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Om Shanti Om – Movie Review
Behindwoods Movie Review Board
Machakkaran
Movie review

Om Shanti Om

Cast : Shahrukh Khan, Deepika Padukone, Shreyas Talpade

Direction: Farah Khan

Music: Vishal-Shekhar

Production: Gauri Khan

Shah Rukh’s home production is a result of a clever marketing ploy and star power at its peak. In her second outing as a director, Farah Khan seems to have smartly devised a plot with Om Shanti Om that talks about reincarnation set over two periods of the Hindi film industry. Rings a bell somewhere? It isn’t over yet; Om Shanti Om is a medley of many such movies with a generous serving of humor.

The story starts off in the 70’s where Shah Rukh plays Om Prakash Makhija, an aspiring junior artiste from a family of junior artistes, survived by his mother played by Kiron Kher, who dreams of making it big one day. His friend played by Shreyas Talpade is another junior artiste who encourages him all the way. His dream girl happens to be the leading heroine of Hindi films Shanti Priya played by Deepika Padukone, hinting that the era was dominated by heroines from the south. He is madly in love with her and believes he can marry her someday when he makes it big in films. A chance to save her from the fire on one of the shooting spots impresses Shanti who develops a soft spot for Om, reason enough for Om to believe she too is in love with him only to discover later that she is already married to producer Mukesh Mehra, played by Arjun Rampal. An interesting turn of events leads to Mukesh defiantly turning down Shanti’s request to officially accept their marriage. Om is witness to the gory incident when Mukesh decides to eliminate Shanti when he discovers she is pregnant, that could jeopardize his plans to marry another big producer’s daughter. Om is killed in the process and so does Shanti who is burnt down in the sets of her film Om Shanti Om, Mukesh’s dream project. Om dies after being admitted to the hospital after being run over by the then star Rakesh Kapoor’s car, on his way to the hospital for his wife’s biopsy. He dies there at the same instant when Rakesh Kapoor is blessed with a child.

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The movie then leaps 30 years to present times where he is reincarnated as Om Kapoor, popularly known as OK, star son of yesteryear actor Rakesh Kapoor, living the life Om Prakash only dreamt of. As a typical actor son, throwing his tantrums during film shoots, he accidentally happens to visit the venue where the fire accident that Om Prakash was witness too, brings back memories of his past in flashes when he rediscovers the truth behind his death and that of Shanti Priya’s as well. He then plans to wreck vengeance on Mukesh Mehra who by then has grown bigger and moved on to Hollywood calling himself Mike. He is talked into by OK to revive his Om Shanti Om and uses it as the setting to settle old scores. He even ropes in a Shanti Priya look-alike Sandi alias Sandhya, played by Deepika Padukone who this time around is a newbie and a fan of OK. Whether he manages to punish Mukesh and accept Deepika forms the climax.
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Indian films have something called the ‘Interval Block’ woven into the screenplay that defines the twist of the movie and is usually positioned midway through the movie. Here Farah seems to have placed it such that it happens during one-third of the movie showing the 70’s in all its glory taking a dig at the stars of those times and their flamboyant lifestyles. She carries off this with style and is entertaining to say the least with songs blending well with the narrative. The remaining two-thirds of the movie set in the present seems to lose its way and even defies logic towards the end, not that it is perfectly logical earlier but at least there is a semblance of things in the earlier third. Nevertheless it is a totally entertaining fare. Masala Hindi films don’t need a better definition than this one. A definitely better outing for Farah Khan this time around where her directorial skills supersede the choreographer in her.

Shah Rukh shines in the 70’s era and manages to be funny and romantic; while the role of OK is typical of the roles he plays in his movies. He definitely deserves appreciation for his ability to mock at himself in the Filmfare awards function where he is nominated for two awards and is shown playing similar roles with different heroines. Funny enough, even the songs and scenes look the same.

Deepika Padukone clearly is the show stealer with her looks to die for and the ease with which she shoulders two completely different roles. Her lessons at the Anupam Kher acting studio seem to have helped her a great deal. Shreyas Talpade as Om‘s friend is at his best and so is Kiron Kher as Om’s melodramatic junior artiste mother. Arjun Rampal seems to have finally discovered the actor in him and shoulders the role of a cold producer convincingly.

Technically the film impresses with good cinematography by Manikandan and appealing sets by Sabu Cyril. Dialogues are amusing and the line where he says ‘Abhi Picture Bakhi hai’ is repeated so often that it ends up as a reminder for the audience that the picture isn’t over yet. Songs are well choreographed and ‘Aankhon Mein Teri…’ and ‘Om Shanti Om…’ numbers are a visual treat. Background score by Sandeep Chowta plays an important role in elevating the mood of the movie.

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Screenplay seems a bit lost towards the latter third of the movie but still manages to keep you entertained all through. We can expect Farah Khan to dish out more such movies, with more refinement though, in the future. Her take on Rajini is really funny; when Shah Rukh tries to put up an act that he is a star down south, might not go well with local audiences. Don’t miss the end credits, which makes for a good laugh - the audience don’t want to leave until they are over which’s a rarity for Indian movies.

Verdict - Worth your while

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