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Tere Bin Laden: Dead or Alive review - A silly comedy that works

Very rarely does one come out of a film recollecting the weirdest of elements: like President Barack Obama’s speech announcing the death of the dreaded Osama Bin Laden, set to rap by American rapper-comedian Alphacat; or the “Chief of Invasion” of the CIA, David DoSomething going undercover as David Chaddha, the blue eyes, square jawline and Texan drawl effortlessly transforming into hairy chest, brown skin, paunch and Punjabi accent.

Tere Bin Laden: Dead Or Alive, the spin-off of the 2010 comedy Tere Bin Laden is madder than its predecessor; the unapologetic lunacy is reminiscent of Hollywood’s Naked Gun brand of broad farce that sends up everything in sight: Bollywood, Hollywood — 500 gram of Hollywood (read underplaying) as against 5kg of Bollywood (melodrama) — but mostly it aims its humour gun at terrorists and the US.

Film within a film

The film starts too loud and grating with a Chandni Chowk Sharma halwai’s son (Manish Paul) wanting a career in films instead of frying jalebis even as the elders advise him: “Mann laga ke talna” (put your heart into frying). What follows is a film unfolding within a film. It helps establish the connect with the first of the TBL , but also leaves one wondering for a while if Part 2 is trying be yet another predictable spoof on Bollywood. It is not. After a protracted setting up, during the course of which a few viewers may totally run out of patience, the film shifts track to Olympia-E-Dahshat (Terrorism Olympics), complete with a bomb relay and a landmine jump. Then there is an Osama retrospective for members of the terror club and an American drone attack. In a nutshell, stupidity is let loose.

The US wants to prove to the world that they have shot Osama dead while terrorist Khalili (Piyush Mishra) wants the world to believe that he is alive. Caught in the crossfire are our halwai -turned-filmmaker Sharma and his Osama lookalike actor Paddi (Pradhuman Singh). The situations are intentionally absurd, and jokes consciously over-the-top. Some bits feel way too juvenile, other scenes are inspired in their cleverness. Like a hallucinating Obama on the psychiatrist’s couch seeing visions of Osama or a pink-cheeked Osama talking in Gujarati, and, what’s more, getting away with it. Sharma’s telling of an Oscar-winning scene to David takes off from Mehmood’s iconic horror scene narration to Om Prakash in Pyaar Kiye Ja . All the characters are goofy caricatures, and the actors seem to be having a ball going berserk with their roles. Pradhuman is a hoot yet again as the Osama double but the show stealer in TBL 2 is the unrecognisable Sikander Kher as David.

Silly works in TBL 2 because the film doesn’t take itself too seriously. Audiences are advised not to take it too seriously either.

Tere Bin Laden: Dead Or Alive

Director: Abhishek Sharma

Starring: Manish Paul, Pradhuman Singh, Sikander Kher, Sugandha Garg

Runtime: 110 mins

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Printable version | Oct 23, 2020 3:06:01 AM |

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