Saturday, February 12, 2011

Review: Tere Bin Laden ["Habibi, George Bush!"]

As an exception, there's no fun post or anything like that between this and the last review (expect for the Lime-Stars notification), and that's because I wanted to share my view on TBL with you so badly. And if you'd rather watch a non-indian film at the moment, my advice to you is: Don't watch "Nowhere Boy", especially not
before putting down your expectations. 

TERE BIN LADEN (2010) तेरे बिन लादेन

Title-Translation: "Without you, Bin Laden"/ "Your Bin Laden"

Director: Abhishek Sharma
Author: Abhishek Sharma
Producers: Aarti Shetty, Pooja Shetty Deora
: Ali Zafar, Pradhuman Singh, Piyush Mishra

Plot: A TV reporter from Pakistan has been in love with "Amreeka" (America) since he was a child, but after a terrible misunderstanding, he can't go to the USA anymore, if he doesn't get a lot of money very quickly. Luckily, he and his friend meet a man that looks almost exactly like Osama Bin Laden. They decide to make a fake Osama-video and then sell it to the press.When the video becomes public, the fear of terrorism from the middle-east increases even further.

Written the 8th of February 2011
In culture and media, it's easy to get to the point when a topic is simply outdrawn like an old chewing gum and you just think, that this is it. No more about this topic for me, I've had enough of it. An example for it is World War II: As interesting and diversified the cultural references to it are, and no matter how many fantastic films and books it has been giving inspiration to, I simply don't want to hear about it any longer. Maybe it's the worst in Germany, but we just get overloaded with that kind of literature and films. However, 9/11 and the whole Middle-East vs. America situation is a much more up-to-date difficulty, but there has also been made tons of rubbish about this topic, so how strike the right note in order to make it juicy and sapid?
That's money, honey
"Tere Bin Laden" demonstrates one of the possibilities that can get it right. Spoofing everything that is in any way connected to the
topic - aside from the USA of course, TBL catches a sarcastic eye on terrorism itself (yes, that is possible), the "popularity" of emigration (especially to the US), flight attendants, and much more from CSI and saving-the-country films to Pakistani television and wannabes.
I was reminded of "The President Is Coming" at several moments, and I'm sure the makers have been inspired by it - which is meant as a compliment. Relying on qualitative cultural material is always a good idea, though we first need to ask the question "What's qualitative cultural material". If every second sentence is a cite from one of the director's or production companies films, that's not what I call qualitative.
Good for TBL, this could possibly never have happened to the film, as it draws advantage from a mint fresh director and a Pakistani singer debuting. Ali Zafar is as great an actor as he's a singer. Charming, convincing… and… not looking bad. He should definitely stay in the acting business - but also singing. As for Abhishek Sharma, that guy seems to be one of the new talents the Hindi Film Industry should focus on. He's got some big chances, I think.

Don't be greedy!
TBL doesn't place much emphasis on music, though Ali is allowed to rock the show at the end (always with a humorous wink), but in contrary to that, editing and cinematography are some of the fundamental strengths of the film. Supporting actors are of "mixed quality" - most of them overacting - they had to, of course - but they were not bad. Sugandha Garg was the one that I noticed most, I'm curious to see more of her.

2010 had more gems, than I thought and I'll continue looking for them. "Tere Bin Laden" is one of them, short and good, as we say in Germany and Denmark. This is the kind of humour I want to see concerning a topic like that - and not just in late night satire shows, but on the Big Screen. Hollywood/ America: take a leaf of this book.

Rating: 7.7

Thank you for reading,
Mette M. K. 


  1. Awesome! You liked it too! Happy!!! :) Such a great little gem, and one that I can see working even for people who want nothing to do with Bollywood films.

    Definitely agreeing with you on both counts: WWII and 9/11, it may sound insensitive, but yes, we need some fresh angles if we're going to keep talking about these topics. I loved TBL for exactly the same reason.

    Nice review! Hope it gets more people to watch it! :)

  2. Great review!

    I loved Tere Bin Laden. An underrated hilarious movie about the hypocritical nature of the business without being too sarcastic or too into itself. I always loved Ali Zafar as a singer, and he did an amazing turn as an actor here. It definitely seems like he has a flair for comedy.

    1. Thank you, FIlmwalli :). I'm glad you liked the movie too, our taste of movies is quite similar as far I can judge from now. Hopefully Ali Zafar is good in Mere Brother Ki Dulhan, which I haven't seen yet. I definitely like him until now.

  3. I agree with everyone here! Thanks for bringing this film back to our attention Mette, I also truly enjoyed watching it and though it was a very fresh view on the subject. :-) I liked watching Ali Zafar in it and was also glad to watch him in Mere Brother Ki Dulhan, which is a film I found great fun too (, though I still like him more in Tere Bin Laden... Hope you like MBKD and that you can share your opinion on it soon.

    1. Hi Aline, welcome to Lime Reviews - it's wonderful to have a new reader :).

      I'm glad you are a member of the we-love-TBL club. I haven't seen MBKD yet, but I hope to do so very soon (that is, when I get my paycheck).


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