‘Om Shanti Om' the big release was supposed to sparkle up Diwali this year. It does in a way with the presence of a superstar, a very promising debutante and guest appearances by a bunch of big stars.
There are some flaws in the story but the film does manage to project itself as an out and out masala film for the masses.
The very first reel takes you to the film industry of the good old seventies. You meet Om Prakash Makhija, a junior artiste and an aspiring star whose world is his mother (Kirron Kher), his friend Pappu( Shreyas Talpade) and of course the very beautiful and graceful star Shanti Priya( Deepika) with whom he is deeply in love with.
On a shoot he saves her from a fire and strikes up a friendship with her, dreaming of being a big star and winning her over one day.
But Shanti Priya has her own secret, she is hoping for her life to settle down with money minded biggie producer, Mukesh Mehra (Arjun Rampal). A twist just before the interval leads to Om 's death and immediate re –incarnation.
There are a lot of good moments in the first half. Apart from the nostalgia element of the seventies, some portions have been handled really well. Shah Rukh and Shreyas's camaraderie is quite amazing.
The point where the viewer comes to know about Deepika and Arjun Rampal is very interesting. Also the fire mishap just before the interval has been done well and is touching.
The post interval portion however is a let down. In fact, the re –incarnation itself doesn't come across as convincing. The transition from the first birth to the second is again not believable.
Even a film made in the seventies, ‘Karz' (which is one of the inspirations behind this movie and its major connection with ‘Karz' is established in the beginning itself) and ‘Karan Arjun' to an extent handled it much better.
The story just doesn't move after the interval. Deepika's re emergence in the second half doesn't touch either. Some things are weird, like the Om birth sign on Shah Rukh's wrist.
In ‘Karz' one felt satisfied after watching Rishi Kapoor planning and plotting and finally taking revenge on the person responsible for his death in his past life. The case is not the same here. There are too many other things happening.
Big star appearances, lots of comic moments (some of which are funny but some appear plain forced) and whole of lot of other masala elements become a deterrent. The climax is far from satisfying.
Don't expect to see the Shah Rukh Khan of ‘Swades' or ‘Chak De', here one gets to enjoy the histrionics of Shah Rukh Khan of masala films.
Deepika Padukone is beautiful, graceful and has a great personality. Her role is more interesting in the first half and she does look like a real seventies star. In the second half though it's not quite the same, she stands out tall even when the King Khan is around.
Looks like people are right when they expect her to follow Aishwarya Rai's footsteps into filmdom. Shreyas Talpade is effortlessly good and Arjun Rampal shines in a negative role.
Kiron Kher is loud and over the top, but can't blame her though, maybe because the script demanded a melodramatic seventies mom. Bindu is fun again. The other debutante Yuvika looks cute but doesn't get too much scope.
‘Ajab Si' and ‘Main Agar Kahoon' stands out amongst Vishal Shekhar's tunes. ‘Deewangi- Deewangi' is interesting too, so is the ‘Ek Haseena thi' style song, 'Dastan-e –Om Shanti Om'.
Shah Rukh's much talked about six pack abs is on full display only in the ‘Dard-e –Disco' song. The costumes and the look of the characters are great and very real especially in the first half.
So are the sets designed by Sabu Cyril. The cinematography (V Manikanandan) and the editing (Shirish Kunder) is good too.
Recommended for masala film lovers and hardcore Shah Rukh fans. Or watch it if you want to enjoy the beauty and sheer presence of the star in the making, Deepika Padukone.