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Western overview of S-RK career & OSO Blu-ray review 2010

Discussion in 'Movie Reviews - Media' started by Bridget, May 25, 2010.

  1. Bridget

    Bridget Well-Known Member

    Om Shanti Om (Blu-ray)
    APPROX. 162 MINS. - PROD. YEAR: 2007 - MPA RATING: PG-13

    " Om Shanti Om is an entertaining parody on Bollywood.

    DVD Town. com

    Blu-ray review
    FIRST PUBLISHED May 25, 2010
    By Ranjan Pruthee

    It is very difficult just to talk about Shah Rukh Khan´s movie without indulging in a discussion of the biggest star in India. The Nineties was a period when the three Khans--Shah Rukh Khan, Aamir Khan, and Salman Khan--ruled the box office in India. Lately, the rivalry between the two biggest Bollywood stars--Shah Rukh Khan and Aamir Khan--for the biggest star alive in India has intensified, with Saif Ali Khan replacing Salman Khan and occasionally challenging the two other Khans with his increasing popularity and success at the box office.

    Aamir Khan won accolades at the Indian National Film Awards for his representation of a dyslexic kid in "Tare Taare Zamein Pe " (2007), while in the same year, two Shah Rukh Khan´s movies, "Om Shanti Om" (2007) and "Chak De India" (2007), became the biggest hits in India. Later in 2008, Aamir Khan´s " Ghajini " (2008) became the all-time biggest hit in Bollywood history, but it was very closely followed by another film starring Shah Rukh Khan, "Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi." One year later, Aamir Khan starred in " 3 Idiots," which shattered all the box-office records, whereas Shah Rukh took a nonmainstream role in a thought-provoking movie, "My Name is Khan." Certainly, this battle between the two Khans is going to continue in the future, too.

    Agreed, in the last three years, Aamir Khan may have gained more popularity, but if we consider the last two decades, Shah Rukh still rules the popularity chart,
    standing right behind Amitabh Bachachan as the most-popular Indian actor alive. After having started his career in a TV series, "Circus," he shot to fame with his performance of a psychotic, obsessive character in "Daar" (1991) and for his portrayal of a revenge-seeking, cold-blooded murder in "Baazigar" (1993). His instant success achieved by playing villainous characters shocked the Bollywood industry for a number of reasons.

    After Sippy´s "Sholay" (1972), it was the first time moviegoers were flocking to watch the movie in which its main protagonist was an antihero--something of a rarity in Bollywood movies. Apparently, Shah Rukh Khan took a gamble with his career in these roles, and it instantly skyrocketed his career to superstar status. After he established himself as a reliable crowd-puller actor, he seldom played a bad character. Roles he played in the movies like "Dilwaale Dulhaniyaa Le Jaiyege" (1995), "Dil to Pagal Hai" (1997), "Kuch Kuch Hota Hai" (1998), and "Veer Zara" (2004) have made him out as a romantic hero that the common man can connect to. However, in 2007, with the release of "Om Shanti Om" and "Chak De India," he deviated away from cookie-cutter roles to more distinctive roles. "Om Shanti Om" marks his first movie after "Baazigar" that deals with vengeance as the central theme.

    "Om Shanti Om" is divided into two acts: the first act is a tribute to Bollywood, whereas the second act is a revenge tale. Om (Shah Rukh Khan) works as a junior artist in the Bollywood industry in the 70´s. He aspires to be a major actor some day. Along the way, he falls in love with the superstar Shantipriya (Deepika Padukone), who is secretly involved with a producer, Mukesh Mehra (Arjun Rampal). Santipriya reveals a key secret to Mukesh, and he starts planning a brutal murder to eliminate her. Om is aware of Mukesh´s plan and tries to save Shantipriya; in an ensuing battle, Om and Shantipriya both die. However, a few years later, Om is reborn as Om Kapoor--and he is the current superstar in 2007. The roles are reversed and Shantipriya comes in Om´s life as an aspiring young actress. Soon, they realize that this was destiny´s plan for them to be reborn like this, and they plan their next move to seek revenge on Mukesh.

    When I watched "Om Shanti Om" for the first time three years ago, I was sorely disappointed. At that point, I thought the movie was unoriginal and a bit over-the-top. However, upon my second viewing on the Blu-ray disc of this movie, I have come to appreciate it a bit more, and I now clearly understand more of the fine nuisances thrown by the director. "Om Shanti Om" is a homage to old Bollywood movies from the 70,s. More so, to fully appreciate "Om Shanti Om" one needs to have at least some understanding of the Bollywood industry--its stars, movies, and styles.

    Call it a remake or a copy or a tribute to Ghai´s "Karz" (1980), "Om Shanti Om" soulfully recreates the world of Bollywood that existed in the Seventies. Of course, the concept of reincarnation is not new for Bollywood movies; however outlandish the reincarnation theory might sound in movies, "Karz" was probably the first movie using this concept to become a smashing success at the box office. The opening sequence in the film, in which Rishi Kapoor is dancing to a song, is from the movie "Karz." Actually, one of the lines from the song is "Om Shanti Om," apparently becoming the name for this film. Alongside, we see Subhash Ghai, the director of "Karz," and Farah Khan, the director of "Om Shanti Om," in the same hall, shooting the entire dance sequence, and Shah Rukh Khan is seen cheering for Rishi Kapoor and also fantasizing about himself as a big star.

