Director: Farah Khan
Just got back from watching Om Shanti Om, and liked it enough to refer to it casually as OSO without feeling stupid!
After hearing horror stories about Saawariya (which means “Are you dying?” in colloquial Tamil!), and reviews about OSO being a ‘can watch once’ movie, it was with a bit of trepidation that we went. But then, it was a Saturday evening, and the two-theatre wannabe multiplex (Grandly called Talkie Town, but in reality a thinly-repackaged ‘complex’ of two theatres called Krishna and Narasimha – more about this in a separate post maybe) was too near to even complain about the drive.
The movie was quite enjoyable, and proceeded at a decent clip. “The first half is a lot of fun,” friends had warned, “and the second half is okkaaaay.” But surprisingly, I found the first half ‘okkaaaay’ and the second half thoroughly entertaining. But hey – I loved Sivaji and Chandramukhi too! The first half did get tiresome in bits, but then I guess that is the risk of making it in the 70s style that we love to hate and complain about. The second half raced along, and we thought the scenes triggering Shah Rukh Khan’s memories of his past life were really well made.
The entire movie was peppered with references and tributes to Bollywood movies – Vidya and I were lamenting the fact that we missed quite a lot of the fun as we are not very familiar with many Hindi movies. But it was easy enough to spot the obvious references to people and movies, and that made the it doubly enjoyable.
The supernatural element was brought in very smoothly and without too much ado – it was treated as commonplace and was without the usual Watsonian explanations indulged in so frequently by directors to ‘reach the masses.’ This alone made it bearable, and the suspension of disbelief was not forcible.
The music was brilliant, especially in the second half, as it raised the suspense and kept you involved in the fast-paced development of the plot. The songs too were catchy, and I find myself infected with a couple of earworms that may prove difficult to dislodge.
The acting was good, but then that is to be expected. Deepika Padukone was ‘enchanting’ as Vidya puts it, and her performance was solid. Shreyas Talpade (whom I have never heard of before) was really good, and Arjun Rampal manages to be a believable villain.
Finally, the movie has a complete who’s who of Bollywood putting in an appearance and having a gentle (and sometimes hearty) laugh at themselves. One can only wonder at the fun they must have had while shooting it.