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.
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.
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.
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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