Hansal Mehta directed 'Omerta' is a dauntless documentary drama based on the real life of Ahmed Omar Saeed Sheikh a Pakistan descent militant linked to various terrorist organizations simultaneously holding a British citizenship. The word 'Omerta' is of an Italian origin which means following a code of silence in context of the criminal activity with the refusal to give any evidence to the police. The meaning is phenomenally explained with the intriguing narration of the film as of how an International terrorist is freed even after denounced guilty.
The film straightaway introduces the psychopath antagonist Rajkummar Rao as Omar Sheikh a strong Islamist believer planning the 1994 kidnappings of Western tourists in Delhi, India. Surprisingly, caught by the Delhi Police Omar is tortured brutally and prisoned in the Tihar Jail where he is forced to follow the legal proceedings pleading for a British Trial and the serious charges even backs off his defence lawyer who could not do much about it. A flashback takes us back in the making of a London School of Economics student choosing the path of Jihad sacrificing his luxurious life in London and Mehta has propounded a fierce Islamist point of view quite logically. Omar is shown as a rebellion protesting on the streets of London for the 1995 Bosnian War which had the Serbian-Bosniaks mass murdering the innocent Muslims using biological weapons. The anti-American Omar is seen mentioning about the Guantanamo Bay detention camp in Cuba which has a lot of Muslim militants captured by the American armed forces. He is plotted in Pakistan in the name of Jihad and the Maulvis are like the HR welcoming the most educated member of the organization with the false belief of fighting a war for Allah!
A man jumping off a valley in the training camp shouting Allah hoo Akbar!!! with the brainwashing session that has a Mulla stating 70 virgin women waiting in the door of heaven. My goodness, a literate lad was so easy to fool? Institutionalised in the name of religion blindly following the agendas of Maulvis who instigate strong actions leading to Jihad. A war of Islam rather than a war of justice. The film further highlights 1999, Indian Airlines Flight 814 hijack incident from Nepal. The hijackers demanded the release of Saeed, Masood Azhar and Mushtaq Ahmed Zargar, who were leaders of Harkat-ul-Mujahideen, and Omar Sheikh to Pakistan. Real footage of the reigning Prime minister of India Atal Bihari Vajpayee speaking about the demand of the kidnapped hostage is clearly presented. Omar is back in Pakistan like a boss shouting a message ''Hamari Fateh hui hai, hamne India ka sarr jhuka diya! Inshah allah!" The climax follows the merciless assassination of The Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl for which Omar Sheikh was sentenced to death on July 15, 2002 by Pakistan. Guess what? No legal action is taken against him and he is still alive serving life imprisonment in Karachi, Pakistan.
Many of the critics might feel its a dramatized version of the real-life events with a flavour of propaganda glamorising a terrorist. But that's not the case. Hansal Mehta has courageously exposed the functioning of mean Jihadi beliefs that all the Islamic terrorist organization follows. The Pakistani military is involved, Pakistani intelligence is involved, every culprit is thoroughly exposed and these terrorist activities are mentally disturbing. Mehta has bravely showcased the involvement of Omar in 9/11 crash, 2008 terrorist attack in Mumbai, 1994 tourist kidnapping and a lot of true events politically connected. Daniel Pearl mentioning Dawood Ibrahim as a major sponsor of these Islamist organization had his head chopped off on knowing the truth.
I personally feel Hansal Mehta has interpreted reality magnificently with such a brave attempt Omerta. Hailed at the Toronto and the Mumbai film festival, the film has already received raving reviews. Rajkummar Rao as Omar is hot and cold sensitive empathizing Islamist rebellion who is blinded by the name of Jihad. Ceasing the British accent uttering some heavy words of Urdu bearded like a Mulla following Namaaz regularly; Rao delivers one of the finest performances of his career so far. Though through a negative role. The best acting snippet I observed is how Rao replicates Omar's devilish smile. A 2002 death sentenced Omar is smiling off his way to the Pakistani court still alive today and who knows he might be munching delicious Chicken Biryani there still today.
Technically the film is power packed with sheer cinematic brilliance and we cannot stop applauding the scenes captured by Anuj Rakesh Dhawan with delicate finesse and class. Mukul Dev has lined up every single event which Omar was involved and the intriguing screen-writing by Hansal Mehta is what the film stands for. To be honest, seek it not as a film but a source of authentic information.
Serious cinema lovers !!! A must watch.