Om Shanti Om is a film that is easy to fall in love with.
While the theme reincarnation is often used in Bollywood films, this revenge musical presents a dramatic reversal of fortunes told with a modern sensibility and sense of humor.
There are a lot of little reasons to like this movie such as:
- when Om Prakash Makhija (Shah Rukh Khan) yells "Bhaago!" repeatedly in front of the film camera during the fire scene gone awry;
- how the starstruck Om Prakash delivers his profession of love upon meeting the superstar Shanti (Deepika Padukone) face-to-face;
- when superstar Om Kapoor (also Shah Rukh Khan) meets the starlSandy (also Deepika Padukone);
- when Om Kapoor comes face to face with Mukesh "Mike" Mehra (Arjun Rampal) and confronts him over lunch;
- and a hundred other little reasons.
But here are my top 5 big reasons fans love this movie -
While this was Deepika Padukone's first Hindi film. But Om Shanti Om goes beyond starring Shah Rukh Khan and Deepika Padukone (in her first Hindi film role) to feature a star-studded cast which includes references to scenes and actors which helped raise the profile of India cinema around the world. From Om Prakash performing a scene reminiscent of an early Rajinikanth south Indian film to a behind-the-scenes tour of how films are made, and references to Hollywood films such as Titanic, Superman, and Phantom of the Opera, director Farah Khan's appreciation for the film industry clearly shines through. And while a passing reference to Manoj Kumar drew ire from the star, it introduced the performer to a new generation of filmgoers. If you want a crash-course in Indian cinema stars and history, this is a must-see film.
Each song, whose melodies are woven throughout the film, is an intricate part of the storyline. From Om Prakash Makhija imagining himself dancing with Shanti Priya then jumping into the future to see Om Kapoor in "Dard-E-Disco" humorously hightlights the change in performance styles in just 30 years. In the amazingly-choreographed "Dhoom Taana", film scenes featuring Sunil Dutt, Rajesh Khanna and Jeetendra were composited seamlessly with modern performances. As director and choreographer Farah Khan was able to highlight the inner thoughts and experience of Om Prakash Makhija/Om Kapoor in a meaningful and entertaining way.
While the best costume and set design elements are reserved for the musical performances, there is a lot to take in visually throughout the film - and delightfully so. Rather than simply filming an interesting story, the film goes big and bold. The elements in play during Om Prakash Makhija's "Dhoom Taana" appearance are drastically different than what we see for Om Kapoor in "Dard-E-Disco". To be cool as Om Prakash Makhija is very different from being cool as Om Kapoor - and the shift from polyester to cotton is almost palpable. One special note is the Brylcreem hairstyle worn by Om Prakash Makhija vs. the blowin'-in-the-wind style worn by Om Kapoor which adds a minor but important element to the characterizations.
The story features a complex cast of characters that tells the story of Bollywood over time. It introduces stories about how successful actors, directors, and writers were inspired by the people and events around them. But the stories of the love of a mother for her son, the strength of friendship, the adoration of fans for their heroes, the power of right over wrong, and second chances, provide the emotional drivers behind the bigger story.
While A.R. Rahman was initially approached to compose the film music, the musical duo Vishal-Shekhar stepped in with support from lyricist Javed Akhtar. The music covers the spectrum of styles - from the sweetly innocent "Ajab Si" to the blast-from-the-past "Dhoom Taana" to the "Main Agar Kahoon" love waltz and the haunting "Jag Soona Soona Lage"; from the over-the-top "Dard-E-Disco" to the fun, raucous party mix in "Deewangi Deewangi" to the big Broadway-style musical climax in "Dastaan-E-Om Shanti Om". Whether you know Hindi or not, you can appreciate this glorious soundtrack.
What are your top 5 reasons for being an Om Shanti Om fan?
The following playlist features a "making of" video and the "Deewangi Deewangi" party scene from Om Shanti Om - with the following Bollywood stars in order of appearance (source: Wikipedia): Rani Mukherji, Zayed Khan, Vidya Balan, Jeetendra, Tusshar Kapoor, Priyanka Chopra, Shilpa Shetty, Dharmendra, Shabana Azmi, Urmila Matondkar, Karisma Kapoor, Arbaaz Khan, Malaika Arora Khan, Dino Morea, Amrita Arora, Juhi Chawla, Aftab Shivdasani, Tabu, Govinda, Mithun Chakraborty, Kajol, Preity Zinta, Bobby Deol, Rekha, Ritesh Deshmukh, Salman Khan, Saif Ali Khan, Sanjay Dutt, Lara Dutta, Sunil Shetty.
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