Thursday, November 15, 2007

Some people, well, a handful of very special people, value my opinion for the sixpence it is worth. About the big releases of the week, that is. It is for their benefit that I put finger on keyboard. Tonight. To write this here review of OSO. But first of all, one has to take an oath. To restrict, if not altogether avoid, using certain words and phrases. Which are: sixpack, abs, era, magic,tribute, Bollywood and picture abhi baaki hai, mere dost!

Take a bow, Farah Khan. Though at the outset, I must confess I find the film OSO only mildly interesting when put in the same canvas with Main Hoon Na. Call me biased, but as a director's first baby, MHN just blew me off my feet. In this, her second outing, Farah sticks to tributing Bollywoodana, which has sooo become her signature, but oversteps the spoofing bit in parts. Having said that, every Farah Khan film will be hers and hers only forever, because it's she who wears the pants and is the man in the house, for all the monkeying SRK can supply. OSO works. How well, will be put to debate, but as a reviewer, one's not ecstatic. It works in spite of SRK who's gotten so big he often spoofs himself on screen, and gets away with it, especially in K-Jo flicks.And here too. Watch the filmfare nominations and SRK's two films which are completely alike.

Well for those of you who are all praise, I can think of numerous positives which caused your song and dance :
The walk-in star parade was handled supremely. This number was very hard to live up to hype, and Farah passed muster. Attagirl! I know some people who still get dreamy eyed remembering the chemistry of Shahrukh and Kajol in K-Jo hits, and it's a treat for them too. Here, everybody's been given due footage and respect and every star seemed to be having fun blah- blah. As songs of this genre go, this one'll go right up there. Sajjid in Hey Babyy couldn't even come close.

More importantly, the first half leaves very little room for complaints. Manoj Kumar did complain, and we get his point. Like I said, the spoof overreaches in places. And sometimes chronology is sacrificed in favor of including all and sundry. Imagine Govinda commuting from Virar in the70's. But I'll accept that in the name of artistic license. And art it really has become, the way the period is recreated
. Sabu Cyril, take a ceeteee.

If one looks at OSO from the strict and narrow angle of recreating, revisiting or remaking ( I'm sure that's NOT the word) the great seventies reincarnation formula movie KARZ with a generous bunch of digs, asides and jokes thrown in, one can't see much scope for betterment. But it is in Farah Khan's journey as the dream weaver, Bolly ishtyle, that one would miss a pilgrim's progress. Considering she's the chosen one, the torch- bearer who'll carry forth the legend, the inheritor of the Manmohan Desai angle, she seems to be stuck in the groove someplace, having too much fun on the way and losing sight of the objective. That's perhaps why the second half sucks a bit. Not because it is drab, but because Farah is in a wrap-up mood, and willing to let slip. So she can't rein in SRK's hamming in half two, alas! And what's so smart about yelling fish where fuck is intended? I'll bet this was Shahrukh's idea.
The Dard-e-Disco number's completely yuck, so is SRK trying to play some young stud like Hritik or John. For neither is he young nor a stud and the effort makes it all the uglier. The fun never leaves the set though, like, when he says, Qwali to main kar chuka hoon ab mere dard ko express karne ke liye ek...disco! you realize after leaving the theater that Farah and he were referring to MHN.
It must be that my eyes are going due to old age, but I couldn't see in Deepika Padukone what the world and Vijay Mallya must've seen. Judging purely by the sheer force of presence, women double her age, take Bips, take Vidya Balan, would any day steal a march over her. She showed great promise coupla years ago, when she was doing ramp and print. But her looks are a letdown here. That's my humble opinion. Now for histrionics. A born actor she's not, but I'll give her a coupla years to grow as one. I'll wait for a real performer to come along
before I cast my vote for best female debut of this year.
Rest of cast. Kiron is superb. Shreyas seems to be heading towards a career of playing supporting actors. He does good. Arjun is bad. And of course Shahrukh is ugly. And the quick gun Murugan routine, done to death in early days Channel V, needn't have to be drooled over so much like most critics are doing.
I gave Om Shanti Om 6 in the beginning. Then I reckoned I was only watching it on a DVDrip and added 10% for a multiplex experience. So 6.5 it is. Final and non-negotiable.