Full on Osama Bin Laden satire, Abhishek Sharma’s Tere Bin Laden is gearing up for a US release on August 6. The film, a spoof on the infamous Bin Laden tapes that intermittently appeared on TV channels and caught serious attention after the 9/11 US terrorist attacks, hasn’t faced problems from American censors.
Says the film’s producer Aarti Shetty, of Walkwater Media, "We wanted to give the film a mainstream release in the US after two months. But our international distributors advised us to release it right away to benefit from the buzz it has generated."
"The film has been written about in publications like US mainstream media like TIME magazine," adds producer Pooja Shetty Deora. "Everyone in the West is already curious about the film; UK’s The Guardian has even given it a positive review. It would be foolish to delay our release."
In its second week now, Tere Bin… has collected Rs 8 crore (excluding second weekend’s figures) across 344 screens in India. It is headed to be one of the biggest low-budget Bollywood hits, having already crossed Love Sex Aur Dhokha’s (2010) net collections of Rs 6.9 crore, Khosla Ka Ghosla’s (2006) collections of Rs 6.44 crore and is steadily on its way to cross Bheja Fry’s (2007) 11.51 crore and A Wednesday’s (2008) 11.32 crore.
The film has also collected over $3,00,000 (Rs 1.4 crore approximately) from the UAE, UK and Australia markets already, and the distributors are now looking at increasing the film’s prints in certain places.
Shetty says, “We were very anxious since the film has no stars, and is an outrageous comedy with a story line no one else will touch. But the audiences, critics as well as the industry have liked the movie a lot, so now, some places are showing up to six shows in a day.”
The comedy, which was three years in the making, is about an ambitious Pakistani reporter Ali (played by Ali Zafar), who in desperation to migrate to the US, makes a fake Osama Bin Laden video using a look-alike, and pandemonium follows. Though the film is a tongue-in-cheek take on the war against terrorism, the Pakistani government has put a ban on it.
To try and get them to reconsider, Zafar, who is a superstar singer and actor in Pakistan, has held a press conference in Pakistan, appealing against the ban.
Reveals Shetty Deora, “The pirated DVDs of the film are already out in Pakistan, so by not releasing the film theatrically, the industry there is losing revenue. By casting Ali in the lead, we have taken a step towards artistic collaboration, which will be beneficial to both countries. Their stand is disappointing, but we are hopeful they will reverse it.”