Shoot On Sight

Shoot On Sight


Reviewed by: Keith Dudhnath

When an innocent man is shot on the London Underground, in a scene reminiscent of Jean Charles de Menezes’s tragic slaying, Tariq Ali (Naseeruddin Shah) is called upon to investigate. As well as having to deal with the grieving family and an angry press, he's also juggling office politics, home life and the thoughts and ideas of his friends and acquaintances in the Muslim community.

Shoot On Sight is an odd mix of the very good and the very bad. Let's get the bad out of the way quickly. The plot is predictable, with its twists telegraphed a mile off. Many of the minor characters are simplistic caricatures. Although strongly connected to current affairs, any commentary on them lacks depth, or any real complexity. The film is a long way short of what it could have been.

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However, there is still much to admire and enjoy. Central to everything is Shah's performance. Despite (or perhaps because of) the broad brush strokes of the plot, he brings an immense subtlety to the role. Inner conflicts are clear to see and don't have to be spelled out. He's ably supported by the always excellent Brian Cox and Om Puri. Ali's family (Greta Scacchi, India Wadsworth, Arrun Harker and Mikaal Zulfikar) have simpler roles, but don't let the side down.

The direction must also be praised for allowing the actors to shine. It's not all perfect - the press conference scenes particularly grate - but overall Jag Mundhra has done a good job. Depending on your outlook, Shoot On Sight is either an opportunity missed, or a diamond in the rough.

It is worth taking a chance on it.

Reviewed on: 19 Jan 2009
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Shoot On Sight packshot
An innocent man is shot on the London Underground.

Director: Jag Mundhra

Writer: Carl Austin

Starring: Naseeruddin Shah, Brian Cox, Mikaal Zulfikar, Om Puri, Greta Scacchi, Sadie Frost, Ralph Ineson, India Wadsworth, Arrun Harker, Mikael Zulfikar, Clemency Burton-Hill, Tarn Devani

Year: 2007

Runtime: 112 minutes

BBFC: 15 - Age Restricted

Country: US/UK


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