Shoot On Sight is inspired by real life events that followed the 2005 bombings on London?s transport system.
The film, directed by Jagmohan Mundra, grapples with urgent issues such as jihad, the misinterpretation of Islam, how terrorism has created frictions, big and small, and redefined lives and relationships across the globe.
Shoot on Sight is well intentioned and earnest but so doggedly dull and persistently predictable, that it fails to make an impact.
Mundra begins with a killing at a London Tube station. A Scotland Yard police officer kills an innocent Muslim man, who does not hear the officer?s commands because he has earphones on.
As criticism and charges of racism mount, the police department appoints their only Muslim senior officer to head the inquiry. But soon enough, commander Tariq Ali, played nicely by Naseeruddin Shah, finds himself fighting against departmental politics, an increasingly radical local Mullah and a nephew who has been brain-washed into Jihad.
Oh and there?s also the commander?s frisky teen-age daughter who gets arrested after a rave party and his affectionate but conflicted British wife.
Mundra is ambitious but not dextrous enough to weave so many strands into a cohesive narrative. Soon enough, the film soon loses focus and your eyes start glazing over.
At places, the dialogue is embarrassingly amateurish?after a kissing session, the daughter?s British boyfriend is bragging to his friends about her love making skills.
When the friend remarks that as a Muslim, she isn?t permitted pre-marital sex, the boyfriend replies: well, she isn?t allowed pork either but that didn?t stop her from swallowing my sausage.
The low- key production values only underline the film?s TV-movie-of-the-week- feel. Of course Shoot on Sight is leaps ahead of some Mundra?s earlier ventures like the decidedly C-grade Monsoon.
Which still doesn?t mean that we need to invest time and money in it. Wait for the television premiere instead.