Tere Bin Laden (transl. Without you, Laden / Your Bin Laden)[4] is a 2010 Indian Hindi-language satire comedy film produced by Walkwater Media and written and directed by Abhishek Sharma. In the film, an ambitious young Pakistani reporter, in his desperation to migrate to the United States, makes a fake Osama bin Laden video using a look-alike, and sells it to TV channels. Osama bin Laden was played by Pradhuman Singh. The film is a spoof on Osama Bin Laden as well as a comic satire on America's war against terror and the realities of the post-9/11 world.[5][6][7] The film was released worldwide, except the United States and Pakistan, on 16 July 2010.

Tera Bin Laden
Theatrical release poster
Directed byAbhishek Sharma
Screenplay by
Story byAbhishek Sharma
Produced by
  • Pooja Shetty Deora
  • Aarti Shetty
CinematographySantosh Thundiyil
Music byShankar–Ehsaan–Loy
Walkwater Media
Distributed byBSK Network and Entertainment[1]
Release date
  • July 16, 2010 (2010-07-16) (India)
Running time
98 minutes[2]
Budget258 million (US$3.1 million)[3]
Box office1,150 million (US$14 million)[3]

A sequel, Tere Bin Laden: Dead or Alive, was released in 2016.

Plot edit

Ali Hassan is a reporter with Danka TV, a downmarket local TV channel in Karachi, Pakistan. He is keen to migrate to the US for a better life and wants to work for an American news channel. He gets a chance to fly to the US, but ruins it on board while filming his own audition. He recites the words "Hijack" and "Bomb" too many times; thus scaring his fellow passengers and flight crew. As soon as he reaches the United States, he is deported. Furthermore, because of this incident his visa application is rejected six times in seven years. While covering a local event for his channel, he comes across an Osama bin Laden look-alike, Noora, and hits upon an idea to make a fake Osama tape. He manages to convince his assistant Gul about the merits of his plan. With help from his travel agent's assistant Zoya and a local radio jockey Qureshi, he is able to make the tape by tricking Noora into unknowingly posing as Bin Laden. He then sells the tape to the owner of his channel, hoping to raise money for a new false identity, a new passport and a renewed attempt at getting the elusive US visa. However, the gravity of their action strikes them when the US Government takes the tape seriously and gets involved, as do the Pakistani intelligence agencies. Noora, too, realises the trick played upon him and hides in his house.

Ali decides to defuse the situation by making another tape in which Osama would be declaring ceasefire with US. He manages to convince Noora and Qureshi. During the shooting of the tape in Danka TV studio, Noora unwittingly detonates a grenade, which kills his beloved prize rooster. Depressed, Noora runs away from the location with the Osama-makeup still on, forcing Ali and his team to follow suit. They manage to get hold of Noora and try to convince him for another shoot. Meanwhile, the FBI team, led by Ted Wood and Usman, head of the Pakistani intelligence agency tracks down the location of Ali and his team. The police arrests Noora, Ali and his team. Ted is delirious that he could at last catch Osama bin Laden. However, during the interrogation, the truth is revealed and to save Ted's face, Ali convinces him about his idea of making a tape of Osama declaring ceasefire. The film ends with US accepting the offer of ceasefire and Ted getting elected as Defence Secretary. Ali is, at last, able to make it to the US and Noora too changes his lifestyle, marries Zoya and helps her with the daily routine in her beauty parlor. Usman is shown to be admitted in a mental hospital as he tries to tell the truth to the world.

Cast edit

Production edit

Development edit

Abhishek Sharma was working with Pooja Shetty Deora when he developed the idea of making a film on Osama. According to him, the idea was apparently due to a "severe" headache.[9] "I had a severe headache one day and had tied a cloth around my head, which looked like a turban. I had a lot of facial hair then. Someone commented that I looked like Osama Bin Laden. It then struck me to do a spoof on Bin Laden", he said.[10] He then did research on Osama bin Laden through internet by watching his tapes and prepared the first draft of the film, which was cleared by Pooja Shetty.[9]

