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Shoot On SightShoot On Sight - Movie Review
17th Oct 2008  20.38 IST
By Aparajita Ghosh  

Shoot On Sight is undoubtedly a relevant film that comes a little late in the day because stories of terrorism and profiling of the Muslim community have already become a tad stereotypical.

Director Jagmohan Mundhra borrows a great deal from real life and gives it a spin to tell a tale from the perspective of a Muslim man at an influential position in London. The movie is set right after the London train bombings of July 2005 and the ensuing 'shoot on sight' orders to the police in which an innocent Brazilian (who ran into the tube station) was killed because the cop who pulled the trigger thought him to be a terrorist.

In 'Shoot On Sight' it's an innocent Muslim who's been killed. And investigating the shootout is a Scotland Yard officer Tariq Ali ( Naseeruddin Shah ), who himself is a Muslim from Pakistan, married to an English wife (Greta Scacchi) with two kids.

As Tariq digs deeper in the case, he sees two faces of the world around him. On the one hand are those who view the Muslim community (Tariq included) with suspicion, those who base their rigid opinion about an entire Muslim community on the basis of the actions of just a few. The second face is that of the Muslim community itself, with liberal minded Muslims and fanatic maulvis who hold sway to brainwash the young impressionable minds to the holy war.

Gulshan Grover is the face of a tolerant Muslim, while Om Puri plays the spitfire maulvi. There's also the character of Tariq Ali's young nephew (Mikaal Zulfikar) who falls prey to jihadi ideas.

The trouble with 'Shoot On Sight' is that it follows a very predictable path. Even though it has slices of real life in its screenplay (the character of Naseer is based on Tarique Gaffoor, a high-ranking cop in London), the characters and the story appear a little cliched.

So despite powerful performances from Naseeruddin Shah and Om Puri, 'Shoot On Sight' turns out to be a film that's strictly average, and even slow at times. It might, however, appeal to those who haven't watched Mumbai Meri Jaan or A Wednesday .

Overall, 'Shoot On Sight' is a movie that calls for your attention but doesn't grip you. Despite its socially relevant theme it hardly gives you anything to carry home. In that sense, it's a case of out of sight and out of mind.

Rating: **

Shoot On Sight
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