When Shah Rukh Khan travels across time to avenge the one he loved, you know you’ll exit the theatre only after 3 hrs. When Arjun Rampal sports a thin dark mustache in 1977, you know he’s gonna make a comeback. And when Deepika Padukone is surrounded by fire, you know her debut performance will spread like wildfire. These are some among many elements that combine together to create OSO or Om Shanti Om. Its director, Farah Khan, blends the usual Bollywood masala and the inner workings of this gargantuan film industry to create a spoof/homage to Bollywood which is entertaining, but at the same time, the actual plot feels a bit left out and half-baked, especially in the past.
OSO starts in the past: 1977 to be exact. SRK plays Om Prakash Makhija, a junior artiste in Bollywood who dreams of becoming a superstar in this industry where your name is a factor for your status. He lives with his mother: Bela Makhija, who thinks she still has acting talent and loves her son very much. Shreyas Talpade plays Pappu Master, Om’s best and only friend. And so the story goes on to show that Om is truly in love with Shanti Priya (Deepika Padukone in her debut), the famous Bollywood starlet, and talks to her billboard. Well, through Om becoming an extra in her new film and he subsequent rescue of her, Om and Shanti become friends. Shanti has a couple of “secrets” that Om learns about, including one about her affair with Mukesh Mehra (Arjun Rampal in one of his comeback roles). Mukesh needs money for the production of his new movie, Om Shanti Om, in which Shanti stars, and so to meet this necessity, he kills Shanti. Om, while searching for Shanti, witnesses Mukesh committing the crime and goes to save Shanti. He subqesuently dies. The last scene in 2007 shows us that Om had been reborn as Rajesh Khanna’s kid, and has a birthmark which is the Om symbol.
The next half of the movie takes place in 2007, where the “new” Om celebrates his 30th birthday. While shooting on location in a bunch of ruins, new Om experiences a flashback/epiphany and discovers himself. He resolves to avenge Shanti, his only love, by making Mukesh confess to his crime. That’s the rest of the movie: what Om does, how he reunites with his relations etc.
As a homage to Bollywood, OSO works in different aspects of the industry. Examples include the announcing of the nominees for the Filmfare Awards, or the shooting of the 1977 action scene. These spoofs are nice to watch, but they don’t add to the plot. The plot itself is a mess, and should’ve been worked on by the writers, Abbas Tyrewala and Topper Alam. Fact is, you know that the plot sucks, and yet because of SRK and the tone of a scene, you really like the emotion in the movie i.e. the Ajab Si part. That’s how Farah Khan does her movies: masala with purpose and lots of fun. Not much to say about dialog. Music rocks, and the dances are great, especially Dard-E-Disco.
Bottomline: A fun mess, but a 1/2 hr should’ve been edited from the 2007 half. Enjoy the spoofs, and be entertained. A one-time movie. Farah Khan can deliver entertainers. Not much to say about this one.