Casting edit

For the film's cast, Sharma didn't want any "established stars or people that are easily recognizable" as the film wouldn't have the "intended effect on audience".[11] Ali Zafar was the first one to be cast. Sharma watched his music videos and decided to give the journalist's role to him as he had the "quirkiness" and "wit" to be in a comedy film.[10] Zafar was initially cautious about the script but decided to do the film after reading the script, which he liked.[12] He prepared for the role by watching and studying reporters and learning how they function. He attended a 10-day workshop with Barry John along with other actors of the film.[13] Pradhuman Singh was selected to play as Osama bin Laden after an "innumerable auditions and a tedious process". The casting of Osama was "a challenge", according to Sharma. Sharma knew Singh since their days together at a workshop in the National School of Drama and according to him, Singh was "good at mimicry". They made a short film and a documentary together after which Sharma shifted to Mumbai.[11][14] Singh was given an Osama tape to watch, and he later learned Arabic for eight months to get the diction.[15]

Filming edit

The film crew attempted to get the locations, costume design, and language as similar as possible to that in Pakistan, and recreated the scene of Karachi to do this. The film was shot in areas of Mumbai and Hyderabad which bore resemblance to Karachi. The costumes, hoardings in Urdu, radio sets were brought from Pakistan.[16]

Release edit

Tere Bin Laden was released on 23 July 2010 in 344 screens across India.[17] It was distributed by BSK Network and Entertainment Private Limited, owned by Boney Kapoor.[18] The release of the film was delayed in the United States because the producers first wanted to gauge the film's response in other countries and also considering the sensitivity of the topic in the US.[19] Pakistan's censor board renamed the title of the movie as Tere Bin as Zafar didn't want the people to think of the film as a biography of Osama bin Laden[13] and Middle East countries banned the release of the film.[20]

Critical reception edit

The film garnered mixed to positive reviews. Nikhat Kazmi of The Times of India, while giving it a rating of 4 out of 5 noted that "compared with recent laugh riots at box office, Tere Bin Laden has both: a smart script and some smart acting."[5] Noyon Jyoti Parasara of AOL rated the film 4 out of 5 and said, "What makes 'Tere Bin Laden' mint fresh is that despite being based on the post 9/11 scenario and the Laden scare, this one is a fun ride."[21] Taran Adarsh of Bollywood Hungama gave the film a rating of 3.5 out of 5 and said, "On the whole, Tere Bin Laden is a fun-ride that makes you smile constantly and even laugh outrageously in those two hours."[22] Pankaj Sabnani of Bollywood Trade News Network gave it 3.5/5 and stated "Tere Bin Laden is 'laden' with many humorous moments. It is by far the funniest film in recent times. A must watch."[23] Rediff called the film a "brilliant satire". It further said, "Tere Bin Laden is not just a film about slapstick jokes and naughty humour. Through all the gags and jokes, one is forced to accept how willingly we compromise on our ideals and values to attain our cherished goals; how we persist in giving personal gain more importance than building a cohesive society".[24] The film received international media attention too with The Guardian terming the film as a "satire with a sting" and felt that the film "required viewing by the American Government".[25]

NDTV wrote: "Tere Bin Laden is one of those whacked-out satires that sounds far funnier in theory than it finally is on screen". It lauded the director Abhishek Sharma for "pulling off a parody" while combining "poultry jokes with globally-significant comments" which is "no small achievement".[26] Rajeev Masand of CNN-IBN felt that the film "is a low-IQ comedy that succeeds in making you laugh occasionally, despite its highly improbable premise". He said that the "script is over-simplistic in its portrayal of America's cluelessness and confusion over how to deal with the terror threat, and as a result the film's final act comes off as too contrived even for a comedy".[27] Rotten Tomatoes declared that 54% of 368 users liked the film and on an average, rated the film at 3.3 out of a scale of 5.[28]

Political analyst, Jyoti Malhotra in Arab international daily, Asharq Alawsat, saw the film as a "message for Pak–India Talks", referring to foreign ministers of India and Pakistan, who were meeting at the same time. According to her, the film, "promises to unite film-goers...an ingredient terribly dangerous for power-hungry politicians on any side."[29]

Box office edit

In India, the film opened on 350 screens and collected 50 million in its opening weekend. Friday morning shows opened with 20–25% in key areas like Delhi, Mumbai, Pune, Nasik, Bangalore, and evening settled down to 35–40% with average occupancy cultivating first day gross box office of 11.1 million, with glowing reviews ranging from 3–4 star ratings and strong word of mouth from audience Saturday showed an impressive jump of 80–85% and settle down to 17.5 million, Sunday showed further jump of 66% compared to Saturday, and garnered further 21.5 million cultivating to cumulative an astounding opening weekend collection of more than 50 million gross. The film collected 82.5 million (US$990,000) at the end of its theatrical run.[30] It was declared an average grosser at the box office.[30]

