Om Shanti Om (2007)

I hate to admit it.

In fact I am in two minds about whether I will ever publish this post. See, I don’t quite like Shah Rukh Khan as an actor. Then again, I am silenced by all the women in my life (who happen to just love him, uncanny, all of them). So I carry the distaste, deeply buried in my heart. Like an inconsequential audience in a church wedding, I hold my tongue. Well, fine then, here I go.

I…

I liked…

No.

I am not posting this. For what little popularity my blog has, I won’t allow it. Ah, what the hell!

Yes.

I liked. (Tell the truth, tell the truth, and come on…)

I LOVED Om Shanti Om.

Got it out of the system; now I can write the “real” post.

For one, it left a huge bad taste in my mouth (only before i saw the movie) because I read about the Manoj Kumar controversy before I saw the movie. I assumed that the producers had allowed some seriously bad stuff to pass through their censor eyes in the movie. The thing is, after seeing the movie, if you are intelligent enough, many stalwarts of the Indian Film industry have enough reason to take offence. This is YET another example of not being able to take a joke and allow people to do things to express an opinion. Gagging the arts to ensure political correctness where it doesn’t deserve respect. I don’t want to give it any more footage. I think the “taking offence” was either a staged stunt, if not, then, taken too far. This is what is disgusting about the litigious society we live in today. I could be thinking banned words while reading a post on your blog and you could sue me (it isn’t impossible). It’s a bloody free-for-all. Come 2020 each of us will be busy, not making the world a better place, but suing each other (or saving ourselves from it). However, like I said, no more footage.

I am not sure what trade magazines are talking of it, but yes, I was in a theatre full of nine people. (Not earning forex, are we?) On couple was snogging way (you can discount them), the other one, left of us, was an interesting one. They were, perhaps in their late sixties and such, and they weren’t riotously laughing like I was. They had an interesting permanent smile all throughout. How so practically romantic!

Being able to relate, perhaps?

The sub-titles. I hate them, man, I hate them. Not on a Bollywood flick. Quarter of the time I was thinking – no – it doesn’t mean that – get the context – it doesn’t work like that. See the entire film once and then write the subtitles. I actually slid down the chair after a while to escape them wicked sub-titles.

I loved the film.

Period.

There is a teasing duality about that movie. And it doesn’t leave you at any time, even when the credits appear. At one level it is an “intelligent parody” of everything that was the seventies (oh, what wouldn’t I give to be this age then) and at the other it is a regular “masala” movie. A remake of Karz? An extension of all that was? A happy change from the diabetic KJ and YJ and YC movies? Being on the edge for this movie wasn’t about the story – it was the fine transitions back and forth between parody and the apparent story. This double story play was gnawing at me all through. With each scene I was questioning whether I am seeing a parody or yet another standard “bollywood masala film”. That perhaps kept me on the edge of the seat in a theatre that had nine people in it.

SRK as usual has failed to impress me. (I have been accused earlier of having high standards), but I have new-found respect for him as a person. He has been in the news recently and he has come across as an evenly humorous and a sane person. (Read: smoking-related PIL case against him and the BCCI controversy).

For that, I have huge respect.

The effects were very well done, I have to say, especially the mixing of the old videos. The new girl is good. Deepika Padukone. A mix of Priyanka Chopra and Hema Malini, perhaps? Unfortunately (for her) she reminds me of Priyanka Chopra, a lot, who I quite don’t admire. Not much to speak about her acting, didn’t see her do a lot of that. Will wait for more of her stuff. Like I have been waiting for Vidya Balan’s movies. SRK, like I said earlier, is SRK. He isn’t either of the two characters he plays. He is SRK always. I hate that I haven’t seen Iqbal, but Shreyas perhaps need to do something to shed his Marathi accent if he wants to do something useful in the Hindi Film Industry. Er, especially when giving an interview about the film. Arjun Rampal doesn’t get a word anywhere wherever I write. I happily ignore him. If you didn’t know, by the way, there were 31 Bollywood personalities in one of the songs in the movie. Rekha, “clearly” stands out. My friend told me there was an Amrita Rao Somebody, I missed her. Thought she was an extra…er…junior artiste.

Dard-e-Disco has the highest play count of 1996 items in my iTunes. Speaks…er..sings volumes.

On a personal note, this was the first Hindi movie in the Cinema in London I saw with my best friend, and we had a good evening, before and after.

All, in all, if you haven’t got the idea: a great evening. F. Khan & Co., I’ll stack this in the conceptual shelf. Or, if someone gifts me another DVD, will put one on the “Ultimate Masala” shelf.

Sometimes I wonder if our exposure and education stopped us from enjoying a presentation, any presentation. Here I am, a critic of something I always believed in and took those dreams to my pillow, for all that I saw in Eastman Colour on a 70mm screen that helped me dream away in blissful self.

Ah, well

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