By Saibal Chatterjee Skating on thin ice is one thing. But trying to conjure things up out of thin air is quite another. Abhishek Sharma's Tere Bin Laden Dead or Alive does much more of the latter.
The outcome is inevitably fluffy. Even when the film does a bit
of the former, which is quite often, it is obviously always in
danger of slipping. And it does.
Director: Abhishek Sharma
Cast: Manish Paul, Pradhuman Singh, Sikander
Kher, Sugandha Garg, Rahul Singh, Piyush Mishra, Ali Zafar
Tere Bin Laden Dead Or Alive Story:
The story actually begins with an Old Delhi boy Sharma (Manish
Paul), who dreams of making a name for himself in Bollywood. In
Mumbai, he stumbles upon Osama lookalike Paddi Singh (Pardhuman
Singh) and has a brainwave.
But Osama's death puts paid to his plans to make a film on the
al-Qaeda chief. His and Paddi's life takes a dramatic turn when
both the US agent and a terror outfit led by a man named Khaleeli
(Piyush Mishra) launch a hunt for them.
One wants Paddi dead, the other wants him alive. The ensuing
mayhem is only intermittently amusing not funny, mind you as
Sharma and Paddi and their Bollywood mates (Sugandha Garg, Rahul
Singh, Chirag Vohra) are caught in the crossfire.
There are moments in the film when the actors appear to be
having a lot of fun, but with little in the screenplay to cling on
to in order to stay afloat, they are reduced to clutching at
straws. When a wacky and wild absurdist comedy is delivered with a
degree of control, it can work wonders.
But Tere Bin Laden Dead or Alive has none of the spark of the
original. It works on the principle that a madcap caper can get
away simply by pulling out the stops. The end result is a riot all
right, but it is singularly without the laughs.It seeks to poke fun
at everything from the US war on terrorism to the violent
depredations of the Taliban.
In between, it throws in, for good measure, plenty of jibes at
Bollywood. But the humour is too laboured to hit home.
Overall, Tere Bin Laden Dead or Alive comes across as a flimsy
spoof that has bitten off much more than it can chew and digest.
The 2010 original that found instant takers was marked by a
lightness of touch and a mirthful plot that did not lose its way in
an over-indulgent maze.
The trouble with this over-plotted sequel is that it attempts to
extract tongue-in-cheek hilarity from outlandish situations that
tend to overstay their welcome. Among the many butts of ridicule in
the film is no less a personage than the US President.
Played by Barack Obama impersonator Iman Crosson, he orders his
right hand man David (Sikander Kher), who revels in aping Jim
Carrey when he does not launch into Punjabi-inflected Hindi, to
secure documentary proof of Osama Bin Laden's death.
Tere Bin Laden Dead or Alive lacks the sparks the original had and is nothing but a filmsy comedy. Coming down to Aligarh Vs Tere Bin Laden 2, the former is far better and deserves a watch. But if you don't wish to see a brillaint film like Aligarh then have the courage to sit through Tere Bin Laden 2, for it is not as great.