“Saif has eaten the whole film,” gushed a fellow viewer as the credits list rolled down. It was a poignant site to see the standing audience to stay where they were and register who did what. For a first day first show in a premier multiplex in Mumbai (In spite of the rains) the numbers were surprisingly overwhelming. Vishal Bharadwaj’s ‘Omkara’ certainly lived up to the audience expectations as well leaving them with the expression: Wow-what-was-that! For, the narrative of this adaptation of Shakespeare’s Othello is a unique interspersing of Hollywood Western with a flavour of Shekhar Kapoor’s ‘Bandit Queen’. I completely agree with the viewer who seemed heartily impressed with Saif Ali Khan. His nasty act is as memorable as Gabbar Singh. If he wins a National Award for this one, I would say he deserves it (‘Hum Tum’ was more of a mother’s gift Saifu, wouldn’t you agree!).
Omkara Shukla (Othello, Ajay Devgan) is a dreaded gangster-cum-henchman of a notorious politician Bhaisahab (Duke, Naseeruddin Shah). His two most trusted sleuths Langda Tyagi (Iago, Saif Ali Khan) and Kesu Firangi (Cassio, Viveik Oberoi) are willing to do anything for him. They spoil the marriage party of Rajju (Roderigo, Deepak Dobriyal) with Dolly (Desdemona, Kareena Kapoor) as she has confessed her love for Omi. Bhaisahab forces Dolly’s father to bless the two lovers. Omi is a terribly focused individual who climbs the stairs of success. The conflict starts when Omi selects Keshu as his successor (Bahubali), leaving long time lieutenant Langda outraged. His wounds are pricked by Rajju challenging him to do something about his sorry plight in spite of years of loyalty.
Langda starts plotting Kesu’s downfall by planting seeds of doubt in Omkara’s mind about Dolly’s alleged love affair with Kesu. In a masterstroke he uses the village heartthrob Billo Chaman Bahar (Bianca, Bipasha Basu) by scripting situations that enrages her lover Kesu. Bahubali Kesu, a teetotaler gets drunk on repeated provocation and the ruckus caused by him results in differences between the master and the pupil. The hanky of Othello is replaced by a traditional ‘Kamarband’ that Omi gifts Dolly. Langda’s wife Indu (Emelia, Konkana Sen Sharma) steals the gift of love as her husband had always urged her to do the same. How Tyagi uses this article of faith in hitting the nail in the Coffin of Trust forms the crux of the story.
Vishal Bharadwaj, the captain of the ship knows precisely what he is doing. The poetic visuals, the dangerous power of jealousy, conviction in the actions of every character and to have the capability to understand the darker side of love makes him seem like a seasoned campaigner in his merely fourth outing as a director (The Blue Umbrella is yet to be released). The master stroke was reserved for the last where he conveys an entire situation through gestures and a matrix of simple dissolves. His choice of cinematographer in Tasadduq Hussain (Debuting with this film) shows his visionary bent of mind. For, the earthen, desert-sand-looking-colour of the entire film makes it an absolute visual treat. The camera at many an occasion doesn’t aim for a perfect shot. It just veers around from nowhere and shocks with the possibilities. Even the love making scene between Kareena and Ajay is smeared with a lot of dignity.
Music by Vishal is a rare collection of dazzling compositions. All the songs are brilliantly produced and entrance for their sheer originality and entertainment value. ‘O Saathi Re’, ‘Omkara’. ‘Beedi Jalaiye Le’, ‘Lakad’ and ‘Namak’ are first rate. You can include the rest of them in favourites list as well. Gulzar’s lyrics are expectedly gut-wrenchingly-exciting. When I started searching for the credits of Dialogue writer then the name of Vishal Bharadwaj surprised me. For the man is too smooth to have written the excessive expletives with such ease. But then in the context of the film, the cuss words have to be a part of the idiom and the strata of the society that the film is talking about. Somehow it reminds you of ‘Bandit Queen’, but that’s where the comparison ends.
In the acting department I can go on and on raving about Saif’s once-in-a-lifetime performance. It would be boring to say but I am not the only one who must have been totally bowled over by him. The crew cut hair, the beetle-leaves-stained teeth, uncouth-ugly look, you-just-can’t-trust-me expressions and 360 degree departure from his ‘Salaam Namaste’, ‘Kal Ho Na Ho’, ‘Dil Chahta Hai’ cool-dude persona hits you hard in the face. It is truly great of him to have accepted such a role as this. He is a Rockstar and gives you a lot of entertainment value in an otherwise dark film.
