Film Review: Om Shanti Om


Film Review: Om Shanti Om


Producer: Shah Rukh Khan, Gauri Khan (Red Chillies Entertainment)


Director: Farah Khan


Cast: Shah Rukh Khan, Arjun Rampal, Deepika Padukone, Shreyas Talpade


Rating: 3/5


Finally a 70mm extravaganza that delivers what it promised all through its relentless promotions months before its Diwali release. The bated breaths of SRK fans and just-enchanted-by-curiosity viewers should release in satisfied sighs after experiencing this total entertainer that has pulled out all stops in living upto its genre. The team of Farah Khan and Shahrukh Khan have scored in concocting the perfect chicken soup for the Bollywood-hungry soul.


OSO is a re-incarnation drama which borrows as much from Subhas Ghai’s superhit Karz as much as it is original. Well-written, taut and full of gags that do not spare SRK either, the movie is a pot-pourri of emotion, comedy, drama, romance, supernatural phenomena which thankfully is not a mish-mash that such products tend to turn out to be. Colourful, lively and with few pointless moments OSO is a ride that captivates one enough to forget boundaries, rules, logic or contexts. For a commercial film to have achieved that is complete success because that’s precisely what escapist cinema is made of.


The film sees a multitude of stars and film-industry related parodies that do overwhelm at one point making the film resemble an overstated school skit. Fewer and softer-toned spoofs could have helped infuse more spice in the curry. 


While the star presence keeps one’s interest maintained and SRK’s fab comic timing keeps one tickled through over-the-top jokes, it does the film a distinct discredit in toning down its merit. The tribute to 70’s cinema and soppy melodrama that Bollywood is made of, makes the film cosmetic and showy. An attribute that will keep the cash registers satisfyingly ringing but will keep it from going into the annals of top masala pot-boilers that remain in one’s memory forever. OSO, even though a thoroughly entertaining joy-ride is destined for a short shelf-life.


OSO is an SRK film all the way. The King Khan is in top form here seemingly having a blast through wooing his Shanti’s poster on a bridge to flying mid-air Superman Style to playing a Tamil superstar Rajnikanth style to proudly flaunting his much-discussed six packs. His energy, inherent charm and for once un-self-conscious performance lift the film from being a mere costume drama and song and dance routine. Except for when he has to cry where he is absolutely pathetic. (Something that hasn’t changed ever since. Watch him in the first scene of Kuch Kuch Hota Hain and cringe). Thankfully the sequence requiring him to do so is limited to just one song. During the rest, he is a demon let loose, running a riot in each scene eating up almost everyone with his presence.


Except the gorgeous Deepika Padukone who stands her ground as the much-loved superstar of the 70’s with a tender heart of a woman longing for love in the first half. Though she carries each and every look in the film effortlessly and gracefully on her tall, slender frame dance sequences seem a bit too much for this ramp beauty. The second half of the film has her presence as a mere prop, completely wasted, again discrediting the wholesomeness of the film. Etching out her role could have made the film far more memorable and less of a SRK performance-showcase. But she does equal justice to her role as the acclaimed superstar as well as wide-eyed fan of a superstar. 


Arjun Rampal is perfectly cast in the role of the villainous producer and performs in his dashing style with aplomb in the first half but loses the charisma in the second half. Kirron Kher gets to continue her melodramatic ma role from Main Hoon Na in a far more heightened fashion and performs well but ends up looking like a caricature throughout. Shreyas, as the young friend is superb and shines through SRK’s shadow in the first half but looks and acts too falsely aged in the second half.


The hallmark of the film is its music. It is extremely necessary for films like these to be ably supported by its music at all points and Vishal-Shekhar’s score does so, right through the 70’s dhintanatana to the millenium’s disco-rock to the soulful music which tells the story of the characters. Choreography by Farah Khan maintains the energy of the film, even heightening at times. Art direction by Sabu Cyril is painstaking in its detailing and worth its while. Editing by Shirish Kunder is swift and swings the right mood of the film through its zany and soft times.


OSO is a class act in mainstream entertainment that will succeed in wooing every soul that breathes, dreams and lives Bollywood. For those who don’t, maybe you could just try it. It might make you smile despite yourself.