Thank god for Vishal Bharadwaj.
I am the first to admit that I am not really proud of bollywood. The sob fests, the slap sticks that make you want to cry, the melodramas that make you go to sleep and last not the least the movies with “message” that go nowhere were too much to handle in the last 20 years of so.
Having said that, every now and then a movie comes that restores your faith in the Bollywood. And I cannot help but tell myself that we will return to the glory days of 1960s and 1970s.
The movie Omkara stayed true to Shakerspeare’s Othello. Thank god Vishal Bharadwaj did not opt for a bollywood ending. The most amazing thing that I found about the movie was the sets and the language. The sets depicted by Vishal Bharadwaj were so true to the point you could be sure that the characters were living in their house for the time that the movie claimed it did. And the language was as it really is in UP, India. I have spent a few months in that part of the world and believe me, this is how everyone talks.
Saif Ali Khan and Ajay Devgan were the stars of the movie. They depited their characters (especially Saif Ali Khan, who has matured into an exceptional actor since his divorce. Coicidence? I don’t want to go there) as Shakespeare would probably have wanted to.
Now the few things that put me off about the movie.
1) Too long. It could easily have been a 1 and half to 2 hour movie but no, Vishal Bharadwaj opted for the full 3 hours. I guess he wanted to show all the nuances of the play by Shakespeare so he can be forgiven for it.
2) The focus of the movie was on Omkara (Othello) when in the play the focus is actually on Langara (Iago). This was my only bone of contention with Vishal Bharadwaj’s depiction of the play. But again he can be forgiven for it.
3) Naseeruddin Shah was really under used.
4) The ending was not as convincing as it was in the play.
All said and done. I am going to root for Vishal Bharadwaj’s projects, always.