Hansal Mehta's latest offering Omerta is nothing about the Russian mafia or any code of silence. But it is majorly about its central character, British terrorist of Pakistani origin Omar Saeed Shaikh (Rajkummar Rao) and the three main events of his life. Don't take me wrong. Omar is not the hero, he never can be. He's more of a devil on a mission who mistakes himself as God.
Don't miss the beginning of the movie because that'll establish Omar's cruel mind and a pitiless heart. It all begins when Omar sees his people getting massacred during the 1994 Bosnian War. That's when a bright and intelligent student of London School of Economics joins Islamic aid expedition in order to provide some kind of help to his religion. Moving back in forth in time, the movie gives us sneak peeks of Omar's training in Pakistan and Afghanistan, his first meeting with an ISI officer, a top Al-Qaida leader, apart from his time in Tihar jail in India. The movie delves into some of his crimes and just touches upon others -- the failed kidnapping of tourists in Kashmir, his involvement in 9/11, the Taj terror attack and journalist Daniel Pearl’s murder. But don’t leave your seat till the last moment because the climax is A-mazing!
Without his usual scriptwriter Apurva Asrani, it feels like there are some loopholes in this one. Making a film on a negative person is not easy, there are some challenges like not getting vacuumed into the criminal mind and not justify criminal acts while trying to make sense out of them but Omerta does not fall into the trap as Hansal fails to take the film beyond three major incidents of Omar's life. The audiences do not get a chance to connect with Rajkummar's character but we see him kidnapping foreigners, planning and killing innocent people! Probably an extra 15 minutes would not have harmed the run-time.
Rajkummar Rao steals the show as always. He is poised yet frightening, even his breathing would scare you. He smoothly gets into his cold character who can switch accents and personalities with equal ease – and does it all for the sole purpose of serving the ‘holy war’. Timothy Ryan Hickernell plays the role of The Wall Street Journal, journalist Daniel Pearl who was kidnapped and apparently killed by Omar Sheikh. He was the only one who stood in-front of him and Tiimonthy did it perfectly!
Ace filmmaker Hansal Mehta alongwith Anuj Rakesh Dhawan’s cinematography creates a dark atmosphere for the story and keeps enough thrills to keep you on the edge of your seat. The movie majorly is in English, hence Mehta was dead sure about the audience he wants to target. Ishaan Chhabra’s and Mandar Kulkarni’s music gives the movie what it needed. Pacy, edgy, fluctuating – the background score pumps up the mood adding the required thrill.
Hansal Mehta and Rajkummar Rao again bring something extra ordinary for us but there are times when you feel it can be better. But don't miss this one because it is a clear 6.5/10!