Omerta: Hansal Mehta’s Dramatised Wikipedia Entry on 21st-Century Terror

Bollywood

Omerta: Hansal Mehta’s Dramatised Wikipedia Entry on 21st-Century Terror

Illustration: Akshita Monga/Arré

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efore Omertà, the dreaded terrorist Ahmed Omar Saeed Sheikh had found his way to the big screen on two different occasions. The first was in Michael Winterbottom’s 2007 film A Mighty Heart starring Angelina Jolie and based on the memoir of Mariane Pearl, widow of Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl. The second, coincidentally was in Hansal Mehta’s Shahid (2013), a biopic on slain lawyer and human rights activist Shahid Azmi.

In Shahid, Sheikh’s presence was incidental to the film. Played by Prabal Panjabi, he tries recruiting Shahid Azmi (Rajkummar Rao) after revealing the Air India IC-814 hijacking plan to him in Tihar jail. Both the films however, barely scratched the surface of the sangfroid that a dangerous sociopath like Sheikh was capable of maintaining. That’s precisely what Mehta’s Omertà, a docu-drama-style biopic on Omar Sheikhstarring Rajkummar Rao with a terrible accent – sets out to correct.

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