Cut the crap, cut the gyan-baazi, cut the will-it-won't-it work naatak. Shah Rukh Khan and Farah Khan's Om Shanti Om is a true-blue masala entertainer. If Main Hoon Na was a chauka, this one hits a sixer!
Wait, a word of advice to all readers across the globe. Don't, for God's sake don't, raise exclamations like kab? kyun? kahan? as Om Shanti Om begins to unravel. This is a typical Manmohan Desai film presented in a novel avatar by Farah Khan. It's definitely not for pseudo or advocates of art house cinema.
Now let's clear some myths surrounding Om Shanti Om. Is it the 2007 adaptation of Subhash Ghai's immensely likeable reincarnation film Karz? Does it have traces of Kudrat? Or Madhumati? Or Milan? Or Karan Arjun? Hold on, there's a dash of Karz, a bit of Karan Arjun, a sprinkling of Kudrat, but beyond that, it's a film that makes you nostalgic about 1970s Bollywood.
To sum up, Om Shanti Om is paisa vasool entertainment. We haven't seen SRK in a hardcore masala film since quite some time. He had drifted to other genres, which proved his range as an actor of repute and cemented his status further. With Om Shanti Om, he gives back to the audience what he himself grew up on--a thorough entertainer that will have the audience thirsting for more.
This Diwali, have a blast!
Om Shanti Om tells the story of Om (Shah Rukh Khan) and Shanti (Deepika Padukone). Om is a junior artist in the 70s. Shanti is the reigning superstar. He is her biggest fan. He is in love with her. Om dreams of being a superstar, but an incident changes his life forever. Om dies in a mishap, but is reborn into the present day. He attempts to discover the mystery of his demise.
The general feeling is, Farah Khan has remade Ghai's Karz from Frame A to Z. False! There are similarities, but it's not a rehashed version of Ghai's film. For Om Shanti Om takes you by complete surprise at several points.
The first twist in the tale (Arjun-Deepika's heated confrontation, with SRK listening to this important conversation) comes as a bolt from the blue. The second jhatka comes slightly before the intermission, when Arjun takes Deepika to the set of his film Om Shanti Om and the entire episode that follows, right till the intermission, is spellbinding. That's a brilliant stroke from the writing (screenplay: Mushtaq Shaikh and Farah Khan) as also the execution point of view. When the opulent set is consigned to flames, it leaves you wide-eyed and awe-struck, such is the impact!
The post-interval portions only get better and better! If the initial portions are laced with humour (the premiere of 'Dreamy Girl', the Manoj Kumar episode, Ghai directing Rishi on Om Shanti Om song, et al), the second half moves into a new zone completely. It's punar-janam now, but thankfully, there're no lightning, no fireworks, no zooming of the camera on the idols of gods. The drama builds up gradually. The voices that SRK keeps hearing, the 'fire' soon after the 'Dard-E-Disco' track, the mother (Kirron Kher), an old lady now, chasing Om's car (reminds you of Raakhee of Karan Arjun), the flashes of SRK's earlier birth while receiving the Filmfare Award--the incidents that make him realize that his life was cut short in his earlier janam have been well-structured.
When Deepika re-emerges as well, the viewer is confused, but the mystery is resolved towards the end, which, again, takes you by complete surprise. Given the fact that Om Shanti Om is a Manmohan Desai kind of a film set in the present-day, it would be foolhardy to ask questions, raise eyebrows or look for logic. But the second half could've been crisper (length: 18 reels/2.46 hours), although Shirish Kunder's editing is perfect.
Farah knows what her priorities are and most importantly, knows exactly what her target audience is. The execution of a number of sequences clearly shows Farah's growth as a storyteller. Mushtaq and Farah's writing works because the writers pull out several surprises in those 2.46 hours.
V. Manikanandan's cinematography captures the gloss and grandeur to the minutest. The opulent sets (Sabu Cyril) deserve distinction marks. Dialogues (Mayur Puri) are witty and do raise a chuckle at several points. Background score (Sandeep Chowta) is effective. Vishal-Shekhar's music is first-rate. The score is in sync with the content of the film and what accentuate the goings-on are the choreography and execution. Although every song is visually enticing, the 21-star track as also 'Dard-E-Disco' will have the masses going into frenzy.
Now to the performances! SRK proves his supremacy yet again. If you thought that playing to the gallery came easy to certain actors only, watch SRK spin magic in Om Shanti Om. He's magnificent, the star attraction, the soul of this film, the true baadshah.
Deepika has all it takes to be a top star--the personality, the looks and yes, she's supremely talented too. Standing in the same frame as SRK and getting it right is no small achievement. She comes as a whiff of fresh air!
Arjun Rampal is a complete revelation. Cast in a negative role this time, he enacts his part with panache and style. Shreyas Talpade is another surprise. A complete natural, he stands on his feet all through, not getting swayed while sharing screen space with the topmost star.
Kirron Kher is superb as the over-the-top mom. Javed Sheikh is OK. Bindu adds to the funny moments.
On the whole, Om Shanti Om is Bollywood masala in its truest form and also, at its best. At the box-office, the film will set new records in days to come and has the power to emerge one of the biggest hits of SRK's career.
sunshine'z review Blockbuster hit!