The KSeeker

In Search of Knowledge…

This old wine in new bottle doesn’t taste good

Posted by Girish Krishnan on July 29, 2006

After the whacky Golmaal, i told my friends that i felt that in general the standard of hindi movies are going up. Fanaa, Krishh and Golmaal had something different to offer.Not surprisingly, I had pretty high hopes about Omkara especially since it was a remake of Shakespeare’s Othello – one of the finest dramas of all times.

But alas, i am forced to advice people from staying away from that movie, courtesy the enormous boredom we went through at the theatre some hours ago. To get to the point straight, the narrative drags throughout the movie, the songs irritate you to the core and in summary, the movie is a big dud. The problem arises mainly because the director tries to forcefit his artistry (a hangover of watching too much art cinema, i shud say!) into this wonderful tragedy which showcases jealously, love and betrayal in their purest form.

For me disliking Omkara started pretty early – i knew the story very well and was expecting Vishal Bharadwaj to come up with interesting sub plots to keep me hooked. That never happened and the only punches in the movie were the ones which Shakespeare himself (almost) wrote – Kareena’s father telling Ajay that she would betray him too one day, Saif proving to Ajay that he was being cheated by his wife and confidante and Ajay suffocating Kareena to death.

Performance wise the only actor to watch out for in the movie is Konkana – everyone else seem to have pulled off a contrived stunt than a natural one. Ajay Devgan offers nothing new – By now all of us know that he can sleep walk through broody roles because that’s probably the way he is, in real life!. Saif tries hard but cant get rid of the city-ish feel he brings into the movie. The movie offers nothing special from Kareena and Vivek too.

There was a movie called “Kaliyattam” (malayalam) which was also a remake of Othello (directed by Jayaraj, and starring Suresh Gopi, Manju Warrior, Narendra Prasad). Incidentally Suresh gopi won the best actor National award for playing the lead in the movie and the scene where D’s father tells Othello that he should not trust the woman who cheated her father is still fresh in my mind. Narendra Prasad rocked in that scene and the whole plot got built up so well because the audience remembered that one scene throughout the movie. Omkara is about 1/10 th as effective as Kaliyattam !

The songs seem to be good for independant hearing, but in the movie they just kill the pace and irritate the viewer to the core. The background music is hopeless and doesnt go well with the movie at all. Why should a rustic setting have an opera-ish background score? The movie doesnt have that natural look at all – Ajay Devgan appears to be a normal guy when he is at home but the scenes where he is talking to someone always place him in a king like situation. The director has taken special care in the dressing up of actors (colors to suit the personality), designing the background colors and also in naming them (first letter similar to the original characters). But somehow these act against the movie, giving it more of a “made up” than “original” look.

If you are a sane human being like me, stay away from Omkara – its a disaster not worth wasting your valuable time!

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