The team that gave us Main Hoon Na is back, this time with a reincarnation saga, titled Om Shanti Om.
The movie is set in two different eras, as most re-incarnation sagas are. The movie opens with the colour and vibrancy of the zany 70s where we find our protagonist, Om Prakash Makhija (Shahrukh Khan). Along with his mother and best friend, Om leads a simple life as a junior artist who has aspirations of being a superstar. Our simpleton is also in love with the gorgeous Shantipriya (Deepika Padukone), a reigning starlet of the time. The villain, a dubious movie producer and owner of the film studio where both Shantipriya and Om work, Mukesh Mehra (Arjun Rampal) is responsible for the tragic end to this romantic lore. In his re-incarnated avatar, our hero is in fact a superstar, Om Kapoor, heartthrob of millions and a spoiled rich brat. But soon he realises his past and what follows is his quest for justice to right the wrong done to his love. The climax is heavily inspired by earlier Hindi movies of the re-incarnation genre, viz. Karz and Madhumati.
Throughout the movie, the storyline provides numerous moments where the director has poked fun at many aspects and many people of the Indian Film Industry. Be it the trademark moves of actors from yesteryears (Manoj Kumar, Rajesh Khanna) or the amusing dance steps of the 70s songs or the red carpet phenomenon of the present day awards ceremonies, Farah has left no stone unturned to tickle the audiences funny bone at the expense of her peers.
The highlight of the movie (one of many) is of course the debutante, Deepika Padukone, who is, simply put, drop-dead gorgeous. Her svelte figure and expressive eyes make her the perfect eye-candy. Although this is her first movie, she delivers a reasonable performance.
Shahrukh as always gets the ladies swooning with his new look. His wash-board abs is of course the centre of attention during a certain item-number. Although his age is apparent when close-ups reveal his wrinkles! But then in a country that continues to call Amitabh Bachchan a superstar, Khan has still many good years ahead.
The surprise for me was the charismatic bad-guy, Arjun Rampal. His cigarette smoking, long-hairdo and smooth accent remind you of the sophisticated villains during the 70s. Rampal makes a superb baddie!
Another major highlight of the movie is the music score, which is brilliantly rendered by the talented duo, Vishal-Shekhar. The album is a mixture of different genres of music. Endearing romantic numbers like ‘Main Agar Kahoon…’, the foot-tapping title track, the classic 70s number ‘Dhoom taana’ to name a few. The item number ‘Dard-e-Disco’ is an absolute treat and deliciously remixed as a club thumper. The song ‘Dastaan-e-Om Shanti Om’ has overtones of the song ‘Ek Hasina Thi’ from the Subhash Ghai re-incarnation flick, Karz, albeit in the concept alone.
The movie is not about award winning performance, nor does it have a brilliantly original script. Then why go watch a movie that has neither of the two elements that are signs of a good movie? Well the answer is simply that this movie, like so many made during the decade it depicts, the 70s, is a complete masala movie, one that you ought to enjoy with friends and family when you are interested in being entertained. Farah Khan has, in a manner of speaking, paid tribute to an era that is synonymous with weird hairdos, cocky punch lines, rising sexuality and movies that were made for the public, not the critics.
My rating *** stars, worth a watch!