Sunday, November 18, 2007

Om Saawariya Om

Om Saawariya Om
Two big releases of 2007 – that too, Diwali release. The promotions were all over the place, with the lead actors coming as chief guests on almost every other show on television. Talks about SRK’s six-pack and Ranbir’s butt. Comparisions between Deepika Padukone and Sonam Kapoor. The hype was high, enough to ensure a huge opening. I could not see these films till late because I was celebrating Diwali with my folks. Till then, I had read enough reviews that praised OSO and ridiculed Saawariya.
Now, after seeing both films, I felt that OSO disappointed big time and Saawariya was not “that” bad.
Both belong to the same genre. Surprised? Yes, both belong to the genre of “self-indulgent” cinema. While OSO’s self-indulgence lies in flaunting SRK’s goodwill that can get stars to play “special” appearances, Saawariya’s self-indulgence lies in the opulence that can actually make the giant emotions seem small.
Om Shanti Om is no tribute to 70s, it is just a spoof on everything that has happened in cinema. Very conveniently, it starts with the tag “30 years earlier” and begins the post-interval with “30 years later”. They dare not use the tags “1977” and “2007” because the film starts with shooting of KARZ which released in 1980, shows Deepika dancing with Sunil Dutt of late 60s and also gives a hint of “Meri pyari bahaniya” being shot; from Sachcha Jhootha which was released in 1970.
But I don’t care about time and era. When we listen to stories as a kid and our mother starts with “Ek baar ek raja tha”, we don’t stop her and ask whether the king was of Maurya Dynasty or Guptas.

Saawariya can also belong to any time and place. It starts with Rani’s commentary that states that it is a city of dreams that exists only in her dreams. It’s like a singer going to stage and announcing before he starts singing that his throat is bad.
So, coming back to OSO, the spoofs work as they raise a few laughs but when it tries to get serious, it fails. So why try? Let it be a “Hot Shots” or “Scary Movie” kind of a film. Let SRK regaining his previous birth knowledge be a spoof or let the final revenge be a spoof. At least, give us an uninterrupted storyline where we can just laugh our hearts out.
Screenplay seems to be the weakest area in both OSO and Saawariya.
Saawariya is a visual delight. 2 hours 10 minutes of film contains 187200 beautiful frames. Each gesture, posture is staged to perfection. Few scenes are good, they touch your heart but in the whole film, they lose out on their meaning. Several scenes look like they are there just to showcase Ranbir’s acting skills. He is the find of the year, no doubt about that. The way he emotes, says his dialogues, dances, it’s amazing. Though I wonder, which guy newly-in-love will stand on the balcony and flash himself to the world outside.
If I have to select who had a better debut between Deepika and Sonam, I’d choose Sonam. Mainly, because Deepika had nothing much to do in OSO. She says her first dialogue fifteen minutes after she has been introduced and is re-introduced almost an hour after the interval.

OSO is a SRK film all the way. If you like him, you’ll like the film. As simple as that.
You’ll like Saawariya if you like going to musicals where each scene is written with an intention to introduce a song. Rani’s song “Chhabeela” is one such example.
As my friend Sudip said, out of numerous films released in an year, you can count good films on your finger tips. So keeping in mind the efforts that Saawariya has taken to create magic on celluloid, we should give it at least one star more than Om Shanti Om.