Omkara, a f***ing good movie, O KaThor!Reviewing or even presenting a set of thoughts on a film that currently everyone will have an opinion about is overkill. I have been saturated by written opinion on this that I am unable to string together a meaningfully coherent set of sentences on this topic. So, I will merely list down a set of stray thoughts that occurred to me.
* Omkara begins auspiciously by presenting a shot of desolate landscape which we were repeatedly treated to by Tassaduq Hussain, and came to enjoy. Particularly, the looming shots from above, raking in the mountains and waterbodies and the colour. Now, the hills and colour are from Maharashtra, the story from a writer of controversial origin, but the hard work is by Vishal Bharadwaj.
* Personal verdict? Almost fully satisfying, though I'm yet to figure out the missing bits. Maqbool remains Vishal's best. The impact was more significant, as were the performances in that film. However, overall, Vishal has yet to make a bad film.
* The actors with the harder job of playing against type stole the show. Devgan fits the frames, Kareena Kapoor is decent though not much more as the delicate belle, Viveik A. O. is more important from a physical Omkara-can-be-jealous-of-such-a-person, which he does fine. Bipasha Basu does nothing more than dance, which again, I appreciate.
* Those who are surprised by Saif Ali Khan's stellar performance have perhaps not seen "Ek Hasina Thi". His interviews indicating the level of reluctance to become Langda Tyagi was, to me, indicative of the bad sense that pervades the thinking of Bollywood stars. They find it very hard to even occasionally let whatever minimal talent some of them possess enjoy a free run. In contrast, a man of such limited gifts such as Ajay Devgan, IMO, has learnt that it is a good idea to let skilled directors to show put him in places that best embellish his modest talents. He makes bad movies too, but we'll remember him over time for being associated with some good projects. Saif Ali Khan and Hrithik Roshan, have a think. I guess SAK learnt a lot about what he can do and it's caught him off guard.
* Konkana Sen Sharma is an amazing actress. It has taken me a lot of time to figure that out.
* Deepak Dobriyal isn't someone too many people are talking about. A pity. As the vacillating, now-off-now-on Rajjo, he has done really well.
* I saw a comment on a TV show saying the expletives could have been avoided. Really? IMO, this is one of the few films I've seen where both the filmmakers and the Censor Board have kept their hats on. When you have a bunch of ruffians hellbent of wiping each other out, you expect them to greet each other with nursery rhymes? The profanity is not gratuitous (unlike the title of this post - see, profanity has its uses in irony), especially when set in a place where almost everyone (and I bet your average viewer will be surprised about the one instance I'm alluding to passes by on screen) curses. (Which reminds me: Harish and I saw a bunch of kids to the screening of this clearly adults-only film accompanied by parents. And then people complain about s & v in films)
* Slightly disappointed by the treatment of songs. Laakad and O Saathi Re (why the mindless extended chase around the haveli?) in particular. That said, nice placement of Naina and Omkara. Overall, as befits the maker, the songs were not expendable and had a role to play in propelling the movie ahead
* Great art direction. If you looked at the walls in the areas shown, fragments of old political posters with recognisable and relevant faces can be seen.
* Some memorable scenes - the temple anointing, the train-in-the-rain, the Rajjo-Langda dialogue by the bridge. Some nice BGM pieces like the one that opens the movie. Nice old-style touches introducing the name of the film and director late. Was the dialect entirely appropriate? The tending-to-Haryanvi pronouncements kept me wondering. The wide angle shots - delectable.
* Vishal - I remain amazed. We look forward to the next and this time, original story-film.
* Go watch.