Om Shanti Om (2007): A star is born

Deepika dot.jpg

80. Om Shanti Om (2007) — Farah Khan’s second stint as master and commander after Main Hoon Na, this modernist-masala movie about thwarted dreams and second chances aims for roaring entertainment and little else. It was simply loads of fun to watch — an experience charged by an amusing twist for me, since I had to give an impromptu translation to a HK friend (the subtitles were scampering across the screen like so many beach crabs).

Prior to viewing, I was a bit sceptical about the newbie heroine cast against SRK, Deepika Padukone, but after being blown away by my favourite song sequence of the moment, I am persuaded that a star is born, especially if Manish Malhotra continues to dress her now and again. (I think Sushmita Sen hasn’t managed to look as transcendent as she did in Main Hoon Na.)

This is going to sound like gushing, but despite her tender age, Padukone displayed exquisite grace when it was called for, and managed a remarkably appropriate difference when wide-eyed innocence was required. I think she’s a natural-born actress. There was never the sense that she’s just a vase, when that’s all she could have been content to be — she lights up the screen with all the power of her presence and youth.

Shreyas Talpade, one of my favourite actors after his winning turn in Iqbal, fitted hand in glove with SRK as well. I don’t know just how much value was added to the movie with the crazy muscles from SRK though!

I thought every aspect of the production was very well done, though I must say I wondered if the music would have been more consistently satisfying if AR Rahman had followed through the project.

I’m glad that SRK and Farah Khan appeared to have resisted settling for second-best in this movie, even though it’s not some grand historical epic. It’s respect for the audience, isn’t it? I know that also means respect for the crores. As a result, I would say that Om Shanti Om is endowed with an engaging energy that many top-dollar draws lack — it certainly got my otherwise lackadaisical HK friend buzzing, and me feeling revved up for the other Hindi movies I’ve yet to devour.

All in all, recommended!

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7 thoughts on “Om Shanti Om (2007): A star is born

  1. Actually, I thought the music was very well-done too – it’s been a while since I’ve had non-Rahman songs stuck in my head, but this one delivers on that aspect too!

    And I have to agree about Padukone – a lot of people don’t seem to like her, but I thought she did a fantastic job in the movie. Not once did I feel like I was watching a newbie trying to perform for the first time. It really did feel like she’s been doing this for a while, and she looked completely comfortable in both her roles.

  2. OK la, I enjoyed the music too, but knowing that Rahman had been attached to the music director role made me a bit wistful. :)

    I like Dhoom Taana, Ajab Si (of course) and the version of Om Shanti Om that had Om ‘telling’ the story. That ‘pain of disco’ song is too scary with the muscular imagery! :p

  3. Oh, that version is called Dastaan, I think. I love it too! What I love about Dard-e-Disco is the cheeky way it manages to sneak in an “item number” into the movie while simultaneously making fun of it!

  4. O-ho! Did you know that Rahman was approached to do OSO, but he backed out cos the music company refused to give him rights to his own music? Even SRK couldn’t broker the deal between the two parties, so in the end Rahman decided not to do OSO (he’d actually written some songs for it already), rather than compromise on what he thinks is a fair deal for composers (otherwise, he’d have to ask for permission to use his own songs every time he wanted to hold a concert!).

    In his own words here: http://www.rediff.com/movies/2006/dec/04sd2.htm

    ;)

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