When limitless ambition collides with limited talent on the Bollywood Highway, the end result is a road wreck called Om Shanti Om.
A dispiritingly commonplace theme of reincarnation packaged in a disjointed, tracing-paper-thin plot with ho-hum performances by the lead actors renders aÂ mediocre movie that onlyÂ addled fans of Bollywood superstar Shahrukh KhanÂ would love.
Shahrukh Khan’s boundless ambitions and braggadocio are foiled byÂ theÂ talentless ensemble of acting, story, music, dance and comedy that he has cobbled together for Om Shanti Om, a home production of his Red Chillies Entertainment company.
When Hollywood can offer movies featuringÂ ununsual themes like Lars and the Real Girl this season, why are our Bollywood bozos still trapped in five-decade-old plots?
After five dozen movies and two decades in front of the camera, if Om Shanti Om is the best that Shahrukh Khan canÂ deliver it’s a pretty darn shame.
Watch Chances Are (1989) featuring Robert Downey in a reincarnation theme movie and you’ll realize how inadequate Shahrukh Khan is as an actor.Â
Even by Bollywood’s watered down standards, Om Shanti Om’s story is not remotely credible.
Logic beats a hasty retreat in the clumsy and inexperienced hands of director Farah Khan, who also takes credit for the asinine story and choreography.
For those tempted to defend this piece of junk as an entertainingÂ spoof, we say wake up. The satirical elementÂ comes across but barely in this movie because of the shoddy screenplay and inept acting by the dramatis personae.
If there was a Nuremberg court for incompetent Bollywood directors, Farah Khan’s repellent offering in Om Shanti Om alone would guarantee her the maximum sentence.
InÂ his first avatar in Om Shanti Om, Shahrukh Khan plays a junior film artiste Om Prakash Makhija in love with the Â “Dreamy Girl” movie starÂ Shanti Priya (Deepika Padukone). Alas, Shanti Priya has only eyes for film producer and evil con man Mukesh Mehra (Arjun Rampal). As a result of Mukesh Mehra’s machinations, Om Prakash Makhija and Shanti Priya are packed off to their makers just before the interval.
But like the proverbialÂ bad penny, Shahrukh Khan and Deepika Padukone reappear after the intermission only to torment us mercilessly till the end mercifuly creeps up on us.
Shahrukh KhanÂ and Deepika Padukone lack the screen chemistry of Shahrukh Khan-Kajol inÂ Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge or Shahrukh Khan-Madhuri Dixit in Dil To Pagal Hai.
Also, newcomer Deepika Padukone doesn’t set the screen afire. In not one scene did we find this young lass’ presence on screen bewitching or convincing. If talent was the only consideration, Deepika Padukone wouldn’t have made it for a crowd scene. But such are the quirks of Bollywood that buff bubbleheads wrapped in a pretty package sometimes occupy center stage.
The first half of Om Shanti Om is more tolerable than the second, which is plain rubbish. Even someÂ of the audience at the Loehmann’s Twin Cinemas (Falls Church, Virginia) at the Premiere show on Thursday night became so restless during the second half that they started talking on their cell phones and began moving about.
The much ballyhooed Deewangi Deewangi song featuring 31 starsÂ is nothing to write home about. In a gazillion Hindi movie, we have seen such graceless foot-stomping. The only difference here is that the foot-stomping and wild gyrations masquerading for dancing wasÂ performed by recognizable faces. So what?
But the booby prize for the worst choreographed song in our memory must surely go to Dard-e-Disco. In an industry where decent dancing is de rigeur, it’s a mystery as to how Shahrukh Khan has gotten away with such bad steps for so many years.
The last song in Om Shanti Om Dastaan E is one of the better songs.
One of the well-done comical scenes in Om Shanti Om is the garish spoof of Tamil movies. We found it absolutely hilarious and laughed till tears rolled down our cheeks.
All in all, Om Shanti Om is a remorseless Diwali dampener.
Neither the story nor the acting or music make Om Shanti Om a must-watch movie. Skip it without any qualms.
Oh well, even Bollywood superstars like Shahrukh Khan are mere mortals and when you look closely enough many of them have feet of clay beneath all that swagger.