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Lateef To Laden trailer: Shahid Kazmi's satire looks at a reluctant terrorist

The Laden connection in Lateef To Laden is purely limited to the obsession of a terrorist (played by Mir Sarwar) to meet his idol Osama Bin Laden.

Tariq Imtyaz in Lateef To Laden

Mayur Lookhar

Mantostaan (2017)  director Rahat Kazmi’s brother Shahid is set to make his directorial debut with a film titled Lateef To Laden. With this film, Shahid Kazmi looks at the lighter side of things in the troubled state of Jammu & Kashmir. The makers released the trailer last evening.

With no big stars or names, it’s difficult for small budget films to create a buzz. However, the moment your film is set in Kashmir, and it features the angle of terrorism, one is keen to see what the film has on offer.

Serious films like Roja (1992), Mission Kashmir (2000) and Haider (2014) have been based in the scenic state before. However, it is hard to recollect a satirical film on the problems in Kashmir. Lateef To Laden hopes to fill that void.

It has Laden in the title, but the film is not in the mould of Abhishek Sharma’s Tere Bin Laden franchise – Tere Bin Laden (2010) and Tere Bin Laden: Dead Or Alive (2016). Sharma’s film was about a Laden lookalike and how a few men in Pakistan want to make use of the doppelganger to their advantage. The Laden connection in Lateef To Laden is purely limited to the obsession of a terrorist (played by Mir Sarwar) to meet his idol Osama Bin Laden. The real life Osama was killed by American Navy Seals in Abbottabad, Pakistan in 2011.

For the writer-director this is more of a satirical take on the issues plaguing the Valley. The film draws the audience's attention to unemployment.

Shahid Kazmi’s protagonist Lateef [Tariq Imtyaz]  is a poor unemployed youth who loses his heart to an educated girl. Strangely, now we don’t know whether the girl was joking when she asks him whether he would become a mujahideen, but the guy does end up becoming one. In today’s world, the word mujahideen has become synonymous with terrorism. The actual Arabic word describes one who is engaged in jihad (war for Islam).

Lateef is soft-spoken, shy, and a total misfit as an extremist. The poor man can barely speak or fire a gun, but he is trapped in a web. The clerics of this unknown group have no faith in him. Looking at the group, it appears as though they are all a bunch of misfit terrorists.

Tariq Imtyaz looks the part as the reluctant terrorist. Mir Sarwar, who played Munni aka Harshali Malhotra's father in Bajrangi Bhaijaan (2015), is seen in the trailer too. Of all the cast, it is Sarwar who is bound to have an imposing presence in the film. Pari Choudhary comes across as a little undercooked. When a producer casts himself in a film, questions are bound to be raised, but at the trailer launch, Prem Kumar claimed that he came on board as an actor first.

It's refreshing to hear the classic song 'Mile Sur Mera Tumhara' (penned by Piyush Pandey, composed by Ashok Patki, Louis Banks) in the background. It goes with the romance theme in the film, but the song is also reminder of what the people of Kashmir need.

The humour is not intentional, but born out of the serious situations. This is a film based on the comedy of errors and the trailer is fairly good. Lateef To Laden will be released on 26 October.

Watch the trailer below:

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