Omerta Movie Review: It Takes Terrorism To Another Level!


Starring Rajkummar Rao, Rupinder Nagra

Directed by Hansal Mehta

Rating: *** ½(3 a half stars)

In the end we hear the nightmare-inducing sounds of  man’s throat being  slit open, halaal style.  Nothing  prepares  us for  the coldblooded brutality  of Hansal Mehta’s chilling chronicle  of Ahmed Omar Saeed Sheikh, the British-Pakistani  terrorist who planned and executed the murder  of Daniel Pearl.

Omerta is  not an easy film to watch. The  violence that grips the heart  of  the protagonist seems to clamp itself around  the narrative creeping up on the  plot points ladling  the  terror-ridden  violence  with a staggering inevitability.

The film is shot like a sweeping arching documentary,creating a screen  secreting slivers  of  silent screams

Terror and terrorism have afflicted  our cinema in ways that are  both life-changing and  long-lasting. Omerta  takes both the routes and comes up with some deadends in the narrative, much like what often occurs in violent lives where the only certainty is sudden and brutal death. Ironically Omar Sheikh lives at the end, in spite of all the unimaginable violence that he perpetrates .And  perpetrates with such conviction.

The film has many loose ends, threads from the theme of violence hanging around  uneasily, suspended in  midair as  globules of gore collide and  split apart  our sense wrong and right .

At  the centre of this askewed universe  of tantalizing thought-processes  and  damning aggression is RajkummarRao playing Omar Sheikh the kingpin terrorist so sure of  what he thinks is wrong with the world  that he makes us, the pacifists, question our belief in non-violence. Rao’s is a deeply disturbing  performance. It is  cool and  persuasive.Brutal and  unscrupulous his  portrayal  of Omar tears into the innards of  the anatomy of terrorism and  comes  up with very disturbing truths.

In the sequences with his father in London, Omar comes across as shy and inhibited. This is a man who sees humanism in barbarism and  salvation in  terror. Some  of the on-screen violence is unbearably brutal.And  I wonder what the censor board would make  of it.

Omerta is  a pain-lashed brutal and blunt exposition on  terrorism. It offers no  hope for  the end  of  violence. In fact it tells  us that  violence won’t go away even if we want it to.

​And that’s a sobering  thought.​

Leave a Comment