Om Shanti Om, Indian cinema at its finest

Introduction

Om Shanti om tells the story of Om Prakash, a starry-eyed newbie artist and his quest for fame. He finds love with his Bollywood crush Shanti but fate has other plans. The two are killed in devious murder plot set by Shanti’s husband. Soon after, Om is reincarnated as a movie star with the world at his feet. With his newfound fame he now seeks to bring the murderer of his love to justice.

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Time to get down to the beat!

I am a virgin when it comes to Hindi films. In my mind, these films were just something out of my field of enjoyment. However, one hour into this marathon of a film, I was thoroughly enraptured by the flamboyant costumes and upbeat tracks the laced the entirely of the show. Coupled with a cheesy but endearing plot, Om Shanti Om has peaked my interest in Indian cinema.

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Even the poster screams flamboyancy!

With all its glamour, racy costumes and elaborate scenes, the film manages to clutch firmly to its humble Indian roots.  It takes the time to revere maternal strength as many Indians have before. Om Shanti Om pays homage to such reverence in the portrayal of Om’s mother. Kind and wholesome she supports her son in his endeavor, affectionately referring to him as “my prince.”  Even when Om is reincarnated she immediately recognizes him, fighting for their reunification despite getting no support. This adds depth to story, making it more than just a simple song and dance.

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How did they get in there?

While I reveled in the experience, it is easy to see why it is lost on some people. Many of the events were over-dramatized. Some might even call them cheesy. Shifting from random scene to random scene for a song, one could assume that they had an excessive budget. Even certain tracks and dance numbers were crafted solely for entertainment value, leaving any semblance of plot and reasoning on the shelf.

Another point of note is the abundance of plot holes. One such glaring plot hole is the entire process of reincarnation. Did Om siphon away the baby’s original soul and take his place? Or did the baby’s soul never exist in the first place, its body’s sole purpose for Om’s reincarnation? While they swept it under the rug without a care, I still need to know if Om committed infanticide. It would seem these plot-holes are often a staple in Hindi films. Time to turn a blind eye I guess?

Song and dance meshes together with brilliant choreography and vibrant colors, Om Shanti Om solidifies itself as an equal beside Hollywood films. 8/10

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Hope you enjoyed my post!

Enjoyed my post? Leave a comment in the comment section below!  ヾ(⌐■_■)ノ♪

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8 Replies to “Om Shanti Om, Indian cinema at its finest”

  1. Despite being a virgin in watching and understanding Hindi movies, it is great how you analyzed the film with much accuracy. It is indeed true that there were many aspects of this movie that were ‘cheesy’ , especially so with the love dialouges and romantic scenes. However, there is an intended pun. As this movie is an inspired film from several other films from back in the 60s and 70s, it is accurate to say that some of the ‘cheesy’ scenes were over-dramatization on purpose. It is to light-heartedly show audience how movies taken back in the day were. The abundance of plot-holes is one that I observed too. However, a good way to enjoy this film would be to take the scenes as how they are being shown without much pondering about the details. At least, that is how I managed to enjoy this movie! (:

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  2. Hey Shaawn, first and foremost, I am glad that this movie was your first from the Bollywood scene. It definitely is one of the best Bollywood productions out there. On to your review, I like how you questioned if some parts of the movie were just meant for entertainment purposes with no deep message behind them. It is true that this movie had a massive budget but what sets Bollywood apart from the rest is how they put the value of entertainment above all else. That explains why they also go to extremes when it comes to costumes, songs and dance. I agree with most of the observations you have brought up. Your point on “infanticide” made me chortle (a little). Enjoyed this review!

    P.S. I give this review a 7/10! =]

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  3. Hey cool review! Like you im a newbie to bollywood films and I loved it too! Om shanti om indeed was a Bollywood blockbuster. It even made its way to Japan and got Japanese bollywood fans swarmed at the theatre. I have to disagree with the overdramatic storyline. You have to give credit to them for being able to still drama on top of the singing and dancing. It was a good balance of both in the flim. Regarding the reincarntion of Om, I had a hard time understanding the situation as well. I resigned to the film’s fate and accepted that fact. Maybe that part is over dramatized i guess. Overall om shanti om was a great exposure to bollywood for me!

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  4. Spectacular review of a spectacular film. Like you, Om Shanti Om was my first experience with Bollywood, and I was apprehensive about the film at first. 3 hours later, I came out with an entirely different perspective on Bollywood films.
    I was also particularly attracted to the theme of motherhood in the film. I loved how mothers are portrayed as divine, flawless and matronly in their films, as opposed to the West’s more cavalier approach.
    I thought it was interesting, your approach to the whole reincarnation process. It would be awful to think that infanticide was part of the subplot.
    All in all, a wonderful review that managed to be both fascinating and insightful. Good job Sean, looking forward to more of your reviews!

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  5. Haha infanticide.. well maybe! But in my opinion, fate seemed to be the more likely explaination, and seeing as Bollywood movies are so cheesy, it’s highly possible that Om Prakesh was meant to reincarnate in that baby.
    I like that you brought up Om Prakesh’s mother’s undying love for her child. Though if you think about it, her belief that her son would eventually come back to her one day would be crazy in real life. But as the movie was overdramatised, that display came of as touching and heart-warming.
    I have to say though, as someone who enjoys watching musicals, I really enjoyed the film and didn’t find the singing and dancing excessive. I guess it’s a matter of personal preference!

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  6. Same goes for me, I’m a virgin too when it comes to Hindi films. Well for the entire process of reincarnation, regarding ‘Om siphon away the baby’s original soul and take his place? Or did the baby’s soul never exist in the first place, its body’s sole purpose for Om’s reincarnation? While they swept it under the rug without a care, I still need to know if Om committed infanticide.’ All these I don’t think you have to know, it is made up in such fantasy story to get back to life. Yeah, turn a blind eye would be an ideal choice.

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  7. I liked how you poiWell-written post especially since you’re new to Bollywood movies. I personally try to steer clear of them for the main reason for which you said plot holes. Many films today still have plot holes but especially for Om Shanti Om where the major plot hole was due to the reincarnation, it might seem silly. However, it is also an essence of the film as it kind of relates back to the first portion of the film where he is knocked down by a car. It may seem ridiculous but for Bollywood, I guess anything is possible. I also liked how you pointed out on the dance portion of the film and I believe that is what makes Bollywood; without it, it just cannot be labelled Bollywood.

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  8. Like the most of us, I believe that this is the first time we ever watch the entire length of a Bollywood film. I’m pleasantly surprised that this film had peaked your interest in Indian cinematics. You brought up a good point in pointing out that certain scenes were redundant. Never liked movies with such scenes. As for over dramatized dance scene, my guess was that it’s evident in almost all Bollywood films, judging by the trailers I’ve come across. You ended it off commenting that Om shanti Om solidifies itself as an equal beside Hollywood films, I look forward to hearing more reviews about future Bollywood films you will be watching.

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