...it’s brilliant! Vishal Bharadwaj’s eye for composition and detailing is outstanding, I loved the salty dialect (though I didn’t understand all of it) and this was the best ensemble acting I’ve seen in a long time: a nod in particular to Saif Ali Khan’s Iago/Langda Tyagi. The effeminate touches he gives the character in places – the red nail-polish, the earrings, the way he puts a cummerbund around his head in one scene – reminded me of the things I’ve read about Laurence Olivier’s interpretation of Iago (he played him as secretly lusting for Othello).
A few months ago I wrote a post about Ram Gopal Varma’s overwrought attempts at manufacturing realism. Well, watching Omkara, I realised that Bharadwaj gets a lot of the things right that RGV often struggles with, especially in the intense scenes. Extremely impressive though his framing of shots is, it rarely becomes an end in itself – it doesn’t cry out “Look what I’m doing here!” to the viewer. (Also, Ajay Devgan’s broodiness in this film is far more convincing than it was in Company.)
Was about to write a full-fledged post on Omkara but then I read this superb long review by Baradwaj Rangan and I threw my hands up. This is one of the most perceptive pieces of writing I’ve seen about an Indian movie in a very long time; do read it all the way through (preferably after watching the film).
- Warning for anyone who’s conservative about these things or who plans to take elderly family members for this film: there’s plenty of profanity, including a large sprinkling of “chutiyas” and “bhenchods”. (Need I add that sections of the audience burst into spontaneous applause and whistling each time one of these words was heard?)
- Is there anything Konkana Sen Sharma can’t do? I’ve seen her in four completely different roles in the last fortnight and am awestruck by how she keeps pushing herself as an actress, all the while managing to seem effortless.
- Chap next to me spent the final 10 minutes chattering into his cellphone – thankfully he wasn’t too loud (or maybe the film’s soundtrack drowned him out) but I did gather that he was relating the onscreen developments to the poor wretch at the other end. Since this was the point in the film where the bodies start to pile up in the best gory Shakespearean style, the descriptions were mainly suchlike:
“Ab woh isse bhi maar dega.”
“Ek aur mar gaya.”
“Lagta hai sab ke sab hee mar jayenge.”
“Arre, itni serious picture hai.”
And while exiting the hall, this snatch:
“Yeh toh real story hai. Shakespeare ka hai na – woh bahut real stories likhta tha.”
Link: Omkara official site