My Introduction/Review: Om Shanti Om(2007)

March 29, 2009 at 10:28 pm Leave a comment

Directed by: Farah Khan 

Starring: Shahrukh Khan, Deepika Padukone, Arjun Rampal, Kiron Kher, and Shreyas Talpede.

This movie opens with familiar tunes of the song ‘Om Shanti Om’, sung by Mohd Rafi. This tune was originally in Karz, a movie to be reviewed at a later time. As we see Rishi Kapoor dancing onstage…the title character is introduced dancing in the audience. Om Prakash Makhija (Shahrukh Khan.) Rishi tosses his silver jacket into the audience, Om wrestles with an irritated woman (played by none other than the director herself, Farah Khan) and wins the battle over the silver jacket. What does this mean for the rest of us? It means a short daydream wherein Rishi is gone, and Om is the real star of the dance number.

But wait, there’s more! Om is an aspiring actor (aka a junior artiste, lowest of the low…a…dare I say it…’extra’.) He’s also in love with the enchanting Shanti Priya (Deepika Padukone.) This is evident when he has a humerous exchange with a billboard in which he professes his love, more or less. Of course, the romantics are interrupted by his mother and best friend before he can propose.

From there, Om goes to the movie premiere of Dreamy Girl (which was being advertized on the billboard he had been conversing at earlier) starring none other than the love of his life…Shanti. With his best friend, Pappu (Shreyas Talpede), they manage to swipe tickets from Manoj Kumar to get into the showing. Covering their faces, they rush into the theater with their tickets. Apparently if you cover your face, you can make a pretty convincing Manoj…because nobody questions their identities (even if they’re…both…pretending to be Manoj…at the same time…)

From there, we see one of the best musical sequences in the film, Dhoom Taana. As Om watches Shanti on the screen dancing in her orange silks, he drifts into another fantasy as the hero of the…song…I guess. This is an absolutely dazzling scene, with pirates, jazz artists, showgirls, tennis players, etc. In short, if you don’t want to see the movie…at least youtube Dhoom Taana. You don’t even need subtitles (given that you can’t speak Hindi) to be entertained.

 

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Om and Pappu are caught in the act when Om loses his grip on reality and starts dancing in the theatre. The security realizes that they are both in fact NOT Manoj Kumar and rush in to throw them out. Om catches Shanti’s eye, and dramatically grabs his heart…so it is up to Pappu to drag him out of the theatre. Om isn’t the brightest junior artiste in the barrel.

From there, they both drunkenly tell a group of children in an alley about Dreamy Girl…while Om re-enacts a melodramatic monologue as Shanti’s character. Afterwards he gives an acceptance speech for his ‘bottle-y’ award.

The next morning, given that they’ve both worked off their hangovers somehow, the pair are up bright an early as extras in a film starring none other than the love of Om’s life…in the process, Om has to save her from a fire and invites her to his own movie shooting. Now remember: Om=Junior artiste/extra. Om=Not a Hero. Om=Not really in a film, Om=Liar.

 

I already told you about the prettiest song. Now’s your chance for the funniest scene in the movie. ‘Mind It.’ A wierd western/…melodrama? Om and Pappu have convinced some extras and crew members from various other films to help them stage their fake film and impress Shanti. If Om dancing around telling a fat villain to mind it and wrestling with a stuffed tiger aren’t enough, there’s an extra standing by Shanti repeating the same lines ‘wow, what acting, wow, what tiger’. When Om has a conversation with Shanti afterwards about her favorite bit in making films…she lets loose with the line ‘Pack-up’…and the whole charade is blown, as the extras and crew members mistake this to mean they have to get back to their own sets. Om apologizes and explains why he put up false pretenses, and Shanti (probably because he saved her life…I’m guessing) forgives him, promising to meet him later that evening.