Ajay Devgan as ‘Omkara’ is reliably good. We’ve seen him before in this dark-brooding-avatar, so in a way he didn’t really do anything that he hasn’t done before. ‘Aparahan’ and ‘Company’ are two films where he has played this part with slight variations here and there. Kareena Kapoor in her deglamorised look performs well. To be fair to her she doesn’t have much to do in the film in spite of being the cause of the fatal jealousy. Even though Konkana has a relatively smaller role, still, her performance level is simply towering. Check out her favourite line, ‘Hansi badi mehngi ho gayi hai.’ Ajay is right when he said in his IndiaGlitz interview that Konkana is a Powerful Actress. Viveik’s Kesu is an unbridled reservoir of passion. He is a picture of the co-existence of earnestness-n-lust. Bipasha on her part sizzles like the delirious fizz of a newly uncorked Champagne Bottle. Her naughty moves in ‘Beedi Jalayle’ and ‘Namak’ shall ensure ‘Omkara’s’ success in the smaller centers or bring a whistle to the lips of the front benchers. The surprise packet is debutante actor Deepak Dobriyal who impresses with his Rajju act. He may be the weakling of the lot but he ends up playing a crucial role in the culmination of this tragedy.
Finally if you ask me about the chances of ‘Omkara’ at the Box Office, then it may have a decent run. The slow pace and too-much-of-blood-n-gore may be a deterrent for those seeking uninhibited entertainment. But to be fair to the makers, there is a definite market both in India as well as abroad which will be interested in this fantastic Shakespearean adaptation. I would say, check out ‘Omkara’. It’s an Experience just to see Saif’ stained smile. Mr Shakespeare you can rest in peace. Your heritage is in safe hands with Vishal Bharadwaj.
(src : indiaglitz.com)
|Just Another Copy Of 'OTHELLO'|
|by Benny Varghese (posted on : 26-Aug-06) Rating: (Poor)|
|I think it's high time for Bollywood to look for it's own original ideas & stories. Omkara is just another copy of World Famous OTHELLO with a few deviations from the original. We alreday have so many copies of hollywood movies and now it's foreign literature. There is nothing new in omkara for those who have Not Read Othello. And beleieve me The Novel Of Othello is More Engrossing than the movie. Why aren't more movies based on Indian stories and dramas not being made. Why is this Foreign Invasion ? How many people in the world know about the work of indian writers or dramatists ? So if we make movies based on Indigenous ideas and release it world wide we would be paying tribute to our great indian writers and making them popular amongst the whole world.
Focussing on the movie the movie is Slow paced,Dark and Full of Verbal Abuses. There was no need for these verbal abuses. The movie is neither commercial nor artistic it hangs somewhere in between, making you a bit confused. The story since it's not Original is good but performance wise there is only saif who's outstanding and Overshadows the character Omkara.Not only that he steals your attention from the movie so you end up waiting for him to arrive rather than focussing on the movie.
Ajay devgan has done nothing new, looks the same, walks the same, talks the same reminding you of his previous Stererotype preformances in Company & Aparahan. Konkana sen has been wasted. I don't know why she did the role ? The actress who has given Brilliant performances in her previous movies with meaty roles looks kind of awkward in this movie. Such an Insignificant & small role doesn't suit her. I think she did it just to get associated with Shakespeare & his novel so that she can boast that "Look i have done Othello's Indian Adaptaion". Vivek has lost his intensity, the intensity which you would expect from him is missing. Remember him in 'Company'. Kareena is Ok considering the role she's been given. What's bipasha doing in this movie? I think she got the role Becuase Of Her Item Number 'No Entry' in the movie NO ENTRY, but contrary to the Title Of 'NO ENTRY' she has AN ENTRY in this movie.
Overall this Movie Is STRICTLY NOT FOR FAMILY VIEWING for obvious reasons and lacks the Ovreall Entertainment Punch. |
|Paisa Vasool !|
|by Neelanjan Basu (posted on : 26-Aug-06) Rating: (Excellent)|
|Omkara is a definite 'MUST WATCH' movie. I would call it Vishal's best movie ever. Till now everybody knows that the movie is based on Shakespeare's Othello but what is outstanding is the way it has been adapted to suit the indian audience. But the surprise element is saif's powerful performance. Nobody would have imagined that kind of a performance from him , keeping in mind that he's been doing Stereotype roles off late. In fact his role & his character Overshadow all the other Characters including the Lead actor Ajay devgan. Saif has done full justice to his role of A Typical Dehati by the virtue of his acting skills including the way speaks the rustic UP lingo,the way he gives that Wily Grin showcasing his yellow teeth,the way he chews tobacco etc.You just can't help wondering at saif's role to which he has added so much credibility that you would start feeling that there is a actually a Guy like that in some urban village. You are totally in AWE when he spits out the most vulgar of abuses which such ease that it makes you feel he must be using them in his real life too.
Apart from saif Ajay devgan is good as usual. Bipasha looks a bit awkward dancing in the item song but does look Hot in the dress.Direction is brilliant with the choicest locations lending a good backdrop to the story.Everything is good about this movie so go and watch it. |
|Post Your Review|