If the reviews are to be believed Om Shanti Om is definitely creating ripples at the box office. Film critics known to tear apart big budget multi-starrers and intense art films alike, are heaping praises on OSO by the dozen. Self confessed movie buffs who dismissed the pre-release excitement amongst viewers as a media constructed hype (which would evaporate once the film released) are indeed biting their tongues.
Personally, for a die-hard Shahrukh Khan fan, who faithfully went to watch the first show on the first day – the film was a disappointment. While the director seems to have paid attention towards sets, costumes and other technical details (there are scenes where Deepika is shown to be dancing with the heroes of yesteryears in the same frame), more important aspects of a film like structure, plot, content have been clearly side-lined. Though the filmmakers honestly admit OSO to be a ‘tribute’ (whatever that is supposed to mean) to the seventies’ super hit ‘Karz’ – at places OSO seems much more than just that. The central theme of re-incarnation along with generous doses of love, betrayal and revenge, at places make OSO almost identical to Karz! The story drifts from one scene to another at its own merry pace, the side characters come and go as and when the story requires, the songs seem to be unending…in short the director appears to have no control over the script. She was probably banking on the fact that the audience wouldn’t expect a plot structures and cohesive storylines from a film which was marketed as a “pure entertainer”. Judging by the reviews, she wasn’t mistaken. The viewers obviously overlooked the terribly predictable twists and clichéd cliff-hangers, and concentrated solely on Shahrukh’s fab abs and Deepika’s mesmerizing eyes.
But like the miserly storyline, it’s also hard to miss the films strongholds – the portions where it clicked with the viewers. To begin with (sounds as clichéd as one of OSO’s ‘flashback’ sequences, I know) Shahrukh Khan’s perfect comic timing makes for a delightful watch. (Om Prakash Makhija, punching a stuffed tiger with all his might and crying “Yanna Rascala!” at regular intervals, had the whole theatre in splits). Deepika was more convincing as the reincarnated, clumsy, bubble-gum chewing Sandy than the seventies’ superstar Shantipriya. Arjun Rampal as the suave and stylish villain is remarkable (with his acting skills, why he continues to do bit roles in films is beyond me). Lastly as they say in Bollywood – the film is a hit if its music is a hit. Most of the tracks, from the thumping ‘Dard-e-Disco’ to the softer ‘Main Agar Kahoon’ have been instant chartbusters.
If OSO had been a full time spoof (like one of the ‘Scary Movies’) it would have been appreciated better. But as a spoof cum thriller cum love-story, it is disappointing. But sometimes disappointments come in such wonderful packages that they are worth going through.