Movie Review: Tere Bin Laden: Dead Or Alive, A Sequel To be Discarded in Dustbin

Only halwa here, no jalwa. Cut to a halwai shop in Chandni Chowk and you’ll balk. A jittery dude is being bequeathed the family tradition of confecting jalebis and responds by resembling a bheegi billi. Oh not to be in Dilli! Why, why? ‘Coz, the dude would rather join the club of Bollywood filmmakers. Any takers? This bit of trendspotting isn’t the only odd, gulab jamuny element about Tere Bin Laden: Dead or Alive, which makes you break into hives.

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Movie Review: Tere Bin Laden: Dead Or Alive,  A Sequel To be Discarded in Dustbin


Only halwa here, no jalwa. Cut to a halwai shop in Chandni Chowk and you’ll balk. A jittery dude is being bequeathed the family tradition of confecting jalebis and responds by resembling a bheegi billi. Oh not to be in Dilli! Why, why?  ‘Coz, the dude would rather join the club of Bollywood filmmakers. Any takers?

Understandably none, immediately. In any case what’s with B-town’s hang-up with Hawaa Halwais? Shah Rukh Khan, in Chennai Express, flew out of his grandpa’s sweetmeat trade. And Kangana Ranaut, in Queen, was considered ever so downmarket for working behind the counter of her parivar’s yum-yums-‘n’-chum-chums. As it happens, this bit of trendspotting isn’t the only odd, gulab jamuny element about Tere Bin Laden: Dead or Alive, which makes you break into hives.



Okay, so the first Laden lampoon, also written and directed by Abhishek Sharma,was sufficiently amusing and quirky. Six years later, the disjointed follow-up ain’t, leaving you unsure about whether to laugh, cry or faint. At most it invites your disdain. Pain.

What on earth’s yappening? For some weird reason (or to economise the budget), the film’s real-life producers – sisters Mala Shetty Deora and Aarti Shetty – look like blank cheques, devoid of any recognisable human expression whenever they pop up in the plot. Histrionics-wise, the sisters just glare-‘n’-stare.

During one such glare session, gasp, they actually greenlight a project to be helmed by the halwai-scion-cum-Duffer Film  Institute graduate (really!). Naturally, the wannabe Directorji (Manish Paul) is over the sun-‘n’-moon, especially since he has an  Osama Bin Laden look-alike (Pradhuman Singh) on board plus, wowee, a superstar (Ali Zafar, wishful thinking!). 



Hello..hello..can you still hear me? Duffer Directorji’s movie is an insta-hit. Big deal. You may just throw a flaming fit at the unfunniness of it all. Tee hee? Forget it.

Yawning warning: more execrable stuff ahead. Despite amassing gazillions for the Shetty Didis, Directorji can’t get back to the studios right away. Yaaaay, good good. The addled script begs to differ, alas, littering the ensuing reels with more brain-boggling characters than auto rickshaws in a traffic snarl. Result: your level of tolerance is exhausted. Totally.

Count among the mega-crowd, a CIA operative (Sikander Kher in Jim Carrey mode), his bimbette aide called Junior (seemed quite senior to me), a gang of Osama Bin Laden supporters steered by a brown-bearded version of Santa Claus (Piyush Mishra, ayyya) and blow the bugles please, America’s Prez Obama who breaks into a hip-hop ditty. And they’re all after one mission implausible: to videograph the look-alike who keeps itching to return home. Believe me, so will you.



In this more convoluted than comic melee, there’s only a split second or two when you want to clap thunderously. That’s when CIA’s operative grumbles, “Who are all these..idiots?” Quite. To this Junior Bimbette adds helpfully, “Morons” without even looking up the synonym in Roget’s Thesaurus. They said it, not me.

A desperate fling at cobbling a sequel, the ouchcome prompts you to kick yourself for trotting into this purported comedy. Perhaps the team behind this travesty must have guffawed their heads off during the shoot. Forgive them because evidently they aren’t aware of the fact that a rib-tickler means serious business. It cannot be a casual concatenation of slipshod montages, pre-adolescent wisecracks and  mandatory homophobia (a producer hits on the wannabe Dude Director). Woe betide. 



Surely, the audience cannot be expected to howl uproariously either at sights like the imitation Bin Laden shampooing a hairy chest, repetitious dialogue on the lines of, “Yeh toh laara lappa ho gaya” and “Somewhere in Somewhere.” Wazzat? As for Zafar’s guest appearance, twirling his booty to a non-item number which goes, “Six abs”, ewwwwf.

Of the performances, livewire Paul, the dazed and confused Singh, and the hyper-enthusiastic Kher barbecuing an American accent, can’t save the shabby script and the patchy production values, from descending into a crashing bore despite its compact running time of 100 minutes.

Unsolicited tip: don’t even think twice of Tere Bin Laden: Dead or Alive. Spend the time and money on jalebis, barfis, pedhas, gulab jamuns, whatever. So much sweeter.


Thumbnail Image Source: rapidspiel & facebook/TereBinLaden
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