Inspired by the accidental killing of a suspect following the July 2005 transport bombings in London, veteran helmer Jag Mundhra's "Shoot on Sight" is a disappointingly stilted melodrama masquerading as a political thriller.

Inspired by the accidental killing of a suspect following the July 2005 transport bombings in London, veteran helmer Jag Mundhra’s “Shoot on Sight” is a disappointingly stilted melodrama masquerading as a political thriller. Looking and playing like a made-for-TV movie, pic is so busy making obvious points about Islamophobia vs. Islamic extremism that it overlooks nuance and character development. Hot-button issues and name Indian stars may draw auds for an initial look, but theatrical prospects are pretty much DOA.

Ambitious Scotland Yard commander Tariq Ali (Naseeruddin Shah, always watchable) is an assimilated Muslim with a supportive Christian wife (Greta Scacchi), rebellious teen daughter (India Wadsworth) and soccer-crazy son (Arrun Harker). He also shares his sizable suburban home with college student Zaheer (Mikaal Zulfiqar), a nephew recently arrived from Pakistan. Under attack from the media, Tariq’s boss (Brian Cox) appoints him to head the internal investigation of the shooting, but Tariq’s new importance arouses the jealousy of colleagues, who send the tabloids photos of him shaking hands with a hate-spouting Imam (Om Puri, chillingly convincing). Apart from Shah and Puri, perfs are shrilly one-note.

Shoot on Sight

U.K. - U.S.

Production

A Cine Boutique Entertainment (U.K.)/Aron Govil Prods. (U.S.) production. Produced by Aron Govil. Executive producers, Vandana Govil, Aron Govil. Directed by Jag Mundhra. Screenplay, Carl Austin.

Crew

Camera (color), Madhu Ambat; editors, Mundhra, Sanjeev Mirajkar; music, John Altman, Craig Pruess; production designer, Roger Harris; costume designer, Sarah Tapscott. Reviewed at Dubai Film Festival (Celebration of Indian Cinema), Dec. 15, 2007. English, Urdu dialogue. Running time: 110 MIN.

With

Naseeruddin Shah, Greta Scacchi, Brian Cox, Ralph Ineson, Stephen Greif, Om Puri, Mikaal Zulfiqar, Gulshan Grover, Laila Rouass, India Wadsworth, Arrun Harker.
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