Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Hats off to Indian Audience

Rave reviews, extravagant figures stating box office collections, Baadshah of Bollywood-the “six pack” Shah Rukh’s exalted status, all this and much more than all this – “ long time, not seen a movie…” syndrome got me to watch Om Shanthi Om in one of the premium theatres in Bangalore for a hefty cost.

In less than an hour, I started moving restlessly in my seat, seriously contemplating, if OSO was a movie or a lengthy spoof.

The first half has all necessary ingredients to be termed an ideal Bollywood movie in itself – high quotients of emotion from an over sentimental MOM, an unspoken and unconditional love for a damsel from an ordinary, yet super good-at-heart guy who is ready to jump into fire a zillion times to save her. We have another good guy, a supportive, true friend of Shah Rukh, Shreyas Talpade. After a flawless performance in a challenging role in the movie Iqbal, he has been utterly wasted in this movie. That’s the first half in brief studded with mockery of most actors/movies of the 70s, not even sparing the favorite of down south, Tamil Superstar, Rajinikanth. I must say that the attempts to imitate him have come out pretty well, the 5 minute sequence leaves you in ripples of laughter.

Here are the most awaited details of the villain – Arjun Rampal. Hail all those scenes with Deepika and him on screen! They look too good together, both are tall, athletic, trim and quite magnetic – where on the contrary with Shah Rukh, poor Deepika manages most scenes bare foot and with a deliberate hump to give a tall boost to her co-star.

Well, that was a deviation. All that concerns us is that Arjun Rampal is the bad guy who kills Deepika mercilessly after fiendishly trapping her in love for mercenery benefits. He also squashes Shah Rukh’s dreams and his efforts to save her. The good guy loses his life, witnessing his dear one’s end in vain. The movie does not end there as the hero firmly believes that “Everything in life ends well, must end well !”

So the Phoenix rises in the second half, new Shah Rukh is born, now in an affluent family. He combats his current identity in an attempt to unravel his past and wreaks vengeance for the bloody death of his lady love. All that happens thereafter in the movie paves way for punishing the wrong doer and avenging the death of the innocent one.

The second half in a nutshell is about how Shah Rukh with the help of natural and supernatural forces accomplishes this task. You will have no doubts about how multiple events lead to this happy climax as the director has left no stone unturned and no question unanswered.

The only question that remains unanswered : "Is this 3 hour long spoof worth all the hype revolving around it?” I accept that one must shed all logic and reasoning while watching most Bollywood movies , but watching Om Shanthi Om requires much more than this.
It really is an ordeal!
Bottom line – against all reviews that state OSO, an wholesome and promising entertainer, here is my perspective – OSO is nothing more than a THREADBARE entertainer.

Just when you thought , gone are the days of running around trees and running behind somebody else’s girl for Shah Rukh, just as you felt immensely satisfied with Shah Rukh’s swashbuckling performance in Chak De; he lets you down big time with OSO proving he likes to and has to run around trees, fall head over heels in love for someone else’s girl.

And hats off to Indian audience with an insatiable appetite for such meaningless movies who strive to see him this way, in movies after movies, expecting no less and no more.