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Omkara Review

Omkara
EDITOR RATING
5.0
Performances
Script
Music/Soundtrack
Visuals
NA
NA
NA
NA
Suggestions
Can watch again
NA
Good for kids
NA
Good for dates
NA
Wait to rent it
NA
The very fact that there are full-bodied courses to appreciate Shakespeare should tell you that it is not easy to appreciate him - you need professional help.

For most Indians, Shakespeare is just a name to be dropped if you want to sound knowledgeable - you at least Google around and mug up the big works and the important dialogues before a date with someone you really want to impress. He might have been a literary genius, but in terms of sheer utility, between him and Stephen King, you know whose works the masses would any day prefer for entertainment. You'd have to be very evolved to even recognize Shakespeare as a good dialogue-writer.

Shakespeare, basically, wasn't mass material. And neither, therefore, is Omkara.

Omkara is the kind of arty film DD used to show with a vengeance in the eagerly awaited Sunday evening slot in its monopoly heyday - think Naseeruddin Shah, Deepti Naval, Farooque Shaikh, Shabana Azmi, Om Puri... Those days when you never dreamt the 8 buttons for 8 different channels would ever be used in your lifetime, and you considered yourself privileged if you had a friend who owned a "video" and would invite you for movies once in a while.

That's what Omkara has to be viewed as - a strictly "art" film, made for an intellectual crowd. The cream of even the multiplexes. Very few people walking out a screening will recommend it as a great watch, unless they are socialites or the kind of people your boss likes to hang around with. Try this for starters - everyone dies in the end. Now you know.

Omkara (Ajay Devgan) is a chieftain of a gang of goons in the UP/Bihar hinterland, main among them being Langda Tyagi (Saif Ali Khan) and Kesu (Viviek Oberoi). When Omkara's own mentor (Naseeruddin Shah) becomes an MP and wants Omkara to take over higher responsibilities, Omkara makes Kesu his successor.

This is a big slight for Langda, and he starts plotting to oust Kesu. He creates suspicion in the mind of Omkara that there is an affair between his fiance Dolly Mishra (Kareena Kapoor) and Kesu, through some elaborate hatching. It's Othello all the way then - the framing causes Omkara to finally kill Dolly, and he then almost immediately comes to know the truth, through Langda's wife (Konkona Sen Sharma). He cannot take it, and kills himself. Langda arranges for Kesu to be killed, and Langda's own wife kills him. The film ends.

Unfortunately, nobody clapped at the end. It was a 90% teenybopper crowd at Prasads who had their high points everytime a hardcore Hindi gaali was used. Those were all the entertainment value for them. Vishal Bharadwaj has lost all the lucrative 15-30 crowd.

Then, like we said, Omkara has too much filthy language - the MC and BC and "choo..." gaalis. If you do not like to hang around with people who speak that language, you would not want to sit through this, either - so most polished crowds are out, and all the families are certainly out. And that takes care of the entire lucrative Marwari, Jain and Sindhi communities too.

At a more fundamental level, Vishal Bharadwaj has lost all his audiences, by trying to indulge his own creative urges rather than his financiers. If this wasn't intended to a commercial success, of course, all that is just post-script.

Now for all the art film critic comments - yes, this one is a brilliant film, has great and extremely authentic dialogues in the UP/Bihar interior dialect, has earthy, intense, simmering performances from an almost poetically perfect cast including at least 3 National Award winners (Ajay Devgan, Saif Ali Khan, Naseeruddin Shah), and is subtle in all the places that a lesser film could have been heavy-handed. Konkona Sen Sharma deserves special mention - here is a brilliant actress who you look forward to seeing each time.

Yes, if you were to rate this strictly for movie-making, it would rate more. The plot itself, however, is too unappealing for the masses who go to a film to get entertained. There are times when the proceedings are too subtle for Indian standards. Many times you cannot understand the dialect. And there is a sinking feeling of gloom in most of the second half, and you want a movie-type denouement - not a Shakespeare-type denouement. Alas.

I am trying to think of a Bollywood tragedy that became a hit in the last 10 years. Only Devdas comes to mind. Devdas was much more vibrant and visually rich, Devdas could be understood by everyone, and, quite importantly, Devdas could be watched with the family.

This film's grand mounting and starcast will get it high initials. But in 3 days, everyone will know the, er, truth. This one would probably get reduced to 1-2 shows in the multiplexes in 2 weeks, and completely leave town in 3-4 weeks.