For some reason, when they meet…Shanti pretends to be a devout muslim girl telling Om and Pappu that she couldn’t be there. Om spills his guts out about his broken heart, and Shanti reveals her true identity. From here we get yet another song (because what Indian film is complete without a few musical numbers?) This…isn’t as fun as Dhoom Taana…it’s more of a love ballad. But still, the song…Main Agar Kahoon is another song the reader should not pass up seeing. Alot of the song focuses on wind, embracing, and a general romantic feeling…even though Shanti isn’t really in love with Om, they’re just friends.still6sa2

And why are they just friends? Because Shanti…is married. Unbeknownst to Om and the rest of the world, Shanti has been married for 2 years to her film producer, the odious (though quite attractive) Mukesh Mehra (Arjun Rampal.) We first met Mukesh just before Om saved Shanti’s life earlier, and he was forced to convince her to continue working on the set.

After their dance, Shanti and Om are walking outside and Shanti tells Om that she is unhappy because she can’t get something she desperately wants. Om tells her that she just has to ask for it (mind you…he still doesn’t know she’s already married.) Shanti takes this advice to heart, and the next day she rushes to see Mukesh so she can poor her heart out to him. Om tries to meet Shanti, but she ignores him and runs off. She probably didn’t notice him, considering she was pre-occupied with other issues…

Such as the fact that she’s been reading magazine articles and finds a nasty rumor that Mukesh is about to be married. But how can that be? He’s already her husband! In a fit of anger, she tells him she’s pregnant. Is this a ploy? No. She really is pregnant. Mukesh, shocked…embraces his wife. And Om…sees it all behind a vent in the opposite room. Heartbroken, Om flees the building…and runs right into another song. This one isn’t a dance sequence, however…just a scene revealing just how miserable the truth of Shanti’s marriage has made him. Pappu and his mother do everything to comfort Om, but to no avail…

Finally, one evening when Om is walking around for no apparent reason…he sees Shanti and Mukesh going into a building. He follows, not having learned his lesson the first time that he probably shouldn’t snoop on other people’s business. It is here that Mukesh tells Shanti of how he truly loves her, and how his dreams of being a big producer have been destroyed, because of her faith in him. It is at this point that she gets confused, there’s a bit of rough-housing, and Mukesh locks her inside after setting the building on fire. Note: He didn’t really love her.

Om hadn’t really sat through the conversation, leaving when Mukesh gave Shanti a speech about tearing down the set after a grand wedding…blah blah blah. But when he turns back to see a distraught Shanti banging on the window and begging to be let out…he rushes over. Unfortunately for him, Mukesh got some goons to make sure nobody came near when the building was burning down. Om gets beat to a bloody pulp. Yet somehow when the goons leave, he still manages to get up and break into the building to save Shanti. Too bad an explosion sends him flying through the air and onto a stretch of road where he sees the building being burnt down just before he’s hit by a car…and dies.

Om is reincarnated as a famous superstar, Om Kapoor. Son of the same man who hit him with his car, and the same man who Om gushes about with Pappu earlier on when he decides that he wants to be a superstar just like him. By the way, his new father’s name is Rajesh Kapoor. But what happens next? Does Om get revenge? Did Shanti survive? Did Mukesh get re-married? That’s up to you to find out (hey, I can’t spoil the entire movie for you!)

But I think that’s enough, if this movie sounds intriguing…then you can rent it on Netflix, or order it.

The wonderful thing about this movie isn’t just the pretty colors, the acting, or even the fantastic musical numbers. The entire cast seems to have enjoyed working on it, though I can’t say whether or not they did (I wasn’t on set with them when they filmed, so I guess I’ll never know) but it seemed like everyone pretty much got along. What’s more, Farah obviously knew her Indian films (obviously…her being Indian) and worked ingenious references/jokes into the movie throughout…yet even as a beginner, this film is a wonderful introduction into the world of Bollywood.

I would give this 9/10 Bindis. (My rating system is based on Bindis, yes.)

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Entry filed under: 5 and more Bindis, Exceptionally good (8-10), Film Reviews, Hindi, Languages. Tags: , , , , , , , .

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