Awards and nominations edit

6th Apsara Film & Television Producers Guild Awards


  • Apsara Award for Best Story – Abhishek Sharma
  • Apsara Award for Best Screenplay – Abhishek Sharma
2011 Zee Cine Awards


Soundtrack edit

Tere Bin Laden
Soundtrack album by
Released21 June 2010 (2010-06-21)[33]
GenreFilm soundtrack
LabelPen Music
Shankar–Ehsaan–Loy chronology
Tere Bin Laden
We Are Family

The soundtrack of Tere Bin Laden was released on 21 June 2010. The music directors of the film include, Shankar Mahadevan, Ehsaan Noorani, Loy Mendonca and Dhruv Dhalla while the lyrics have been penned by Jaideep Sahni[33]

Controversies edit

Walkwater Media, the film's production company, reportedly received threatening letters which accused the company of supporting Osama bin Laden and terrorism by making the comedy film.[34]

Pakistan's film censor board banned the film on grounds that extremists could use it as a pretext to launch attacks.[35][36]

Sequel edit

In May 2012, it was announced that VJ-turned actor Ayushmann Khurrana will be the lead actor for the sequel.[37] The sequel will also be produced by Pooja Shetty and directed by Abhishek Sharma.[38] Sharma announced that Manish Paul would be playing the lead role in Tere Bin Laden 2, while Pradhuman Singh would return in the sequel and continue portraying the role of Osama bin Laden look-alike. Ali Zafar will also return in the sequel, but only for a cameo appearance apparently.[39]

