Tere Bin Laden is undoubtedly the best comedy I have seen in recent times. It's fun, filled with laughter, great spoofs and gags, which is so uncommon in Hindi movies, that you will be surprised, that it came out of India. In sheer humor quotient, it will outdo even the best of international (read Hollywood) movies, but unfortunately, may be lost in translation. There is no sexual innuendo, no double meaning jokes, no exchange of partners in the bedroom or slapping each other kind of slapstick comedy. So, be warned before you start expecting the usual Priyadarshan (De Dana Dan) or Sajid Khan (Houseful) comedy hits, that you have seen recently.
The story is simple, set in Pakistan, of a guy named Ali Hasan (Pakistani musician Ali Jafar) whose only ambition is to go to US, the land of opportunities. However, in the backdrop of 9/11 and heightened security threats, it becomes difficult for him to fulfill his ambition. He is stuck with a job at Danka TV run by Majeed Khan (Piyush Mishra) and his assistant Nikhil Ratnaparkhi (Gul, the cameraman and Ali's assistant). Majeed Khan runs his low-budget channel with old ramshackle equipment and a broken dish, like a strict school headmaster, where he fines his employees and collects the money in a piggy bank. Even the local travel agent played by Rajendra Sethi who runs a Company called Laskar-e-Amreeka is hilarious to the core. Now, Majeed sends Ali and Gul on a punishing assignment to cover a rooster crowing competition. The contestants deserve a special mention for their performance too, especially last year's winner who fails to impress this time. While playing the tape in the studio, Ali finds Noora(Pradhuman Singh), a proud poultry breeder and egg producer, an Osama lookalike and hunts him down to hatch a plot for fulfilling his American dream. Then, the rest is history, better watched and enjoyed yourself how Ali and Gul find accomplices to do the make up (Sugandha Garg as Zoya), write the dialogues (Chirag Vohra as Lateef, the tormeted colleague), the voice (Rahul Singh as broke radio jockey Qureshi) to make the fake Osama tape to achieve fame and glory. When Ted Wood (Barry John) comes calling to hunt Osama in Pakistan, his sidekick (Chinmay Mandlekar) and the other agents are amazing too. Watch him miss Osama while taking a leak in the bush with the rooster in between. When the rooster dies in an explosion, don't miss the "ready to eat, tangdi kebab" falling in Gul's hand.
Starting from the airport loo scene to funny take on airline announcements, hyper passengers and airline crew on his journey to US and back, visa rejections...every scene is greeted with roaring laughter and applause in the audience. Finding Noora, making the tape, Noora being fooled on the actual purpose of the tape, Majeed paying for the tape and selling it to another channel to the digs on huge US budgets for terrorism and their love for satellite guided missile attacks...all make for great comic situations. Even as the plan backfires as they get caught, and they come up with an innovative face saving, win-win solution, the movie manages to grab your attention effortlessly till the end.
TBL once again proves content is king. A superbly intelligent script and dialogues does the job well for the movie. Also, casting is amazing. Reminded me of Love, Sex Aur Dhokha where almost all character actors played the role given to them in the movie to the hilt. As the end credits rolled, couldn't miss the acting workshops conducted by Barry John part. Can you imagine, a BIG budget movie starring our bigger-than-the-next-guy stars having a workshop before a movie!
If you decide to visit the theaters for only one movie this year, where you want to just laugh, laugh and laugh along with the audience and for the reasons, as intended by the film makers, don't miss this one for anything in this world. This is one super-comedy made without any big stars, that is a rare gem of a movie to have hit the theaters in a long, long time. Finding another one could be as difficult as hunting for the real Osama.
Was wondering, what would Mr. Bin Laden do, if he were to watch the movie himself. Maybe, he would get the message and have a laugh at himself. Or, better hire Pradhuman Singh as his double.