Cast: Ajay Devgan, Kareena Kapoor, Saif Ali Khan, Konkana Sen-Sharma, Viviek Oberoi, Bipasha Basu, Naseeruddin Shah
Director: Vishal Bhardwaj
Any movie which starts off with an expletive-laden dialogue is bound be a mass-movie and Omkara is no exception. Omkara is the adaptation of the Shakespearean play Othello which had marital discord and jealousy as its main backdrop. Had the movie stuck to the basic theme religiously then maybe it might have made a better impression (there’s also a chance that it would’ave failed miserably) Omkara (Ajay Devgan) is the trusted lieutenant of a UP politician aiming for a Lok Sabha seat, Bhaisaheb(Naseeruddin Shah). Langda Tyagi (Saif) and Kesu Firangi (Viviek) are his right-hand-men helping him in his mis-deeds. The movie starts with Omkara having kidnapped Kareena and Saif Ali Khan stalling the Groom. To start with, none of teh characters has been build-up to convey that theya re indeed powerful. They are just thrust upon the audience who has to understand that Omkara is a powerful guy just because he has the hand of Bhaisaheb on his head. When Bhaisaheb gets busy in the election and Omkara would have to relinquish the party’s headman role (referred to as Bahubali ) all seems in favour of Langda tyagi getting that coveted seat but against all odds, Omkara chooses Kesu Firangi just because he’s educated. This sparks off resentment in Langda and fanned by the Jilted groom who had to forego Kareena, this resentment ends up in Langda sowing seeds of doubt in Omkara’s mind against Kesu & Dolly (
I don’ remember Kareena’s character’s name). Bipasha Basu acts as the catalyst in bringing matters to head and after a topsy-turvy climax, half of the lead cast lies dead!
Character-wise, only Langda Tyagi’s character and to an extent, Omkara’s seem strongly-sketched. All others suffer from either lack of build-up (Like Kesu Firangi or Kareena) or a hasty Exit (like Bhaisaheb or Bipasha) Performance-wise, it is Saif Ali Khan’s movie all the way. The sheer menace which he exudes on screen while acting out the part of a loyal servant is indeed masterful and he steals the scene from right under Ajay’s nose. Ajay Devgan is good in patches and so is Kareena as the wronged wife. But she somehow doesn’t fit as the village ‘belle’ a part which is played with conviction by Konkana Sen Sharma. Viviek Oberoi is more like a supporting cast and so is Bipasha. Deepak Dobriyal, the guy who plays the Groom and who keeps fanning Saif’s ego is commendable. Naseerudin Shah disappears towards the second half. The movie’s setting is ok and the rustic ambience gels in a haphazard manner through the movie. Language is totally rustic with a high number of expletives being used throughout the movie. Pace of the movie is kinda slow, esp. in the second half. Some scenes do stand out such as Saif & Ajay’s confrontation on the railway track. Ajay & Kareena’s bedroom scene and the climax. A few things flummoxed me though:
- Kareena & Viviek’s College Relationship is spoken of but never shown
- Choosing of Viviek over Saif as Bahubali just on the criteria of education is inconvincing
- Saif’s ploy of convincing that Kareena is indeed cheating on Ajay is full of holes
- How can Saif be sure that Viviek will say the same things that he said when he calls him up
- Why does Bipasha doubt Viviek and runs up all the way to the Village
- Why did Konkana steal the kamar-bandh?
- How come Viviek was still alive after being shot at ??
If these and some other loose threads would have been properly closed off, Omkara would have been far better than it already is. All said and done, kudos to Vishal Bhardwaj for attempting such a ‘mature’ topic and Indianising it well enough. It may not be a classy movie, but sure is a ‘massy’ one.
My Rating: 6/10