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Shoot On Sight – movie review

Is it a crime to be a Muslim?


Shoot On Sight, movie review

Shoot On Sight is a political thriller which deals with the difficult dilemma of mostly peace loving Muslims. The story is about these turbulent times, when a cosmopolitan society, especially London, is gripped by fear of Islamic extremism. There is rampant racial profiling and Islamophobia during the aftermath of underground bombings in July 2005.

This is a fictional story based on Operation Kratos, the police “Shoot-on- sight” policy applied to suspected suicide-bombers after the 7 July 2005 London bombings. The film unfolds the turmoil in the life of Tariq Ali (Naseeruddin Shah), a Muslim police officer at Scotland Yard.

Commander Ali, born in Lahore and married to an English woman, is tasked to investigate the police shooting of a suspected Muslim terrorist in the London Underground. Distrusted by both his superiors in the police, and his fellow Muslims, he finds his inquiry hampered from all sides.

When evidence surfaces pointing to the slain man’s innocence, as well as the existence of a terrorist cell operating in his own backyard. Tariq must face the realization that sometimes, the right decision is the hardest one to make.

The more Tariq investigates deeper in the case, he sees two faces of the people in the world. First are those who view the all the Muslims with suspicion. These people base their rigid opinion about an entire Muslim community on the basis of the actions of just a few.

The remaining are those 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.

The best thing about Shoot On Sight is its pace. Unlike other bollywood flicks which drag at times, this one is a taut thriller simultaneously giving an incisive understanding of how Islamic terrorists are recruited. Yes, the movie is largely sympathetic to Islam and its followers.

Performances by Naseeruddin Shah, Om Puri and Greta Scacchi are just memorable. Ralph Ineson, Brian Cox and Laila Rouass also make their presence felt with such credible performances.

Jag Mundhra has to be complemented for making such a bold film. He has beautifully characterized the role portrayed by Nasirudeen Shah. The background music was good. The direction by Mundhra never gives a dull moment in Shoot On Sight.

CAST of Shoot On Sight:
Police Commander Tariq Ali – Naseeruddin Shah
Susan Ali – Greta Scacchi
Zara Ali – India Wadsworth
Junaid – Om Puri
Daniel Tennant – Brian Cox
Ruby Kaur – Laila Rouass
Fiona Monroe – Sadie Frost
Commander John Shepherd – Stephen Greif
Yunus – Gulshan Grover
Imran Ali – Arrun Harker
Pamala Davies – Clemency Burton-Hill
Farzana – Taru Devani
Sean – Jamie Doyle
Ralph Ineson – Marber
Baqir Hassan – Avtar Kaul

CREW of Shoot On Sight:
Directed – Jag Mundhra
Produced – Aron Govil
Story – Jag Mundhra
Screenplay – Carl Austin
Script – Pervaiz Alam
Original Music – John Altman
Cinematography – Madhu Ambat
Film Editing – Sanjeev Mirajkar
Executive Producer – Vandana Govil
Line Producer – Antara Bhardwaj
Associate Producer – Agam Jain
Casting – Urvashi Chugani
Production Design – Roger Harris
Costume Design – Sarah Tapscott
Shoot On Sight, movie review