Movie Review: Tere Bin Laden

July 20, 2010
Kaushik Chatterji

Remember Jaane Bhi Do Yaaron? If you do, you probably love it for its darkly comic plot that highlighted the nexus between the officials, media and big business. Or - and this is equally likely - you hate it for its low-brow, slapstick humour. If it's latter, don't even consider watching Tere Bin Laden. If it's the former, or if you don't remember that riot, read on.

The very first scene where you see (Piyush Mishra; editor, proprietor, CEO of the ramshackle Danka TV) Majeed Khan's wig flying off sets in stone the comic style the films is going to follow. What follows are the trials and tribulations of Ali Hassan (Ali Zafar, the Pakistani singer-turned-actor who reminds you of both Zach Braff and Kunal Khemu), one of the employees of that news channel who, like so many around us here in India, dreams of a better life in Amreeka.

Except that it's not India, it's Pakistan. And when you add a partner-in-crime Gul (Nikhil Ratnaparkhi), an aspiring stylist Zoya (Sugandha Garg), a textbook intellectual RJ Qureshi (Rahul Singh) and their collective scant disregard for the intelligence of the older and the rural, especially poultry farmer Noora (show-stealer Praduman Singh), you realize that Karachi and Mumbai are, after all, part of the same subcontinent.

So Ali discovers the Osama lookalike that is Noora, convinces his peers to help him out, records a fake terror tape - and all hell breaks loose. In steps Tedji (Barry John) on behalf of the Amreekkans. In spite of its sheer escapism, it still makes you think - something that can't said of the cheap and increasingly vulgar diet of comedy that we have been fed on courtesy Priyadarshan et al. While it is only slightly offensive to our neighbours, Uncle Sam is sure to feel the full force of the punches it is on the receiving end of.

It may not quite be Jaane Bhi Do Yaaron, but it is sure to have you either smiling or laughing out loud throughout. What My Name Is Khan failed to do in over 2 hours, Tere Bin Laden does even before the opening credits start to roll. watch it before its theatrical run gets over, 'coz it's the quirkiest peace message that you're likely to see in quite some time to come.

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