable in both roles — as David Do Something which has a touch of Jim Carrey and David Chaddha which has a touch of Patiala peg — he is relentlessly entertaining. He even outshines Iman Crosson, known as the world’s best impressionist of Barack Obama. Watch Tere Bin Laden: Dead or Alive for some really brilliant nonsense, great comic timing, funny dialogue and Sikander Kher. He is fabulous.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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