‘Omertà,’ a Hansal Mehta directorial, is a thin line between a terrorist’s modus operandi and his ideology
NO ONE CAN OUTRUN JUSTICE
• Rajkummar Rao plays the role of British-born terrorist Ahmed Omar Saeed Sheikh*
• The film is Hansal Mehta’s attempt of evoking negligible sympathy for the protagonist by not over-dramatizing events and presenting the character’s journey for the audience to interpret
• ‘Omertà’ was highly appreciated at national and international film festivals. It was widely reviewed internationally and locally.
National, 8th July 2020: India’s largest video streaming platform, ZEE5, has been a pioneer in providing unparalleled entertainment with back-to back originals and digital releases across genres and languages. One of its most awaited digital releases, ‘Omertà,’ will premiere on 25th July exclusively on the platform. Directed by Hansal Mehta, in this sharply observed film, the portrayal of infamous terrorist Ahmed Omar Saeed Sheikh by Rajkummar Rao is authentic and brutal.
The film also features Rajesh Tailang, Rupinder Nagra, Keval Arora and Timothy Ryan Hickernell in pivotal roles and is produced by Nahid Khan of Swiss Entertainment, Karma Features and Distributed by Narendra Hirawat of NH Studioz.
‘Omertà’ is an expertly staged thriller about a baffling paradox of a man and traces the journey of the Pakistani origin British citizen Ahmed Omar Saeed Sheikh, who played an anonymous role in some of the world’s most defining acts of terror from the kidnapping of tourists in Delhi to the Kandahar IC814 hijacking to 9/11 to the Daniel Pearl kidnapping and murder to 26/11 attacks on Mumbai. The film while covering Omar’s journey travels through various locations in London, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Delhi and Mumbai captured with great expertise by lensman Anuj Rakesh Dhawan (Sonchiriya, Bala, Shahid).
Omertà’s lead actor Rajkummar Rao, says, “Playing Omar in Omertà is certainly one of the most challenging characters I’ve ever played on screen. It drained me completely both emotionally and physically. I could never have imagined that playing this part would mentally take me to such dark places. It’s a journey of one of the most deadliest terrorists of our times and Hansal Sir pushed me out of my boundaries to explore. It is great that ZEE5 will premiere this film digitally, which the world will be able to see.”
Director Hansal Mehta says, ” This hasn’t been an easy film to make with multiple locations, adverse weather conditions and often limited resources. What we had in ample measure was heart. The entire team has put their heart and soul into every minute of the process throughout the way. I would like to extend my gratitude to an exemplary cast and crew for their efforts and perseverance. This was my 5th collaboration with Rajkummar Rao and perhaps one of his biggest challenges as an actor. After having made films like Shahid, Citylights and Aligarh together, we were exploring a character’s inner darkness through this film’s protagonist Omar Sheikh. This is a film I’m very proud of. And as the film had predicted then Omar Sheikh with all his complicity in some of this centuries’ most heinous acts of terror is on his way to acquittal by Pakistan’s apex court. Omertà is an important document of our times, a thriller that is finally set to release on ZEE5 and I am really looking forward for the world to experience Omertà.”
Omertà had its world premiere at the 2017 Toronto International Film Festival, it was the closing film The Mumbai Film Festival, New York Indian film Festival and R2R Florence Film Festival. It was an official selection at the Hong Kong International Film Festival and The Busan International Film Festival.
*British-born terrorist Ahmed Omar Saeed Sheikh story – the abduction of Western tourists in India in late 1994, his arrest and imprisonment in Delhi, his release in exchange for the IC-814 hostages in 1999, the kidnap and killing of American Jewish journalist Daniel Pearl in 2002 and his trial and conviction in Pakistan, where he is still in prison awaiting judicial review.