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MOVIE REVIEW--Omkara

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September 2006
MOVIE REVIEW--Omkara

Starring: Ajay Devgan, Saif Ali Khan, Viveik Oberoi, Kareena Kapoor

Director: Vishal Bharadwaj

Music Director: Vishal Bharadwaj

Forget Shakespeare. Forget Othello. Forget Omkara. Just watch the Hindi adaptation of the Bard's tragedy for Langda Tyagi, the Indian Iago. Yes, watch Vishal Bharadwaj's second Shakespearian offering (after Maqbool) for Saif Ali Khan, for his mesmerising makeover to be precise. Saif's rendition of the foul-mouthed, scheming Langda Tyagi creates an Iago that is almost flawless. Kudos to the director for extracting from Saif a performance that is the complete antithesis of the actor's real life persona.

Omkara crackles with a heady rustic flavour drawn from the badlands of Uttar Pradesh, where outlaws script the rules of politics. The film has an authentic rural feel but it is not for the squeamish, replete as it is with expletives. The story is simple. Bhaisaheb (Naseeruddin Shah), the ruling politician-cum-don anoints Omkara (Ajay Devgan) as his successor in the Assembly, who on his part appoints Kesu (Viveik) as his chief lieutenant in the party. This enrages the wily Langda Tyagi (Saif) and he plots a revenge that leads up to a horrific tragedy. Yes, the climax is riveting.

Ajay has already proved his mettle in films like Gangajal and Apaharan. Kareena is good enough as Dolly, the desi Desdemona, but the real convincing one is Konkona Sharma as Indu, Langda's wife. Viveik pitches in with a decent performance and Bipasha Basu playing Billo (Bianca the prostitute in Othello) sizzles in the item number Beedi Jalayle. All in all, the acting is of a high calibre. And it's good to see actors like Kareena, Viveik, Bipasha and of course Saif experiment with their image and, what's more, make a success of it

Music, by Vishal himself, is totally in sync with the ambience of the movie. Dialogues and cinematography are fantastic. On the whole, Omkara is Bollywood at its creative best and a highly recommended watch.

Even Shakespeare would vouch for that!


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