Friday, November 9, 2007

Om shanti O

Om Shanti Om

WELL Mr Subhash Ghai, you must be honoured. Kyunki, Om Shanti Om is such an unabashed tribute to Karz , it makes you want to run home and dig out the old-is-gold DVD and rewind to the saucy seventies when anything was allowed in Bollywood, including souls that slipped through janams, ghosts that walked, chandeliers that killed, mothers who waited centuries for sons to return and filmy romance was all about haseenas, dewaanas and don’t-ask-for-logic attitudes.

Farah Khan’s re-birth saga literally makes an art of retro and paints the seventies pop culture in Andy Warholish strokes. So much so, that you have the past creeping into the present too, in terms of story-line and twists in the tale. The only contemporaneity in the second half, which is anchored in the present, is SRK’s six packs, his dude-fish-mikey-crikey boli and short-skirted Deepika Padukone’s bubblegum avtar .

But are we complaining? Not really, because the film’s meant to be mad, mindless and zany. And we are meant to be happy, headless and nostalgic.

So just sit back and slip into Halleluiah Bollywood mode and count the reasons why masala cinema has been such an intrinsic part of the Indian experience....Because in apun ka fillums , Om Prakash Makhija (SRK) may be a junior artist, but he can have a love story with the reigning diva, Shantipriya (Deepika in a bun).

So what if Shanti loves the devious producer (Arjun Rampal) who dreams of moving to Hollywood after cleaning up his affairs in Bollywood. Our side hero can wait a janam to find a happy ending to his story with Shantipriya look-alike Sandy, the debutant playing leading bhoot in his blockbuster which is actually a revenge story against the mean Mr Rampal who looks even more menacing in grey locks.

The first half of the film is funky, funny and makes an art of kitsch. You’ll find traces of Mother India, Karan Arjun, Karz and many other purana classics as Shah Rukh goes over the top, over the hill, over the mountain and carries you along with his drame baaz histrionics. Deepika as the sad Shantipriya is classy too.

But the film is essentially Shah Rukh’s who manages to add life to the tardy second half too. In his second janam avtar , he is the cool dude with the low waist jeans threatening to slip down and the six pack abs giving muscle to a story that goes dreadfully off track. But the overall experience is paisa vasoo l stuff with loads of naach-gaana (a nice music tracks by Vishal Shekhar) and brainless mazaa


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