First Look: Rajkumar Rao plays Pakistani terrorist Omar Sheikh in Hansal Mehta’s next thriller


Rajkumar Rao whose forthcoming drama, ‘Trapped’ is releasing tomorrow in theatres, has already bagged one more new film in his kitty. This time the versatile actor has teamed up with filmmaker Hansal Mehta with whom he has already delivered a National Award winning court drama movie in the form of ‘Shahid’.

Hansal Mehta, the director known for his predilection for making thought-provoking cinema, is making a thriller titled ‘Omerta’ which captures the controversial life of Ahmed Omar Saeed Sheikh, a British terrorist of Pakistani origin who is known for his involvement in the kidnapping and murder of Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl (2002), and his links to various Islamist organisations.

According to Bombay Times, ‘Omerta’ is an adopt recitation of Sheikh’s journey to radicalisation. Rajkumar Rao will be essaying the character of Sheikh who is currently being held in a prison in Pakistan. Hansal, for whom, it is by far his most explosive film, says, “This is based on the said international fugitive, who was involved in Pearl’s murder, and it covers a host of terrorist activities (including 26/11) seen through the eyes of this person, who was at the centre of it all.”

“After watching ‘A Mighty Heart’ (2007), I wanted to know more about the predator and why he chose this path. While various films have tried to showcase terrorism or its repercussions, I felt it was important to explore the other side of the spectrum — what goes on in the minds of these terrorists. There are so many stereotypes associated with terrorism, but the truth is far more murky and cold. Omar came from a privileged background before eventually being radicalised. Actor Mukul Dev told me this story way back in 2005. I wanted to make this film before Shahid, but a lot of research was required and we kept revising the script,” the director added.

Rajkumar Rao said, “It’s a complete contrast to what I did in ‘Shahid’. I play the anti-hero here. I’ve tried my best to make this character as real as possible. I even stayed in London for a while to get the hang of his way of life. The character is extremely cold and aloof and it was a bit of a challenge to convince myself as an actor to believe in his convictions.”

Rajkumar’s first look as terrorist Omar Sheikh from the film has also been released and the actor is seen fully convincing in this never-tried-before character.

News Courtesy – Bombay Times

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