True Review Movie - Tere Bin Laden : Dead Or Aliveby Niharika Puri February 28 2016, 12:02 pm Estimated Reading Time: 2 mins, 20 secs
Critics Rating: 2 Stars
Cast:Manish Paul, SikanderKher, Pradhuman Singh, Mia Uyeda, Piyush Mishra.
Written by: Abhishek Sharma
Duration: 104 Mins
Tere Bin Laden: Dead or Alive is meta from the get-go. The opening title card clarifies that the story is set in 2009, when Osama was still alive and at large. Manish Paul plays the director Sharma, who escapes from Old Delhi before his father can induct him into the halwaai community, destined to a life of perennially frying jalebis.
To the heavy-handed background score of "hum honge kamyaab" ("we shall overcome"), where Sharma surveys the posters of his favourite Hindi film directors in his room, he decides to head to B-town. The Mumbai struggle montage begins with him knocking on either the wrong doors or having a flute-playing (spot the innuendo) producer propositioning the knocking of another sort.
Sharma does get a stroke of luck when he pitches to the Shetty sisters (who are supposed to be the film's producers - Pooja Shetty Deora and Aarti Shetty). The duo sanctions the making of Tere Bin Laden, where Ali Zafar (in all his onscreen, obnoxious glory for a cameo) walks away with the accolades while Sharma and Paddi Singh (Pradhuman Singh) watch from the sidelines. The chance for a sequel presents itself when Osama is suspected to be alive and the US government has no evidence of the raid and his elimination.
That is when CIA intelligence officer David (Sikandar Kher, outstanding and barely recognisable in both roles) changes his appearance and masquerades as NRI producer David Chadha to convince Paddi to play Osama for him. This time, he has to die on camera as proof of the assassination. Sharma gets to don the hat as director. The previous crew members (Rahul Singh, Sugandha Garg, Chirag Vohra) get kidnapped and therefore become a part of the shoot.
A parallel track has arms dealer Khalili (Piyush Mishra) wanting Osama alive for his own reasons. He organises the Olympia E Deshat games, a sporting event for terrorists which makes for a more genuine comic moment in the film among other lacklustre sequences.
Tere Bin Laden was an audacious look at one man's inventive exploitation of the terror paranoia to earn a green card to the USA. The sequel is a thematic overkill. It tries to be funny; it has its moments but somehow does not draw out more than a few guffaws. The originality of the predecessor's premise is gone and with the novelty has gone the potential for more gags.
Tere Bin Laden: Dead or Alive is off to a decent start when it begins but somehow ends up losing the plot and the interest level wanes. It is a cheeky little outing, but one for which you must venture forth with reduced expectations.