Editor's Comment
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OMKARA SNAPSHOT
Omkara (hindi) reviews
USER RATING
8.0
100 USERS
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  • Cast
    Ajay Devgan, Saif Ali Khan, Vivek Oberoi, Kareen Kapoor, Bipasha Basu, Konkona Sen Sharma, Naseeruddin Shah, Deepak Dobriyal
    1 user says this is wrong.
  • Director
    Vishal Bharadwaj
    1 user says this is wrong.
  • Theatres
    Not screening currently in any theatres in Hyderabad.
    1 user says this is wrong.
OMKARA USER REVIEWS
1 - 15 OF 28 COMMENTS  |  NEXT  |  LAST
POSITIVE  |  NEGATIVE |  NEWEST  |  OLDEST  |  MOST HELPFUL  |  LEAST HELPFUL
USER RATING
8.0
100 USERS
Performances
Script
Music/Soundtrack
Visuals
NA
NA
NA
NA
Can watch again - NA
Good for kids - NA
Good for dates - NA
Wait to rent it - NA
Vamsi Kk on 11th Aug 2006, 12:22pm | Permalink
if you're looking for just timepass, find another flick. if you're looking for good cinema, a decent story well told, then dont miss this one. beautifully crafted, very realistic and down to earth.



saif's best performance to date. and kareena's only decent performance so far, plus her natural beauty just shines through.

and ajay in a role tailor-made for him.
RATING
8
The One on 3rd Aug 2006, 1:40am | Permalink
this is in response to the comments made by mr rythms. just because foul language is used in the movie, it doesnt mean the movie is bad or is degraded in quality. foul language is a part of reality and people use it everyday. the movie only depicted reality and it was essential for the characterizations. tht doesnt make it a bad movie. it is a very good movie and i agree with the rest of the readers. this is one of the crappier reviews ive read in full hyd in the recent past.its time the reviewer finds another job to earn his/her quick bucks.so mr.rhythm, donot simply make senseless comments.



if u want to live in an ideal, unrealistic world, then simply stick to the ekta kapoor serials. that is what suits u the best. this is just not ur cup of tea.
RATING
8
Mr. Rhythms on 2nd Aug 2006, 7:28pm | Permalink
If the movie is good, give it a good rating and say it is not for masses. But, you guys have given that a poor rating and said it is not for masses. How do you justify?

The masses like cliched faction movies and dirty comedy associated with that. They make such movies a 'hit'. It's really tough to sit thru such crap.

I watched Omkara yesterday. I would give that a rating of '1' because of foul language. I don't like to encourage foul language to that extent in movies.
RATING
2
Cut It Out, Guys on 2nd Aug 2006, 2:51pm | Permalink
the site is uncannily right about every recent hindi release,including this.

From rediff's BO report:

"The critics might be going crazy over composer-director Vishal Bhardwaj's Omkara, but the film might prove to be a distributors' nightmare.

Sold at a high price, the film loses its major source of box-office revenues -- the family and multiplex audience -- thanks to its adult certificate and extensive use of foul language. It may win awards, but it is unlikely to reap box-office rewards."

(http://in.rediff.com/movies/2006/aug/01box.htm)



even golmaal,killer and corporate were average/flop as fullhyd predicted.
RATING
2
Kalyan K on 2nd Aug 2006, 1:36pm | Permalink
Hi guys and gals just relax,dont get worked up over the review, watch the movie and enjoy.FullHyd.com please stop insulting ur readers with such immature stuff.
RATING
8
The Editor on 2nd Aug 2006, 12:00pm | Permalink
Dear SS:



You posted a comment below asking us to reply, so here it is :).



The review clearly says the film is quite good as a movie-making effort, so your difference is perhaps primarily with the rating.



The service we at fullhyd.com try to provide through these reviews is telling a majority of our users what they are likely to enjoy. It is not what we like, it is what we feel they will care about.



All our editors are briefed on that point - to see if the majority of our readers are likely to get entertained.



Once that point is respected, it will be easier to be see the spirit behind our ratings. Please do not see these as conventional critics' reviews - these are for the majority.



When we are publicly saying that, there really is no point asking us again if we only like "masala" films and cannot appreciate high-quality films. There has to be a policy across writers, and the fullhyd.com policy is clear - the rating is for the majority.



It's wrong therefore to see a 2/5 rating on fullhyd.com as always meaning that the film quality is just average. It means that the run of the film is likely to be average, since not too many people will enjoy it.



We do mention it if the film is very good in some (or, in this case, several) aspects, despite a lower rating. We do understand the challenges of film-making, of trying to be creative.



If our rating is disproven by a eventual impressive run at the box-office, well, it means we were wrong :) - we do make mistakes. But we have among the higher correlations with the box-office performance.



And the comments below always summarize the broader pulse :).



