Director: Farah Khan
Cast: Shah Rukh Khan, Deepika Padukone, Arjun Rampal, Shreyas Talpade
Storyline: A junior artiste from the 70s is reborn as a superstar to avenge the death of his lady-love.
Bottomline: Time Machine! Gets you past 150 minutes in no time.
They call it the climax for no ordinary reason.
Because, by definition, it is the single highest point of the film’s glory, the culmination of all the great moments generated, including the resolution of conflict and the point where boy finally gets the girl.
That’s probably where Om Shanti Om stumbles.
The climax of OSO is anything but the film’s glorious high, the culmination, though via a cheeky twist, works out to be an anti-climax and the ‘Happy Ending’ that we have been promised isn’t as happy as we would have wanted it to be, especially at the end of the most hilariously entertaining moments of political incorrectness in the history of Hindi cinema.
Om Shanti Om is a light-hearted tribute to Hindi cinema the way we know it and love it, in spite of its flaws, improvisation and implausibility. It is also a premeditated celebration of willing suspension of disbelief, as one of the characters reacts to SRK when he tells her she won’t believe it if he told her about his rebirth. She talks for most of us Hindi movie buffs when she says: “I believe you when you say you can beat up ten guys, I believe you when you say you can jump from top of the building… Why would I then not believe you when you tell me this?”
Believe it or not, you better buy this tale if you want your popcorn to disappear before you know it.
Right at the very beginning when Rishi Kapoor in silver pants dances to the original ‘Om Shanti Om’ from Karz, Farah defines where they are coming from. From the audience. As fans, seeing the song and dance routines of the seventies and picturing themselves right there, taking nothing seriously.
So even if she’s getting a Manoj Kumar duplicate chased around with a lathi, or in all probability mocking Bhansali with a spoof showing a lover with multiple disabilities of eyes, ears and speech on a wheelchair with no arms to push it, using his mouth to spit out the flowers on his unrequited lover’s wedding or coming up with digs at Abhishek Bachchan for his ghost appearance in Dhoom 5 or poking fun at SRK for doing the same thing in different movies and getting nominated, Farah also neatly ties it all up right in the end sparing not herself either. She walks down the red carpet at the end of the movie to find the audience has already left the hall.
That’s what irreverence is all about. The ability to laugh at everybody, including yourself.
Nothing is sacred, anything goes. As long as it can make someone laugh.
This is a film that works so well because of the free-flowing improvisation, the way scripts used to be written in the seventies (in fact, scripts are still improvised and made up as they shoot for a majority of the films produced). But that’s also why the final act seems like an after-thought.
It’s almost like Farah got this great idea for a twist in the tale and just slapped it right at the end after setting it up for the great glorious revenge saga we are anticipating with all the Karz references.
Honestly, we as the audience don’t care too much about how the bad guy gets his cheeks kicked as long as the love story is neatly wrapped up and the ‘Happily-ever-after’ follows. Which is why we are bound to be a little let down at the abruptness and the drama in the end. Revenge does not dish out the feel-good factor. Love does.
That’s why we go to such movies, especially, the ones where SRK does the same thing over and over again.
That apart, the movie is a hell of a party, a bits-and-pieces blockbuster strung together with a series of laughs, songs and dances. And, stars of course.
SRK shows us why he’s the rockstar of our era. Deepika is the next hot thing. Shreyas with little to do is still an endearing performer and Arjun Rampal should’ve got a meatier role. Kirron Kher with horrible make-up in the second half gets to reprise her Maa role and even says exactly the same line from ‘Main Hoon Na’ (Yeah, yeah… we noticed the movie poster in the room when she does that!).
The score gives you goose-bumps and Farah shows Bhansali what a musical really needs apart from great music: energy, style, soul, drama and the laughs surely help.
Don’t take this review seriously, Farah sure as hell is not fishing for compliments. Like Om Kapoor would say reading criticism: What the fish!
Go dancing with the stars. Go Om Shanti Om.