[tag]Omkara [/tag]is not not commercial sugar-candy movie, nor is it conventional [tag]Hindi cinema[/tag]. The movie Omkara is a dare swim against the currents. It does not have glamour or predictable happy endings. This is some serious material; real people, real emotions and disturbing realities. The movie is laced with generous usage of swear words and bold dialogs and is meant for a mature audience.
This keenly anticipated movie, released on July 28th, is an adaptation of Shakespere’s not-so-famous play [tag]Othello[/tag]. Directed by the talented [tag]Vishal Bharadwaj[/tag], the plot develops in the heartland of Indian politics – Uttar Pradesh. The movie is shot primarily at Wai, Maharashtra and has picturesque scenes, esp the temple of coronation.
The movie is based on the directionless, caste ridden political wars in UP, however this issue is not highlighted explicitly. It also takes a solemn note the male chauvinistic attitude which culminates into the movie climax. Suspicion and jealousy are the prime drivers behind the storyline and the plot, which is a shocker at times. There are vivid scenes of violence and sensual portrayal of love and lust.
Things look slow and routine in the early parts of the movie, with abductions and killings – nothing that we are not used to seeing in movies. Soon, the story leads the curious viewer into a messy affair of rustic cow-belt political gang wars where [tag]Ajay Devgan[/tag] (as Omkara or Omi) and his two trusted aides [tag]Saif Ali Khan[/tag] (as Langda Tyagi) and [tag]Vivek Oberoi[/tag] (as Kesu Firangi) work for Omkara’s political mentor Nasseruddin Shah (Bhaisaab). Creeping into this macho cauldron is a tender love story between Omkara and [tag]Kareena Kapoor[/tag] (Dolly). The other women – [tag]Konkona Sen Sharma[/tag] (Indu) and [tag]Bipasha Basu[/tag] (Billo) have significant roles to play.
The story really begins when Omkara appoints Kesu as his chief lieutenant (bahubali) instead of Langda. Langda swears to ruin Kesu and plots strategies to isolate and destroy Kesu. This process culminates into a tragedy at the end of the movie, something that is unusual to happen in [tag]Hindi movies[/tag], and that’s what gives the ‘it’s different’ feel about Omkara.
Director Bharadwaj has extracted the best out of all the characters. Ajay Devgan and Konkona Sen are at their usual best and for the first time I think, Kareena Kapoor has performed a mature role. However Saif Ali Khan steals the award, for his expressions and body language are simply outstanding; notably the at the appointment ceremony. Bharadwaj’s music and background is apt and blends perfectly with the scenes.
Omkara has a very strong character but apparently cannot see shades of grey. His leadership and authority is rightly assumed but could have been dealt with better. I feel Ajay Devgan was under utilized. Also, Bipasha Basu is better suited for sophisticated movies.
Overall I would strongly recommend the movie. It is one of the finest adaptations of contemporary society and has a straightforward, but powerful storyline and characters. This movie has all a rare combination of elements – drama, romance, emotions, songs and dance – working in fine balance with each other. All human emotions – love, hate, jealousy, joy, mistrust, determination, etc are superbly portrayed A welcome break from the conventions, the movie has motivated me to read Shakespeare’s Othello. Don’t miss it.