As for the suspense being revealed, we already talked about it in an earlier posting:



1. This is just Othello, a popular Shakespeare tragedy part of several academic courses (and the film says in all publicity that it is Othello), and not an original tale, and



2. It was necessary to say that this film is a hard tragedy to make the review's point about most people not being able to enjoy it.
RATING
4
Rajesh S on 2nd Aug 2006, 11:44am | Permalink
Hi Mr Editor u said Ashok wouldnt work because its for masses, then u say Omkara wont work because its arty . Please clarify to whom are u catering really in ur reviews?? U should know that people who visit ur site are knowledgeable fellas.They wish to know what has really gone wrong in UP-Bihar.But for u everything shud be a fun filled masala film.
RATING
10
Puru The Guru on 1st Aug 2006, 7:18pm | Permalink
This is an excellent movie. A review should talk about the Quality of the script, technical work and performance of the actors not about its business. I do not know why one has a problem listening to foul language in Indian movies when it is widely accepted in Hollywood movies. I do not want to say that Hollywood movies are superior but what they show, is the type of language those characters generally speak in real life.
RATING
10
Gopi Kishan on 1st Aug 2006, 7:07pm | Permalink
holy cow!! truly the worst review ever written. letting out the suspense, even before seeing the movie. people do not read this review, if ur watching the movie for the first time. this is a complete spoiler. morover, i dont think the reviewer has seen the movie at all. he must have just picked the story heard from someone and scrapped it here. god save the readers.
RATING
10
Lazy Bug on 1st Aug 2006, 11:42am | Permalink
My rating for ther eview half a star.



In my view, it'd be better for you if you start approaching movie makers before the movie is made and tell him how it will do in the masses. Trust me u mite earn a few bucks there as well.
RATING
8
S S on 1st Aug 2006, 7:23am | Permalink
http://www.fullhyderabad.com/discussions/viewtopic.php?t=42602



If this is how fullhyd feels God bless them. One thing though Editor...You can't employ people with good understanding of cinema who write such crap, there is no excuse.

Also, this is not an 'art film' review site nor do the people want that kind of reviews. We just want a good product to be appreciated if it comes along.Lot of movies dont run 100 days but leave an extraordinary impact on viewers and filmmakers.

Being an editor you should have atleast pointed out to your reviewer that Shakespeare ironically is someone whose work has been adapted more often than anyone else's. May be your reveiwer check out few of these movies which have become cult faves

R+J (with Lonardo Di Capario),10 Things I Hate about You,O(again based on Othello). I also predict Kabhi Alvida Na Kehna and Don will be 4 or 5 star movies and reviewers like yours are the bane and pain of Indian cinema.Please do reply.Regards.
RATING
8
Anirban Chakraborty on 1st Aug 2006, 1:46am | Permalink
Fullhyd, i think its becoming very obvious that you believe in quantity & not quality. Qunatity here refers to the number of clicks it takes to make a site popular.....Your whole point seems to be in making us read crappy reviews & people are only viewing them to see "how crapy can something get" Well, you've succeeded in your ratings & have made money....but delivering quality.....sorry mates! We've other choices! Whatever, omkara rocks & so do Konkana & Saif
RATING
10
Irfan Khan on 31st Jul 2006, 9:15pm | Permalink
now this is another horrible review from full hyd. i used to stop by the fullhyd website mainly to read the movie reviews but these days it looks like full hyd has been employing junior school students as reviewers who want to earn some quick bucks. one of the most infamous one samrat sharma is the best example. and now, he seems to be leading the trail.

cos of this i have decided to stop visiting fullhyd. people there are much better sites who have professional reviewers. do not stop by here to read these crappy reviews by pre school students. this review is horrible as hell.
RATING
10
Rahul on 31st Jul 2006, 6:11pm | Permalink
Thank God movies like Schindler's List are not made in India and this reviewer would be one of the reason - they cannot differentiate between a 5 star movie and a 2 star novice. For all we know - Jurrasic Park was a masala movie and thus get a 5 star rating from this idiot of a reviewer. Listen everyone, do yourselves a favor - and quit reading nonsense reviews by immature movie reviewers who graduate from Taran Adarsh's Film Institute who only appreciate mass movies! PATHETIC!

Movie was awesome - especially since Shakespeare is tough to adapt and the director has done a brilliant job. Watch this one LIVE on big screen.
RATING
10
Priyanka Rao on 31st Jul 2006, 10:14am | Permalink
I do not agree to all what the visitors are trying to say. Do you feel that this movie is great since it is a Vishal Bharadwaj film? What are you bragging about? If you want the subtle emotions, there are better movies! Did any one watch Tango Charlie? Being a Vishal Bharadwaj movie does not make it a great film. I dont think everyone who passed the comments have watched the movie at all.
RATING
6
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