Monday, November 12, 2007

Om Shanti Om: Rebirth of a star

-By Swetha Amit
Some of us are content being down to earth while others aspire to be one among the stars. Dreams of going up above the world so high and attaining stardom at times takes more than just one lifetime.

Farah Khan’s Om Shanti Om is one such story of a struggling actor whose aspirations needed more than one birth. It seemed that acting and he had a karmic relationship which couldn’t help but proclaim him as a superstar with his desired climax.

The film starts with a foot tapping popular track from the blockbuster Karz which words the title of this film as a means of tracing back to the 70s era. The flamboyant flashback depicts the bell bottoms, funky hairdos, colorful attires and the graceful glide of the leading actresses. Om (Shahrukh Khan) is a junior artiste and an aspiring actor backed up by his close confident Pappu master(Shreyas Talpade) and mother (Kirron Kher)whose biggest inspiration lay in the star and dreamy girl of millions-Shantipriya (Deepika Padukone). Deeply in love with her, Om places her above the rest even his own life as he proves it by rescuing her from a flaming fire sequence while shooting a scene on the sets. From there begins a new found friendship and Om’s joy knows no bounds.

However there is a turn of events with the revelation of a shocking truth about Shanti’s secret liaison with the biggest producer Mukesh (Arjun Rampal) that dismays Om who is heartbroken. Mukesh’s dreams are shattered with the confession of a distressed Shanti which instigates him to take a ruthlessly brutal act of locking her up in a flaming studio. While Om tries to come and save her little does he realize that his rescue mission would go up in a fatal smoke?

Thirty years later portrays the existing heartthrob of many and the super star Om Kapoor aka O.K (Shahrukh Khan)-son of a top actor. An encounter with Mukesh retrieves his past life tragedy and sets him on a quest to avenge the death of his love. With the help of his mother, his close confidante, Shanti’s look alike-Sandy (Deepika Padukone), and the theory of the "circle of life philosophy", he recalls the ghost from the past. Deriving a ‘spirited’ climax to the incomplete story ironically results in a new and happy ending.

Om Shanti Om is entertaining and has all the essential ingredients of being successful movie commercially. Action, comedy, romance, emotion, spoof and a playful jab at the stars in a lighter vein takes the audience through a whirlwind of fun, sadness and a thriller ride at the same time. The story tends to remind one of the blockbuster 'Karz' and the age old classic 'Madhumati' at times.

Shahrukh does well as the meek yet energetic Om in the first half and transforms himself as the cocky and arrogant Om post the interval. The scene where he does a spoof of a Tamil superstar kept the crowd in splits. At the same time, his emotional dialogue during the drunken stature overwhelms the audience. Deepika Padukone is launched in a dream debut and looks graceful in the 70s costume but doesn’t have much to do in the latter half of the film. Kirron Kher and Shreyas Talpade play their parts with conviction. Arjun Rampal stands out as the suave and vile villain. His grey shades projects the uncertainty of the clouds which either sends showers or whizzes away without any damage, keeping the people below guessing. Such ambiguity is portrayed in the scene where one moment he is raising Shanti’s hopes high only to shove her brutally by the blaze of his flaming fury.

Music by Vishal and Shekar is mind-blowing; the added attraction of the ‘Deewangi’ song being graced with the top stars shaking their leg with the King Khan. ‘Dard-E-Disco’ is a rage and portrays a shirtless Shahrukh in his newly acquired six-packer. The extravagant sets are marvelous with a tribute where Deepika is seen romancing with the yesteryear stars like the late Sunil Dutt, Jeetendra and Rajesh Khanna. Such shots are beautifully merged and directed.

The post interval scenes such as the one of the film fare award nominees are hilarious with a special gesture of Akshay Kumar mocking his ’Khiladi’ image subtly. Several other light digs send a titter of laughter across the sea of viewers.

Though the story has nothing to boast of in terms of novelty, it is very well directed by Farah Khan who has done a wonderful gesture by giving due credit to the entire cast and crew with a musical ending.

"The world is a stage" as William Shakespeare has said and we play our versatile roles at various points. Sometimes the climax of our stories and lives prove to be against what we want and never-ending. This makes us want to return again to attain the end that we think is justified even if it means replaying our lifetime which tends to leave room for rest of our narrative. Such is the case of Om Shanti Om where one tends to feel that ‘yeh picture abi bhi baaki hai’ to see the rebirth of a star yet again.............
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