Director: Abhishek Sharma
Cast: Ali Zafar, Pradhuman Singh
Slapstick but never particularly smart, Tere Bin Laden is a low-IQ comedy that succeeds in making you laugh occasionally, despite its highly improbable premise.
Intended as a satire on America's paranoia post 9/11, the film stars Pakistani pop-singer Ali Zafar as a desperate television news reporter in Karachi who hits upon a plan that'll help him raise the money he needs to pave the way for his migration to the US after seven visa rejections and a deportation.
On chancing upon an innocent chicken farmer who bears an uncanny resemblance to Osama bin Laden, our hero assembles a team of accomplices, and dupes the unsuspecting poultry guy into shooting a message in the guise of Osama. The video containing this message, an open threat to America, is sold to news channels, and sends panic waves through the Pentagon.
Borrowing the kind of farcical gags that made early David Dhawan films enjoyable, writer-director Abhishek Sharma keeps the film's pace brisk so there's little time to dwell on the silliness of what's going on. A scene in which the Osama-lookalike gets a grenade superglued onto his palm leads to the film's funniest joke; and Piyush Mishra playing the buffoon head of a news channel provides genuine laughs with his manic performance.
Unfortunately the film's script is over-simplistic in its portrayal of America's cluelessness and confusion over how to deal with the terror threat, and as a result the film's final act comes off as too contrived even for a comedy.
Lacking the sharp wit that might have turned it into a consistently enjoyable watch, Tere Bin Laden is funny, but only in spurts. It even fails to measure up to the standards set by the similarly small-budgeted satire The President Is Coming, which drew louder laughs thanks to a crackling script.
Leading man Ali Zafar has an endearing presence, and Pradhuman Singh as the chicken farmer scores with his comic timing. But in the end the film is only moderately entertaining. I'm going with two-and-a-half out of five for first-time director Abhishek Sharma's Tere Bin Laden. The kind of film to watch on a day you have nothing better to do.
Rating: 2.5 / 5
Winner: Nitin Bindal from Hyderabad