Review: Tere Bin Laden 2 Dead or Alive

Tere Bin Laden was a sleeper hit back when it released half a decade back. It made Ali Zafar a known face in Bollywood and the movie itself was liked in India after it premiered on TV. So it comes as a no brainier that the producers decided to make a sequel for the film and titled it Tere Bin Laden: Dead or Alive. This time around they’ve chosen popular TV host Manish Paul for the lead actor’s role. Does he continue to make us laugh? Does this sequel do the original film any justice?

Story: A Bollywood movie director (Manish) doesn’t have anything going for him, so when meets an Osama lookalike Paddy Singh (Pradhuman Singh), he decides to make a film on the life of Osama Bin Laden. But then news comes Osama is dead. The first African-American president of USA wants to be reelected and getting definitive proof of Osama dying would increase his chances manifold. So he sends his trusted agent (Sikandar Kher) to shoot a video. But terrorists from Osama’s group, and their leader called Khaleeli (Piyush Mishra) get to them first and then begins a cat and mouse game between the three parties. Comic situations arise and gags take place.

Screenplay and Direction: Director Abhishek Sharma clearly wants to make a more pertinent point about America’s foreign policy through this film but laces it with satire and a comedic overtone. Does it work? Well, not really. A lot of jokes get repeated to death and the pertinent points get lost in translation. It is not a failed effort at all as a lot of the gags work very well and leaves the audiences in raptures. It feels like a lot of time has passed between the first film and the sequel, but still the script seems unpolished and unfinished.

Tere Bin Laden doesn’t have great production value as it looks like a television movie in a lot of scenes. The costume design and makeup is on point, however. The editing could have been crispier but that can be forgiven. The music of Tere Bin Laden Dead or Alive doesn’t have anything extraordinary.

Acting: Manish Paul seems at ease in his second lead role in Bollywood and convincingly does justice to most of the funny scenes and dialogues. He has good chemistry with Pradhuman Singh, who himself is very good as the Osama lookalike. He doesn’t play the same character of Noora in this movie, and his acting is subtle enough to make the viewers understand that. Sikandar Kher is a surprise revelation in the film and carries off the Yank accent with ease and is also convincing as the Sardar, even if it is a bit stereotypical. Piyush Mishra is caricaturish. The other actors all do a decent enough job.

Conclusion: Tere Bin Laden 2 could have become a good film, or even a great film but is content with just being a decent film. The idea which germinated in the director’s head was a really cool one but it doesn’t reach its zenith, like it should have. It is a missed opportunity because the humour quotient is lower than the first one and the subtle satire doesn’t come through very cleanly. If you’re content with your doses of humour in intervals, then this movie should be right up your alley.

Pros:

  • The idea of the story is really cool
  • The cast and acting by the leads is above average
  • The satire is pertinent
  • The dialogues are funny, somewhat

Cons:

  • Looks like a TV movie
  • Music is not good
  • Piyush Mishra’s acting is caricaturish
  • Not as a rip roaringly funny as the original
Rating: ★★½☆☆
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