Osama and Obama are rivals not only in Afghanistan and West Pakistan but also in the movie theaters. The films Tere Bin Laden and Phas Gaye Re Obama have been released around the same time and share a few commonalities.
But which is a better movie Tere Bin Laden or Phas Gaye Re Obama?
To start with, the movies have a few similarities, the biggest of which is the “Big American Dream”; while in TBL the main protagonist, Ali Zafar, dreams of going to Amreekka, in PGO a secondary one does. Both movies are a little behind the times with the former taking place at a time when George W Bush was the President of America, whereas the plot of the latter unwinds at the time of the recession and the American Presidential Elections.
Since TBL was released earlier it has an advantage since most viewers would automatically compare Phas Gaye Re Obama to the earlier film. However this would be unfair to PGRO since there are more differential factors within the two films,
rather than similarities.. In my analysis, I’ll keep such prejudices aside, as much as is humanly possible, and compare the movies head to head in their own right. Let me state before starting with the comparison that both the movies are very fresh and deserve at least a single watch. That being said, let the games begin!
Score: TBL – 0 PGRO – 0
Plot TBL has a very simple plot, a young reporter from Pakistan working for a shady TV channel “Danka” wants to go toAmreekka and make his name in journalism. The plot is almost air-tight and I have not been able to find many loopholes in it. It has many interesting sub-plots which add to the charm of the film, since not only are they comical, but they are also unpredictable. PGRO also has a simple plot but the sub-plots are quite complex and at times predictable. The plot is not as well thought out or as taut and riveting as in TBL. However the unique concept of a recession hit underworld is downright clever.
Score: TBL – 0.75 PGRO – 0.25
Acting Ali Zafar makes a sensational debut in the Indian film industry with TBL. His performance is excellent and so is his comic timing. But it is ‘Noora‘, played by Pradhuman Singh, the fake Osama who steals everyone’s thunder. Overall, except for one or two supporting actors, the standard of acting has been fairly high in Tere Bin Laden. PGRO also shines due to the brilliant acting by almost all the performers, except for a disappointing performance by the main protagonist’s wife. Amol Gupte brings the house down with his portrayal of a constipated politician.It is not easy to pick a clear winner in this category hence I am giving both the movies equal points.
Score: TBL – 1.25 PGRO – 0.75
Direction Phas Gaya Re Obama loses a lot of ground in this section. Maybe it was meant to be like this in the storyline, but the very civil treatment that the kidnapped NRI receives from the kidnappers is pretty hard to digest. However, the scene in which kin of the kidnapped pay ransom, receive a receipt along with a one year “no-kidnap” guarantee is hilarious and deserves at least quarter of a point. Tere Bin Laden however has been directed very well. Making such an implausible coup seem believable is an achievement in itself.
Final Score TBL – 3 PGRO – 1
So TBL wins hands down in this comparison but PGRO is a good movie nonetheless. However, both the films are a much welcome variation from the normal crop of films being produced by Bollywood, and both of them have proven to be delight to watch.