When I watched MS Dhoni: The Untold Story, I was sure there would soon come a movie about a “terrorist” or an evil character. It was Omerta. The gap was just one year.
Not always one who is tagged or banned or punished as a “terrorist” is what he is! That’s not what I am saying but the story of this movie. There is always a reason behind the transformation of a good man into evil.
Some facts first: You must be thinking why twice I already used terrorists in double quotes! Under the new definition and amended laws, the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act teaches you a new story. And, surprisingly, under it, while pregnant 27-year-old student Safoora Zargar spends months in prison for her inflammatory speeches, Congress councillor Ishrat Jahan who refused to vacate a protest site also lands behind bars. Natasha Narwal from the Pinjratod collective, which campaigns for women’s equality, for protests in front of a metro station and Umar Khalid for anti-CAA protests being few other names who stood for a cause which seemed “anti-national” to many, while they were still worshipped by many more.
Similarly, while Dhoni is a hero to millions of Indians, many do not preach him in and outside India. While he stumped many of the top batsmen, his strategies worked against others. Good for India, his Ranji team and CSK but not for those who fell “victim” to it.
The story now: Omar or Ahmed Omar Saeed Sheikh, a British terrorist of Pakistani descent, also rose to the occasion in 1992 when he witnessed and felt he should after seeing scores of innocent Muslims being killed in Bosnia. The reports, the news and the footage shook him from within and a second-year LSE student chose the evil path to avenge the deaths of his “brothers and sisters”.
You can’t blame him as some leaders, in the name of Islam, taught him that shedding blood of those related to these villains would deliver justice to those souls and their kin.
While a lot depends on what is taught, he chose the wrong tutorial (indoctrination) over his father’s request of dealing with these people through education. His father, like the one played by Anupam Kher in The Untold Story, wanted his son to lead a normal life.
Both the sons didn’t choose to listen, and surprisingly, both are today names behind huge successes.
Quite a long narrative about good and evil rising from an educated family.
Oh, BTW, if you are wondering then what Omerta means, it is a code of silence about criminal activity, mainly used in Italian mafia, and a refusal to give evidence to police.
As in the movie, Rajkummar Rao does justice to the role of Omar, minus the British accent, but somehow the twisted facts did not really work as a story. You may feel a good actor chosen to shoot a documentary rather.
While the hunt, hunger and greed to know more about the character’s childhood or events that led to him being an international terror figure remain unanswered, what’s catered may not be fulfilling as a story. All we get to see is the abduction of Western tourists in India in late 1994, his arrest and imprisonment in Delhi, his release in exchange for the IC-814 hostages in 1999, the kidnap and killing of American Jewish journalist Daniel Pearl in 2002 and his trial and conviction in Pakistan. So the Omerta plot does not deliver big surprises. It’s sketchy and unimpressive at many places. I would not go into more details but while Omerta does shake you up in parts. However, as a whole, it fails to stir you emotionally as a film like this should. Remember Fanaa? Didn’t you want the cute terrorist to live?
P.S: The recent releases of Rajkummar Rao, Sushant Singh Rajput and Amit Sadh can collectively be called Kai Po Che!