Sunday, March 18, 2007

SHAKESPEAREAN BOLLYWOOD ('OMKARA') - and a bit on 'HONEYMOON TRAVELS'...



‘Omkara’ is a very lovely film. I especially love the fact that it is very Shakespearean in tone, yet very Indian at the same time. As an adaptation of ‘Othello’, it succeeds admirably. As a Bollywood production, I think it’s in a class of its own. It’s very ‘grown’, there’s just something ‘mature’ about the film that really appeals to me. There are some lovely scenic shots in the movie that just stay in your memory, and some breath-taking sequences. The music is great (I love the ‘Beeri’ song), and the stellar, dynamic cast does a great job.


Ajay Devgan as ‘Omkara’ is dark, brooding, and just beautiful to watch, like he was in ‘Company’ – I always like him in roles like this. Saif Ali Khan – I totally see why his performance as ‘Langda’ has garnered such praise. It’s a marvellous performance and so unlike his typically ‘pretty boy’ roles. Nice one – I hope he continues to stretch himself like this – I like the guts he exhibited in taking on this role. Vive(i)k Oberoi still has 'that puppydog cuteness' as Amy aptly calls it, in his performance as ‘Kesu’, but he proves again that he’s also a promising actor.



I’m no Bebo fan, but I have to admit she does well in this role – I especially liked her in her final scene – she conveyed the heartbreak and pain of her character well. As with ‘Asoka’, I can’t really fault Kareena in this film. Konkona Sen Sharma pulls off a relatively small but actually pretty challenging role with class. And Bipasha Basu (who, God bless her, can’t act but makes up for it in sheer va-va-voom) is fantastic in her dance numbers as the seductive ‘Billo’.



One thing I liked about ‘Omkara’ is that there are no glowing, positive characters – everyone has that slight shadowing to them – they’re all flawed (some more than others) and really not very admirable (even ‘Dolly’, Kareena’s character, is fully aware of what Omi does and still wants him), which makes it easier to sort of stoop to their level and try to understand their motivations. It’s fascinating to watch how their enemies are not outside them (although they think they are) but within them. Their enemies are their fears and doubts, their mistrust, their blind trust. It’s enlightening and instructive to see how we often can inexorably lead ourselves to our own deaths and fail to grasp at the lifesavers that get tossed out to us now again, mainly because of our lack of esteem, confidence and trust in ourselves. In that sense, as I said before, it’s a very Shakespearean Bollywood film.


I usually don’t like sad endings, but I guess they’re easier to live with when they’re expected. I wish they’d toned down the whole darkness/light imagery thing between Omi and Dolly, though – after a while I was like ‘Ok, we got it. There’s a contrast. Othello is dark, Desdemona is fair. We get it!’ But that’s really a very small complaint. I loved this film.

I have to complain about this, though – this is really not fair, not when I am sincerely doing my level best not to have a full-fledged crush on Mr. Devgan. This is just not right…

And, why, pray tell me, WHY have they gotta do this to me??

And this… this is just so wrong on so many levels… so so so unfair.

I saw ‘Honeymoon Travels Pvt. Ltd.’ based on Carla’s review. I had seen the trailer a while ago and thought it would be very daft, but I agree with Filmi Geek’s assessment of it – taken for what it tries to be (a fun, light-hearted movie with a few life lessons here and there), it’s really quite good. It is realistic in some parts, and fun and OTT in others - but I think it all balances out pretty well. I really liked it. The music was nice, most of the acting was good, and it worked for me. But where did they get that wooden, stilted guy (Vikram Chatwal) from? His acting needs a great deal of work - his delivery was pretty painful to watch - I found myself dreading his scenes, a shame since his co-star (Sandhya Mridul) was really good. But Angela would be proud of her boyfriend in this movie, he has just a little screen time but he looks so so good and does so well with what’s he’s given. Nice…

Anyway, the notable thing about seeing this movie for me is that I think I am now in love with my dear Dharam’s nephew (and lookalike), Abhay Deol. Sure, he’s not as fine as his uncle (but then, few men are), but he looks pretty damned good to me – and he can dance (which, in the Deol family, means a lot). Ed.: He actually claims he can't dance, though. So yeah, I think I’m in love. Dharam still has my heart, but I’ve given a little teeny piece of it to Abhay (no big deal, lots of actors have little bits of my heart – the good thing is that there’s more than enough to go round). And now I shall promptly stop being silly… Enjoy your week, everyone.

9 comments:

Alan said...

Very good review. I'll have to check this one out. (I have so many to catch up on).

Angela G. Skylar said...

Ooh, yes thank you! I was very excited seeing Arjun too, even in the tiny role, he was still fun to watch. I thought it was ridicoulously halarious how Pinky (Amisha's character) screamed when she first saw him! Honeymoon Travels was quite a fun movie with some unexpected twists, the superhero thing was oddly funny! As for Omkara, omg I know its one of the greatest movies of 2006 but when I rented it I watched the first few minutes and it started to bore me so I didn't finish watching it which is really a shame since I was an English major in a past life and love Shakespeare. Well, I think I should see it for real this time and I'll definitely read your review when I do!

And yes, I agree Abhay is kind of cute with his dimples. I just rented another movie of his (Socha Na Tha), havn't seen it yet, but heard it was good!

Daddy's Girl said...

@alan: I think it's well worth a watch.

@angela: I understand what you mean because 'Omkara' doesn't really grab you from the get-go; the beginning is not that exciting, but I think it definitely builds up and gets more and more interesting as it goes on.
'Honeymoon Travels' is definitely a lot of fun. I liked the fact that Arjun made his small role memorable. In fact, the more I think about this movie, the more I like it. It is really fun, and there are some very funny bits (like Pinky's dramatic screams, as you mentioned). I'm on the look-out for Abhay now, so thanks for mentioning 'Socha Na Tha'.

carla said...

Yay, love for *Honeymoon Travels*! I am glad that you both liked it - Daddy's Girl and Angela - as I said elsewhere, I feel like stumping for this movie because I loved it, and the more I've thought about it the more I liked it.

Daddy's Girl said...

I feel the same... it's kinda weird isn't it? The more I've thought about it since seeing it, the more I'm convinced it's quite a good movie.

Uzo said...

Omkara is so great. It took me a while to get into it but with Ajay as motivation, i got into it and love it. Honeymoon travels doesnt seem like something i want to see so thanks for this review...LOL

Daddy's Girl said...

LOLLL Uzo, and here I was thinking I'd done a pretty positive review! Uzo, honestly it's a nice film and you being the queen of all things love-related, I think you would enjoy it. It's kinda sweet. Anyway, 'Just Married' just came out at Silverbird (they took 'Nehlle Pe Dehlla' off their screens, thankfully, I had no plans of seeing that one). I'm thinking of seeing it this weekend, although it apparently isn't that good and is very similar in plot to 'Honeymoon Travels'. I want to see if I can change my mind about Esha (I really don't like her at all) before I do my 'Dharam's Chidren' feature on her. I'm sure you'll be resting up as much as possible this weekend (as you should!) but if (and only if) you're feeling drastically better by the weekend, let me know if you're interested.

Sanket&Nilong said...

This movie just left me speechless when the credits started to roll as I did not want it to end as well as the ending being so incredible. Easily one of the top 3 movies of 2006 with incredible acting, dialogue, songs and scenery. Can't say enough about how this needs to be a must see for all lovers of Bollywood.

Daddy's Girl said...

Totally agree, Sanket & Nilong! It's a really good movie.