Movie Review: Om Shanti Om

Title: Om Shanti Om
Language: Hindi
Starring: Shahrukh Khan, Deepika Padukone, Arjun Pampal

It is hard to capture the story of this film because there isn’t quite one to write about! It is quite a nonsensical mish-mash of events, interspersed with many songs, a few fights and plenty of clowning around. If you are in the mood for a typical Bollywood fare in a “I won’t question anything” state of mind, then this movie is “your type”. There is lots of “goofy” stuff to keep you entertained and laughing, though at the end of the day all of it makes absolutely no sense whatsoever. (If you are one of those who just said “That’s what Bollywood films are all about anyway”, then this movie beats even such critics by a very huge margin.)

Shahrukh Khan is perfectly at home clowning around throughout the film. Deepika Padukone is a pretty face (and noticeably taller than the hero) and does a decent job in her first Hindi film. Arjun Rampal as the villain does justice to his role. The movie is based on Bollywood itself and so there is an endless parade of movie stars and film personalities to engage the film crazy audience. The scenes involving them are particularly funny, especially the Filmfare awards. Akshay Kumar appears in a brief funny cameo which was adapted straight out of an unknown Hollywood film but widely viewed on youtube.

Vishal Shekhar’s music is trendy. Dard-e-Disco which has a middle eastern tune (with a belly-dancing type of beat) sung by Sukvinder is a catchy number. Main Agar Kahoon, a typical Hindi duet and Ajab Si also belong to the “hit variety”.

At the end of the film (when the names are shown) every single person (including spot boys and other technicians involved with the film) whose name was listed actually appeared on the screen. A nice new touch, that I have never seen before.

I suspect that despite early media reports this film is not as big a hit as Shahrukh Khan’s earlier hit films. Tickets were available despite it being the long weekend and though the film is only a week or two old. The film is a spoof on Bollywood and to appreciate it you really have to be aware of Bollywood in the 70s and 80s. The younger generation of movie goers are unlikely to catch the subtle humor based on Bollywood’s past that is visible throughout the film.

Farah Khan, seems to revel in “hard-core masala films”. This one was clearly worse off on the masala scale than her earlier film, Main Hoon Na. As for Shahrukh Khan, after Chak de India, this film was clearly at the other end of the spectrum.

Overall, a goofy light hearted film which is bound to produce a fair share of laughs.

Author: Pran Kurup

Pran Kurup is founder and CEO of Vitalect, Inc.

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