See also edit

References edit

  1. ^ "'Tere Bin Laden' earns Rs.50 mn in opening weekend". The Economic Times. Archived from the original on 6 August 2022. Retrieved 6 August 2022.
  2. ^ "TERE BIN LADEN (PG)". British Board of Film Classification. 12 July 2010. Archived from the original on 5 March 2016. Retrieved 26 February 2016.
  3. ^ a b Dubey, Bharati (22 August 2010). "Small-budget movies raking in big moolah". The Times of India. Archived from the original on 4 November 2012. Retrieved 22 January 2011.
  4. ^ "Pakistan bans India Osama Bin Laden comedy". BBC News. 15 July 2010. Archived from the original on 23 September 2018. Retrieved 20 June 2018.
  5. ^ a b Kazmi, Nikhat (15 July 2010). "Movie Review: Tere Bin Laden". The Times of India. Archived from the original on 3 November 2012. Retrieved 2 July 2013.
  6. ^ "Now, a Bollywood spoof on Osama Bin Laden". Rediff. Archived from the original on 13 June 2010. Retrieved 9 June 2010.
  7. ^ "A Bollywood debut for Osama bin Laden". Reuters. 7 July 2010. Archived from the original on 7 March 2023. Retrieved 2 July 2017.
  8. ^ "Sudipto Balav goes outdoorsy - Times of India". The Times of India. Archived from the original on 7 March 2023. Retrieved 5 September 2020.
  9. ^ a b "'Tere Bin Laden': Who needs Bollywood stars when you have Osama?". CNNGo. 30 July 2010. Archived from the original on 1 January 2012. Retrieved 31 July 2012.
  10. ^ a b "How the idea came about is as bizarre as the film itself". Rediff. 9 June 2010. Archived from the original on 13 June 2010. Retrieved 25 June 2010.
  11. ^ a b Sarkar, Neeti (12 July 2010). "Tere Bin Laden – Look alike". The Hindu. Chennai, India. Archived from the original on 22 August 2010. Retrieved 31 July 2012.
  12. ^ "Taking on Osama Bin Laden". Rediff. 13 July 2010. Archived from the original on 15 January 2011. Retrieved 31 July 2012.
  13. ^ a b Chang, Arlene (13 July 2010). "Ali Zafar on 'Tere Bin Laden'". blogs.wsj.com. Wall Street Journal. Archived from the original on 14 July 2010.
  14. ^ "My family didn't know I was playing Osama: Pradhuman Singh". The Times of India. 11 April 2012. Archived from the original on 17 November 2013.
  15. ^ "'They didn't want an Osama with a paunch'". Hindustan Times. 20 July 2010. Archived from the original on 22 July 2010.
  16. ^ "Karachi recreated in India for a film – Prithwish Ganguly / DNA". Dnaindia.com. 2 June 2010. Archived from the original on 28 September 2012. Retrieved 28 June 2012.
  17. ^ "Tere Bin Laden rakes in Rs 50 million in opening weekend". NDTV Movies. 20 July 2010. Archived from the original on 23 July 2010. Retrieved 20 July 2010.
  18. ^ "After ISHQIYA Boney Kapoor scores with TERE BIN LADEN". Glamsham. 20 July 2010. Archived from the original on 24 February 2014. Retrieved 28 June 2012.
  19. ^ "No US release for Tere Bin Laden for now". NDTV Movies. 8 July 2010. Archived from the original on 10 July 2012.
  20. ^ "Pakistan bans Bollywood movie 'Tere Bin Laden – Movies News – Bollywood – ibnlive". IBNLive. 15 July 2010. Archived from the original on 19 July 2010. Retrieved 28 June 2012.
  21. ^ Parasara, Noyon Jyoti. "AOL movie review "Tere Bin Laden"". Archived from the original on 16 September 2010. Retrieved 6 September 2010.
  22. ^ Adarsh, Taran. "Tere Bin Laden Movie Review By Taran Adarsh". Bollywood Hungama. Archived from the original on 24 February 2010. Retrieved 17 July 2010.
  23. ^ Sabnani, Pankaj. "Tere Bin Laden Movie Review". Bollywood Trade News Network. Archived from the original on 18 July 2010. Retrieved 17 July 2010.
  24. ^ Arora, Preeti. "Tere Bin Laden: A brilliant satire". Rediff. Archived from the original on 4 November 2012. Retrieved 30 July 2012.
  25. ^ von Tunzelmann, Alex (22 July 2010). "Tere Bin Laden: satire with a sting". The Guardian. London. Archived from the original on 15 September 2013. Retrieved 30 July 2012.
  26. ^ "Review: Tere Bin Laden". NDTV. Archived from the original on 30 September 2012. Retrieved 20 July 2012.
  27. ^ Masand, Rajeev. "'Tere Bin Laden' is a low-IQ comedy". IBNLive. Archived from the original on 19 July 2010. Retrieved 20 July 2012.
  28. ^ "Tere Bin Laden' (2010)". Rotten Tomatoes. Archived from the original on 5 December 2013. Retrieved 20 July 2012.
  29. ^ "Osama's Bollywood Comedy: A Message for Pak – India Talks". Asharq Alawsat. 19 July 2010.[permanent dead link]
  30. ^ a b "Box office 2010". Box Office India. Archived from the original on 9 December 2013. Retrieved 22 October 2010.
  31. ^ "Nominations for 6th Apsara Film & Television Producers Guild Awards". Bollywood Hungama. Archived from the original on 9 January 2011. Retrieved 7 January 2011.
  32. ^ "Nominations for Zee Cine Awards 2011". Bollywood Hungama. Archived from the original on 5 January 2011. Retrieved 7 January 2011.
  33. ^ a b "Tere Bin Laden: Soundtrack listing and details". Bollywood Hungama. Archived from the original on 23 February 2010. Retrieved 26 June 2010.
  34. ^ "'Tere Bin Laden' makers receive threatening letters". Geo.tv. Archived from the original on 22 June 2010. Retrieved 19 June 2010.
  35. ^ "Pakistan bans Bin Laden comedy film". Archived from the original on 7 March 2023. Retrieved 3 October 2020.
  36. ^ "Pakistan bans comedy about bin Laden lookalike". CNN. 15 July 2010. Archived from the original on 18 July 2010. Retrieved 15 July 2010.
  37. ^ Joshi, Sonali; Varma, Lipika (28 May 2012). "Ayushmann Khurrana bags Tere Bin Laden sequel". India Today. New Delhi. Archived from the original on 28 May 2012. Retrieved 28 May 2012.
  38. ^ "Ayushmann joins Ali Zafar in 'Tere Bin Laden' sequel". Dainik Bhaskar. 28 May 2012. Archived from the original on 3 June 2012. Retrieved 28 May 2012.
  39. ^ "'Tere Bin Laden 2' an unconventional sequel, says director". Zee News. 23 December 2013. Archived from the original on 26 December 2013. Retrieved 27 December 2013.

External links edit