Om Shanti Om -Much Ado About Nothing

oso.jpgFarah Khan’s over hyped, eagerly awaited movie Om Shanti Om turned out to be quite a disappointment. The movie does not enthrall you as many had expected it to, in fact at times the plot completely fails to grasp one’s attention. It’s a conglomerate of idiosyncrasies and never ending song and dance sequences. I would label it as a typical Bollywood extravaganza comprising of a damsel in distress, the inflictor of the distress i.e. the villain, and the brave, courageous, crazy-in-love hero who would risk his life, play with danger and what not, to save the one he loves. On the whole the movie lacks depth as everything goes on at a superficial level. At no point would it tug at your heart and there definitely will be times when all you’d want to do is head out of the cinema hall and get some fresh air. Infact to truly appreciate the movie I suggest that you completely shut out your thinking faculty and just sit back and watch without pondering too much on what you are seeing.

It seems as if the director tried to churn out a delicacy by mixing all genres of cinema (Bollywood actually) like action, romance, comedy, drama and suspense but instead of a mouthwatering delicacy she ended up with a bland soulless dish called Om Shanti Om. The movie takes you back down memory lane, to the 60’s and 70’s era. The old cars used as well as the 60’s and 70’s attire that the stars don makes for a visual treat. The movie consists of two parts, the first life and next birth. Reincarnation is the predominant theme of the movie. It follows the trial of a junior film artist, Om Prakash Makhija (ShahRukh Khan),who dreams big and covets the title of the biggest Bollywood superstar. Om Prakash also happens to be an ardent admirer of ShantiPriya (Deepika) the queen bee of bollywood, who under the veil of fame and glamour ,is a lonely, love depraved woman. It follows Om in his quest for Shanti’s love, a futile quest in the first life due to the sinister calculated actions of the villain (Arjun Rampal).Arjun Rampal is a shrewd producer in the movie, who lives and breathes for the sole purpose of raking in higher profits, hounded by the desire to be rich, famous and powerful.

Om Prakash’s dreams remain unfulfilled in the first life, but that should not worry the viewers because as is often repeated in the movie ‘kahani abhi baaki hai meere dost’. The junior artist of the previous life is reincarnated as Om Kapoor, the reigning king of Bollywood who has girls drooling all over him. The movie then revolves around how Om grapples with the events of his past life and brings the guilty to book ,yes the good old concept of the victory of good over evil is preached in the movie which definitely has a happy ending(well which mainstream Bollywood movies doesn’t?)

The movie does manage to tickle the funny bone at times but these times are numbered. The USP of the movie is SRK’s six pack which has the world talking, and which he flaunts to the fullest in the inane item song ‘Dard-e-Disco’ and also the song ‘Deewangi Deewangi which is a 31 star ensemble where you would see most of the stars and starlets of Bollywood dancing to SRK’S tune. Deepika Padukone has surely proven her mettle as an actress and she is definitely here to stay. The best performance in the movie has been delivered by Arjun Rampal. He does full justice to the character of a ruthless brute of a producer and he carries his slick mean look with élan. His performance will definitely grip you. Shreyas Talpade’s histrionics as the hero’s junior artist colleague cum best friend cum confidant cum advisor adds color to the movie while Kirron Kher plays SRK’s mummy dearest. I would suggest that you watch the movie keeping in mind that it does not require you to strain your brain and is a good way to while away precious time. On the whole I would say that all the hype and excitement that was generated by the movie initially was much ado about nothing.

Apurva Joshi