Film: Tere Bin Laden: Dead or Alive
Director: Abhishek Sharma
Cast: Sikandar Kher, Manish Paul, Pradyuman Singh, Piyush Mishra, Sugandha Garg, Mia Uyeda, Rahul Singh and Chirag Vohra
Rating: **

One thing is just perfect for the film. No, it&’s not the whacky sense of humour you are expecting, it&’s not even the satire that the makers promised and it&’s definitely not the performances that the film boasts of. It&’s the title — Tere Bin Laden: Dead or Alive — that forms the crux and brings the constant fight for Osama Bin Laden&’s death or life into picture.

Sadly, that thought lingers in the mind only for a few minutes. An hour into the narration and you can’t help but wonder if the “story” is dead or alive. Abhishek Sharma&’s magical formula for Osama fails miserably this time around.

The spin-off is witty enough to have a seat for the first part — Tere Bin Laden — inside the wagon that takes you through the crazy ride. But it&’s the only bit where you’ll witness the wit.

A few fragments will stick with you from the no-brainer.

Sikandar Kher, in his dual role, is a charmer. First, he impresses with his American accent behind the white skin and blue eyes. And then, makes you giggle with his comical Punjabi accent, especially in that scene when he cleverly changes CIA to ‘Cinema in America’ and again in the one, when his fake mole falls off his cheek and he confidently says “detachable hai”.

A great actor otherwise, Piyush Mishra&’s presence is not a perk for the film that has little place for its bag of gags. It&’s not entirely his fault as the screenplay and narration itself had no path to go.

Right from the first frame, Manish Paul is too expressive. His wide-eyed, reflexive stance can only shower him awards for overacting, not acting.

Slipping away from his father who wants him to take the “jalebi-making” business forward, Manish plays the character of Sharma, who flees away to Mumbai from his home in Chandni Chowk to be a successful filmmaker saying, “Jalebi nahi banaaunga, film banaaunga”. While trying to set his foot, he comes across ‘Paddi Singh’, a doppelganger of Osama and the idea of making Tere Bin Laden caves in his mind, also bringing Ali Zafar into the plot.

Far away, somewhere in America, under the command of ‘Mr President’, David Do-something, the head of CIA, is on the lookout for Paddi so that he can kill him, shoot a fake tape and put an end to the biggest controversy in the world. He embarks on the mission in the guise of an NRI Hollywood producer David Chadda.

And somewhere in Pakistan, ‘Khalili’, a terrorist arm dealer wants ‘Paddi’ by his side to prove to the world that Osama is alive.

That&’s how the cat-and-mouse chase shapes into a senseless tale and takes you to “somewhere in somewhere”.

One sequence that steals a few laughs from the full house is when Khalili successfully traps the entire cast and forces them to speak in Arabic while they fake it by talking gibberish.

If the first half was a drag, the second half disappoints you much more with absurdity. You just can’t figure out why Sharma is too lost in his Hollywood dream to realise he&’s falling into a trap, or decipher why the otherwise intelligent US agent Chadda is suddenly too blind to see through the plan going against him.

The dialogues “Hollywood hi Bollywood ko bacha sakta hai” and “Bollywood wale hain…Hollywood mein ek minute ke role ke liye ek saal tak dhol bajaayenge” sound stale.

The last dialogue “Main no banna aur Osama” is the only apt one for Pradyuman Singh.

With clichéd item numbers and stereotyped six-pack abs, Zafar brings nothing but boredom as his character throws tantrums and shows pride of being “a big star”.

Sugandha Garg, Rahul Singh, Chirag Vohra and Mia Uyeda are plain and dull.

You keep waiting that the interesting part will come, and the wait ends soon, only to see the film&’s titles going down. And you long for the last scene to have been the first one.

Go for it without your book of comparisons and sack of expectations to get a kick out of the few good jokes. Just one advice: Grab a box of popcorn and be really, really patient.

Well, another thing perfect for the film is that it will only take two hours from your busy schedule!