Shoot on Sight
Cast: Naseeruddin Shah, Om Puri, Mikaal Zulfikar
Direction: Jag Mundhra
Truly does this question have to be addressed at all: “All Muslims may not be terrorists but are all terrorists Muslims?”
Then there’s, “Are you a police officer who’s a Muslim? Or a Muslim who’s a police officer?”
This amounts to pure rhetoric. In fact, you suspect that Jag Mundhra isn’t even aware of this as he sets out to make an issue-oriented thriller about Operation Kratos launched by the London police in the wake of the July 7, 2007 tube station bombings. So is this Shoot on Sight? Or is Sight on Shoot?
Obviously alluding to the killing of an innocent Brazilian, Mundhra kicks off with the slaying of a Muslim student at Charing Cross Road station. Muslim officer (Naseeruddin Shah) must head the inquiry into the incident. And hellzapoppin’. His nephew (Zulfikar) shows up from Lahore to live with him and aunt Greta Scacchi. Hollywood’s Devil’s Own (or Mission Kashmir) coming up again?
You bet. Nephew sides with the Muslim fundamentalists represented by Om Puri (looking as false as the chalk on his hair). Misguided Bacha is about to plant a bomb at a supermarket. No free merit certificates for guessing that the Muslim police officer must now confront Nephew Terrorist, pointing guns like they used to do in the good old Gunfight at the OK Corral cowboy westerns.
Several sub-plots clutter up the screenplay (like Gulshan Grover’s flashback to happier days). Visually, the enterprise is a cut above the commonplace, thanks to the authentic locations and Madhu Ambat’s cinematography.
Of the performances, Naseeruddin Shah is excellent. The others just about pass muster like this Sight on Shoot. Or is it Shoot on Sight?