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‘Om Shanti Om turns 16’

Cast: Shah Rukh Khan, Deepika Padukone, Arjun Rampal, Shreyas Talpade, Kiron Kher There’s no denying that Om Shanti Om is Farah Khan’s mag...

Cast: Shah Rukh Khan, Deepika Padukone, Arjun Rampal, Shreyas Talpade, Kiron Kher

There’s no denying that Om Shanti Om is Farah Khan’s magnum opus. The musical thriller which just turned sweet 16 on Thursday is endearing

for its retro look in the first half and the over-the-top satirical tone in the second half.

Om Shanti Om is a lot of things at once: a satire on the Hindi film industry, a romantic saga, a comedy, and a revenge film; but at heart, it’s a story about love withstanding any and every obstacle placed in front of it. Shah Rukh Khan and Deepika Padukone are remarkable, as charming as one can be that too effortlessly.

Om Shanti Om is remarkable - how did they manage to pull off a tale as old as Indian cinema and reinvent it for the audience of that time and also get in the big bucks at the box office? Maybe it’s got something to do with the directorial skills of Farah Khan which was already obvious with Main Hoon Na.

This film features an array of cringey and cheesy dialogues but you never find them weird for some reason. Om Shanti Om is a flawed film - but Farah Khan creates a kind of lore to breathe in that it starts to feel real at times. It’s both sad and cathartic at the end and Farah Khan perfectly balances the two to create something that would be considered a modern classic in the coming years. 

Shah Rukh Khan is what perhaps made this film as famous and memorable as it is, along with a great cast. Deepika Padukone made a confident debut as Shanti Priya and Sandy, Arjun Rampal is menacingly perfect as the bad guy while Shreyas Talpade is also really good and funny as Pappu.

The second half - while significantly weaker than the first half - is far more funnier than the first half. The film is, also, excessively self-aware. It knows what it’s doing and parodies itself continuously in the second half, but subtly. It also references old SRK films and then cracks a joke about them.

The film is inspired by the 1949 film Mahal and the 1958 film Madhumati but feels fresh. It’s really predictable but it feels as if it’s never been done. The same goes for the reincarnation plot line. Done to death in Madhumati, Mahal, Mehbooba, and Kudrat to name a few, yet it seems fresh and new.

The songs are excellent, each and every track. Of course, they did copy Karz’s Ek hasina thi for Daastan-e-Om Shanti Om, but it doesn’t feel like a bad imitation of a great song, rather it feels as if it’s a tribute to that immortal Kishore Kumar ditty. Deewangi deewangi too is a tribute to the Manmohan Desai-directed film Naseeb (1981), which features an array of famous stars.

What makes Om Shanti Om so memorable are the great characters, the command Farah Khan had over the film, and the excellent performances from the entire star cast. Also, nobody does end credits like Farah Khan!

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