The sequel to the hilarious 2010 satire, Tere Bin Laden, could very well have been a great YouTube gag, starring Sikander Kher, the most comical villain.
The superb casting has a hands down winner in Kher, who plays a whacky double role of an American agent, DavidDoSomething and Punjabi Haallywood producer, Chadda.
In the story, we have President Obama (perfect look alike actor) rapping about his victory over Osama to an America who wants proof about Osama’s death. However, Khalil (Piyush Mishra), an arms dealer from Pakistan wants to show Osama alive to his own people. Sharma (Manish Paul), a film director ends up getting kidnapped, along with Paddi (Pradhuman Singh, also the co-writer), on the pretext of making a Hollywood film, by Obama’s man, David turned into “Kitthe Otthe” Chaddha ( Kher), in the most unbelievable sequence.
The film gets too whacky for its own good at times. David, a white guy, turns brown; his makeover involves choosing between various wigs which include a “Bengali wig” and a “Punjabi wig”. Sure enough, he opts for the latter and lo and behold, turns into Chadda . The man actually has a screw (huge mole) on his neck, which he uses to change accents. In a strange way, this gag works for a screwball comedy, made totally howlarious by Kher’s performance.
Unrecognisable in the ‘Punjabi wig’, with amazing make-up and a huge paunch, Kher is a revelation. It is to writer/director, Abhishek Sharma’s credit that he conceives a completely original character who transits from a Yankee special agent to a Punju pot-bellied Hollywood producer, by simply switching accents. As the best line in the film goes, “somewhere in somewhere”, you don’t care where is what, when Kher interacts with his co-stars, his comic timing perfect.
Tere Bin Laden: Dead or Alive is a series of some delightful and laugh out loud moments, forcibly strung together into a feature film. It reminds you of a lovely evening spent goofing around with friends and snatches of funny conversations are replayed, which of course, end up in repeat laughter. The kind, where everyone is an insider on a silly joke and an outsider might understand bits of it and be just mildly amused by the ongoing bonhomie.
Those familiar with the film, and the chances are there are many — despite the small scale and reach —will enjoy the brief recall scenes from the previous film, introduced in the beginning.
We see Ali Zafar this time in a bit role, as the successful hero of the first film, now turned too big for his starry boots. The story in the first film revolved around Zafar playing a young Pakistani reporter who sells a video about a fake Osama, in a bid to get a U.S visa. Abhishek Sharma, takes the story forward to a time when Osama is actually killed.
In the sequel, Manish Paul replaces Zafar who in his brief appearance, does an entertaining parody number, “ six pack abs”, sporting the trademark Bollywood torso, complete with a tattoo.
The film begins well showing terrorism as some sort of a sport by introducing Khalil practicing ineffectively with his weapons and using terms like landmine jumps. Likewise, the Americans are shown attacking the terrorists, as if participating in a video game. Obama, meanwhile is shown having nightmares and visions of Osama and landing in a psychiatric couch.
The newness of the concept quickly wears off. Dialogues and good performances come to the rescue. Osama is shown as “gulabi gaalon waala” and someone quips, “director kya hota hai” while a female actor (Sugandha Garg) claims, “I want to do..” in the best climax sequence of the film.
Irrespective of the film’s occasional flaws, two people are definite contenders for film awards this year: Sikander Kher and his make-up artist.