Rajkummar Rao’s shocking avatar in Omerta
One of the most celebrated actors of his generation, Rajkummar Rao is known not only for his talent but also his unconventional choice of films. After making waves with last year’s critically acclaimed Newton, Rajkummar is set to return to the silver screen with another cracker of a film, Omerta. After Shahid, City Lights and Aligarh, the actor is teaming up with director Hansal Mehta once again for a film that explores the sensitive topics of religion and terrorism. Omerta brings to celluloid the real-life story of Ahmed Omar Saeed Sheikh, a British terrorist of Pakistani descent. Through his interpretation of the misuse of Jihad, the director has tried to expose state-sponsored terrorism. The film brings out the collusion of terror and power and how thousands of young minds are being manipulated in the name of God. The actor-director duo has pulled out all punches to expose the dark reality of the dangerous world of terror.
Rajkummar doesn’t shy away from playing demanding roles, but Omerta was a tougher challenge than he had anticipated. As evident from the poster of the film released recently, the actor looks menacing in a bespectacled and heavily bearded look. Rao has played characters with shades of grey in the past but has never portrayed the role of one of the world’s deadliest terrorist. He claims that playing Omar Saeed Sheikh was physically and mentally draining and has been his toughest role to date.
With its controversial subject and bold treatment, Omerta has elicited strong reactions ranging from shock, silence, appreciation and anger at film festivals around the world. The film ran to packed houses and gathered critical acclaim at the Toronto International Film Festival and Jio MAMI Film Festival. One can only hope that the nation’s varied audience receives this critically acclaimed film as well.