OM Shanti OM
posted Fri, 09 Nov 2007 23:57:09 -0800
OM Shanti OM
India’s Badshah of love produces a phantasmagorical treatise that illustrates the adage that Hate is only love carries too far.
Om shanti om is intense, colorful stylized musical , intelligent and succeeds in scaring the crap out of one because its tuned precisely wrong. The laundry list of unfunny in the film is long. Shah rukh khan is jealous of …Tamil stars, Salman Khan, the beautiful of bollywood(who ALL look airbrushed like a badly printed Indian filmmagazine), Hollywood, Indian producers in Hollywood,Drop dead gorgeous young girls, he can see but not touch(deepika pudukone is NOT shahrukh khan’s romantic interest in the film) , he LOATHES hindi cinema’s tacky past, its parties its beautiful (old) people, his co stars (all of whom look scary or ugly…Kajol! Is that you! OMG! Remember minsara kanavu sweetie? ) , Its global future, its star sons, its talented heroes that are not shahrukh khan(akshay kumar looks like he’s suffering from the side effects of chemortherapy).The laughter in the theater is like the nervous laughter when your host at a party gets intense and psychotic and unfunny. Remember when bollywood films were feel good morlsels of sheer joy? Remember DDLJ? Remember Dil se? remember KKHH? We were young and full of life, there was something in the air then…Fernando…
I thought maybe this is Farah Khan’s hand from too much shirish kunder, but no, its all Shahrukh Khan. Main hoon naa was pure fun. This film transforms Khan into an angry middle aged man- the anger of a prince that has waited and inherited a bankrupt kingdom.. His anger stemming from a realization that as he ages, love is not enough. Pretty girls are looking elsewhere. He cannot be insincere and say that his affection to them is filial and bereft of the sexual (Like in Chak de India ), he cannot BE overtly sexual for alienating his fan base(Rajnikanth or Sharat kumar can romance a girl 20 years younger ..or 30…Shah rukh khan cannot.) So that relationship to deepika pudukone’s character in this film is ambiguous…like a secret humbert humbert shedding secret tears of concern over a Lolita he’s kept away from if only by his own repression. The whole film is an attempt to normalize this unhealthy core man woman relationship. If youre attracted to her ask her out take her to bed and show her why (as dharmendra puts it in Johnny Gaddar) its not the age it’s the milage. Don’t make a glorification of your waffles….. reincarnation…bubblegum…maa all are used to sublimate repression into idolatry. You’re a goddess cleavage and sweaty exposed thigh.I’m a bumbling fool in the same frame. How can I feel sexual toward you? Reminds me of a line from “Palindromes” where a young girl confronts an accused pedophile that’s not actually quite made a pass at her .. “youre not a pedophile, pedophiles LOVE young girls.
The theme of reincarnation is not new to Indian films. It can, in fact be argued that the skeleton of this film comes from a Kamalahasan film (tamil) called Kalaingnan, to which it bears striking similarities. That would be ironic because one of the people shahrukh khan hates actively in OM Shanti Om seems to be Rajnikanth who stole his thunder by acting in the most successful Sivaji…Rajnikanth being Kamalahasan’s rival in South India.
Starting there and thence proceeding to the phantom of the opera by way of “Back to the future” aesthetics gives the film a vaguely Hollywood derivative feel and thats Ironic too because the bubblegum flic produced by sony has an old bollywood feel… different review.
In the end OSO does not feel mature enough to be treated seriously as art and is not spontaneously funny enough (even in its in jokes which all feel like a famil conspiring to hide a patriarch’s madness by laughing heartily and quite unnescessarily…if too often.) to be entertainment. It will probably fill cinema halls for a while because people will laugh at anything, and it is diwali…but I wonder if frightening your audience into peals of nervous laughter is the best way to entertain..
The most unforgivable sin of the film is the way it mauled the songs. Tum ko paya hai feels fast forwarded, Kaise nainon se sain milaoon is beautifully shot only to have a self loathing shahrukh kahn destroy the magic by his version of irony and camp, dard e isco has airbrushed images of white woman caricatures, and Chan se jo toote koi sapna(my beloved rahet! What have they done to you!) is trivialized into a seventies cliché.
Shahrukh, play pranks on you crew, pervert your affection into a reincarnation theme, Hate the industry you are in, alienate your audience ….and your movie is easily ignored. Destroy this beautiful album…and it becomes personal.
Time you retired to a rest cure Mr Khan. I suggest Switzerland, where UG took Parveen Babi.