Certificate: U/A

Director: Hansal Mehta

Starring: Rajkummar Rao

Screenplay: Hansal Mehta

Story: Mukul Dev

Nahid Khan’s produced OMERTA is a true story based on the life of a British terrorist of Pakistani descent Ahmed Omar Saeed Sheikh. This Hansal Mehta directorial is a detailed story on the journey of the terrorist Omar Sheikh (played by Rajkummar Rao). The 1 hour and 35 minutes film shows how  Omar Sheikh became a terrorist and his involvement in the 1994 Delhi Kidnappings, 9/11 attack on world trade centre, 2002 killing of Wall Street Journal’s Jewish American journalist Daniel Pearl and 26/11 Mumbai terror attack. The movie is a brutal tale and nerve racking story on terrorism. As the film start’s we see Omar Sheikh befriending and then abducting Czech, British and American citizens who were on a vacation in Delhi to send a message that the citizens of these countries are not safe anywhere in the world. After this he is caught by Delhi police and is sent to Tihar Jail, following this we see footages of Indian Airlines Flight IC 814 being hijacked and held in Kandahar and in exchange of the passengers Omar Sheikh along with Massod Azhar and Mushtaq Ahmed Zargar were freed. Later we see a series of flashback in 1990’s where we are shown that how he from a student of economics in London becomes a terrorist with links to Jaish- e- Mohammed and Al-Qaeda. As he feels deeply hurt and sadden to see the slaughter of Bosnian Muslims by Serbs in 1992. Omar’s father wants him to complete his education but it only takes a few nudges from the local Maulana to make Omar join their group. We now see him training in Pakistan, in Jihadi boot camps in Afghanistan, meeting with the ISI and all. Now after he was freed in 1999 he settles in Pakistan and then how he plays a role in Daniel Pearl’s kidnapping and his brutal murder to 26/11 Mumbai terror attack is followed. The film largely only focuses on the 1994 Delhi kidnappings & Daniel Pearl’s kidnapping and murder, the rest is largely shown to us by footages.

Technically the film is good, editing is nice, a lot of hard work is done on the actor’s looks and all the other materials involve in the film. Background score is also good, it pumps up the thrill.

Rajkummar Rao goes completely dark and carries the film on his shoulder, in almost every scene in the movie Rao is a part of it. His performance is highly gripping and is subtle yet frightening; once again he nails his character.

Hansal Mehta’s story telling is engaging and intriguing, there are enough thrills to keep one at the edge of your seat.  Though the major flow was Omar Sheikh Character’s development, we are not shown much into the brain and life of Omar Sheikh which feels incomplete; all his developments are shown rather quickly, an extra few minutes would not have harmed the film. Everything else is very good.

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