    Later, in another sequence, Om sneaks his way in to watch the premier of Shantipriya´s latest movie, "Dreamy Girl," a riff on the real movie "Dream Girl" that starred the top actress of that time, Hema Malini. The dance number part of "Dreamy Girl" shows Priyashanti dancing with top actors from the 70´s like Sunil Dutt, Jeetendra, and Rajesh Khanna. Here, Farah Khan cleverly juxtaposes the actual segments from the Seventies with the new sequences created for "Om Shanti Om." The expressions of the actors are simply priceless, and the whole thing blends in well. Farah Khan deliberately uses this technique as a way of honoring the Bollywood cinema using flashy dresses, opulent styles, and, of course, numerous references to Bollywood stars and its directors.

    Farah Khan´s love for Bollywood does not stop here; after all, any film industry is incomplete if it is devoid of ceremonial movie awards, which in India is popularly known as Filmfare awards. In a hilarious sequence in the second half of the film, three nominations for the Best Actor category are announced as part of Filmfare Awards--Shah Rukh Khan, Ashkay Kumar, and Abhishek Bachachan. Interestingly, the entire sequence is a satire on Shah Rukh Khan himself; in his hit movies from the 90´s, the name of the lead character was either Raj or Rahul. Following next in the list is Ashkay Kumar, who was widely regarded as the next star after the success of the "Khiladi" series. Finally, we have Abhishek Bachachan, who starred in the "Dhoom" series that made him a box-office sensation for a brief period.

    [part 1]
  2. Bridget

    Bridget Well-Known Member

    Re: Western overview of S-RK career & OSO DVD review 2010

    The director, Farah Khan, in this segment conveys her thoughts on stereotypical roles that these actors have played throughout their career, and yet their status as Bollywood stars is never questioned. The entire sequence ends with a dance number that shows popular Bollywood stars from past and present generations dancing like a big happy family in a carnival. It is Farah Khan´s way of acknowledging the importance of past Bollywood actors and directors, without which the Bollywood industry would be incomplete.

    With "Om Shanti Om," Shah Rukh Khan changed his persona from a popular romantic hero to a muscle-man. His transformation to rapid muscularity surprised the Bollywood industry. After all, with the success he has generated in playing conventional romantic roles, why would someone want to be an action hero? The Nineties saw Sanjay Dutt, Salman Khan, Sunny Deol, and Sunil Shetty bring in the macho-man´s image to new levels with their display of muscular bodies.

    It was Shah Rukh Khan´s response to aforementioned Bollywood stars that have generated enough buzz in the industry for their muscular figures and their action roles. Nevertheless, Shah Rukh Khan´s muscular image works and is only used in one dance sequence. His performance is pretty ordinary; he performs in a template structure, with a familiar style of dialogue delivery and the same display of emotions that he has exhibited over the course of the last two decades. Deepika Padukone makes her debut with this movie, and she gracefully and delicately carries her character. Her glowing, beaming face adds a lot of charm to her character. The chemistry between the two leads is believable for the most part, but somehow the dying moments never strike any emotional chord.

    "Om Shanti Om" soars high in the first half with its repeated references to Bollywood in a trivia-like mode; however, it is the second half of the movie that is ordinary and stale. The revenge tale with a romantic theme is nothing new in Bollywood. The performances are mediocre, but the movie makes up for these shortcomings with catchy songs, elaborate sets, and the presence of charismatic actors.

    "Om Shanti Om" launches on the Blu-ray with a remarkable-looking, 1080p transfer in a 2.35:1 aspect ratio that does justice to film´s palette. The movie´s color scheme consists of bright colors that represent the styles of Bollywood in the 70´s. The transfer is razor sharp, and the vibrancy due to bright colors makes this transfer very lively. The detail is consistent and improved for most part; however, in a couple of scenes, the detail suffers, with symptoms of haziness and softness during the close-ups. Moving along, the skin tones are true and lifelike. Overall, Eros Entertainment has rendered an impressive transfer.

    For this Blu-ray release, we get a 5.1 Dolby TrueHD audio track. As expected, the dialogue is crystal clear and gets a boost in this lossless presentation. Likewise, the surround channels are robustly utilized during the songs and action sequences. Overall, the sound design of "Om Shanti Om" is perfectly presented through this lossless track.

    The movie can also be viewed with English subtitles.

    Starting off the extras, we get a regular featurette, "The Making of Om Shanti Om," in which the director, crew, and actors reflect on their shooting moments. Farah Khan provides her thoughts on the motivation for the movie and why she thought a satire on the Bollywood industry would work. Shah Rukh Khan discusses his working relationship with Farah Khan.

    We also get an involving commentary by Farah Khan in which she gives her thoughts on a scene-by-scene basis about challenges involved.

    Finally, we get an original theatrical trailer of the movie along with promotional clips.

    Parting Shots:
    "Om Shanti Om" mainly succeeds owing to the presence of Shah Rukh Khan. The story is hardly original, but it´s an enjoyable spoof on Bollywood, and with its peppy songs "Om Shanti Om" is an entertaining ride. Additionally, the film combines action, comedy, and drama that define a Bollywood flick. With excellent audio and visual qualities, this Blu-ray comes highly recommended.

    Bollywood, alone churns out more than seven-hundred films in a year, and so far, we have only seen two Blu-ray releases: Ghajini and Om Shanti Om. I am hoping going forward that studios will correct this deficiency of Bollywood movies on Blu-ray. Also, for some reason Eros Entertainment put an exorbitant price of $59.99 on this disc; however, this Blu-ray version occasionally goes on sale at Amazon.com for $15.99.
    Film value

  3. MaryAnnK

    MaryAnnK Well-Known Member

    Have to think about the cost. I am not that big on blu-ray yet. Need some convincing to fork out $60.00!! Very nice write up though.

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