Saturday, November 10, 2007

Om Shanti Om : Movie Review

Farah Khan’s film Om Shanti Om perfectly matches the festive spirit of the season. The movie is one of the best wholesome entertainers we have seen from Bollywood this year.

The best part about OSO is that it doesn’t pretend to be cerebral. Its humour, its corny sentimentality, and its music combine together to make a perfect recipe to drive your blues away.

On top of it are superb performances by the starcast helmed by the endearing Shah Rukh Khan who does the most corny things with such conviction that you end up liking them. Be it dressing like Rajnikant in the cowboy ‘Murugan’ avatar and fighting with a fluffy tiger. Or rescuing his ladylove from a raging fire and getting scorched above his butt.

To entertain the audiences, SRK doesn’t mind making himself the butt of a joke. And Farah Khan doesn’t mind going over the top if that brings a smile to your face. Yes, that is the intention of OSO – to entertain. And it succeeds in it in flying colours.

That the film is a hearty tribute to the cinema of 1970s becomes clear from its opening scene – Rishi Kapoor , all dressed in silver, dances to the song “Om Shanti Om” from Subhash Ghai’s film Karz . In the crowd is Om Prakash Makhija (SRK) one of the junior artists shooting for the song along with his sidekick Pappu Master ( Shreyas Talpade ).

Om has dreams in his eyes – dreams to become a superstar someday. And he is in love with popular actress Shantipriya ( Deepika Padukone ), to whose poster he often talks his heart out.

At home, Om’s mother ( Kiron Kher ) is sure her son’s dreams would come true one day. Well, they almost do.

Our smitten hero gets introduced to his ladylove through a series of remarkable incidences. Om’s love story seems headed in the right direction, but then, comes a revelation. There is another man in Shantipriya’s life and his intentions are not noble.

Without giving the story away, it can be safely said that Om and Shantipriya’s love story remains incomplete. It takes second birth and a new life for Om to finally settle the score with the man who took away his love.

‘Om Shanti Om’ is packed with one slammer of a scene after another throughout its running time. With its sheer joie de vivre, the film engages you and allows you no spare thought to pick plot-holes from a rational point of view.

The first half of the film is simply superb. The tongue-in-cheek spoofs on the superstars of the 70s – be it Manoj Kumar, Dev Anand or Dharmendra – are extremely funny. The chemistry between Om and his friend (Shreyas) has many charming moments. And it rends your heart to see how Om Makhija’s dreams are shattered and yet how he proves to be a true lover till his tragic end.

Lekin film abhi baaki hai, mere dost.

The second half doesn’t see much revival of the love story, but it does pack in a good dose of suspense and drama as the reincarnated Om Kapoor recalls his previous life in flashes and sets out to complete the story left incomplete in previous life.

In OSO, Shah Rukh Khan proves that he isn’t a superstar for nothing. His acting in the movie borders on a deliberate, filmi histrionic, in keeping with his character. SRK also proves his flair for comedy in many scenes – such as the cowboy Murugan sequence, or the opening song.

Deepika Padukone is very photogenic and she emotes well too. She has all the qualities of a superstar in the making.

In the side-roles, Shreyas Talpade and Kiron Kher are superb. But what is surprising is Arjun Rampal ’s brilliant portrayal of a cunning producer. Rampal is terrific in the film’s second half, when the ugly past catches up with his character.

Pakistani actor Javed Sheikh, as the reincarnated SRK’s father Rajesh Kapoor, is commendable. His performance is several notches better than what we saw of him in Namastey London .

Music by Vishal-Shekhar is another strong point of OSO. “Aankhon Mein Teri” plucks notes at your heartstrings. “Om Shanti Om” may have an average melody but the thirty celebrities in the song keep you glued to the screen.

Farah Khan has a very unique style of filmmaking. She follows no set formula and is not afraid to try anything and everything wacky just for the sole purpose of providing entertainment. She makes SRK dress up as a superman, as a dacoit, and as a gaudy cowboy. And she presents Akshay Kumar and Abhishek Bachchan in little cameos that will have you in splits.

Apart from the content, OSO is also a technically sound film. The cinematographer doesn’t try too many stylistic shot compositions but yet captures the gist of the story. The editing by Shirish Kunder is slick and tight. And the special effects – transposing Deepika Padukone with the likes of Sunil Dutt, Rajesh Khanna and Jitendra – are of super quality.

To put the curtains down, I wish to say that OSO delivers what it promises. It makes you laugh and makes you cry.

I came out of the theatre with a broad smile on my face. And ‘Om Shanti Om’ sounded like the perfect mantra of this Diwali for me.

Rating: ***1/2

source : apunkachoice

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