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  • I caught the first screening of Omkara, and I must say that I am astounded. Vishal Bharadwaj had previously carved a niche for himself in the industry, with the likes of Makdee and Maqbool, but Omkara puts him in a league of his own. It is an exquisite work of art, with each person putting in their best. Everyone knows Omkara to be an adaptation of Othello, and I frankly expected Omkara to be just that. At best, I thought it would be Vishal's homage to Shakespeare. I was terribly wrong.

    Omkara is a poem in itself. Every aspect of the movie has the dedication and tenacity of the director stamped on it (considering he has handled direction, dialogues, screenplay, music, and even sung a song). The beauty of Omkara lies not in its portrayal of Othello, but the fact that it uses Othello as a platform to weave an intricate tale of love, obsession, treachery and tragedy. Yes, Omkara is an adaptation of Othello, but that is not the strength of the movie. The real strength of the movie lies in the performances of all the characters, and the gripping narrative. From the word go, Omkara has you by the crotch (pardon the usage), and lets go only after the last credits have rolled off.

    Vishal's Omkara (Othello) is the chieftain of a band of outlaws in a semi-lawless rural area in Uttar Pradesh. His brother and right hand man is Langda Tyagi (Iago), named so for his limp. Another prominent figure in this gang is Keshu Firangi(Michael Cassio), the only member to have a college education. Omkara is in love with the bewitchingly beautiful Dolly (Desdemona), and she with him. At her behest, he and his gang interrupt her wedding and bring her to his village. In the village, Langda's wife Indu(Emilia) takes Dolly under her wing, becoming companion and friend. When Omkara appoints Keshu as the youth leader of the gang, Langda (who anticipated the post) feels jealous and overlooked, and seeks revenge by convincing Omkara that Dolly is having an affair with Keshu behind his back. For most part the story is the same as that of Othello, with just the background of each character adapted to suit the Indian temperament. Also, the language used a mix of Hindi and Bhojpuri, which adds to the aesthetics of the movie.

    Ajay Devgan as Omkara ascends to new heights of emoting, using his eyes to convey so much more than he could ever say. The obsessive lover, the ruthless gang leader, a man eaten up by his inferiority complex and the doubts borne thereof, Ajay lives every moment of his character.

    Viveik Oberoi is seen after a bit of a hiatus, and does considerably well. As the childlike Keshu, with his boyish grin and charm, you can't help liking him, and feeling sorry for him.

    Kareena Kapoor has always been an actress to reckon with in my books, since her 'Refugee' 'Chameli', and 'Dev' days, and proves her mettle as the devoted and loving Dolly. Quality work from a largely underrated actress, proving that she's a lot more than the glam girl she often portrays.

    The surprise of the pack was Bipasha, who does a considerably extended 'special' appearance and ample justice to her role as Billo, Keshu's love interest.

    Neseeruddin Shah as the overlord Bhaisaab, is a treat to watch. To say anything more would take away from the essence of his performance.

    Konkana Sen-Sharma as the simple, yet shrewd Indu is brilliance personified. With her natural accent and looks, she suits the role to a T. You instantly see in Indu a strong and loving woman. Be it as Dolly's friend, Lagda's wife, or as a bhabhi to the younger members of the gang, Konkana has the role down pat. Particularly endearing is her 'kheiin', akin to an 'arre'.

    Each of these actors has portrayed their characters faultlessly, and no other actor could have done them better. Yet they all pale in comparison to Saif Ali Khan, as the cunning, devious, and calculating Langda Tyagi. This man is simply too good an actor. Sly and manipulative, his persona exudes pure evil,without even the stereotype evil laugh. His eyes strike a fear that resonates deep in your soul, and even hours after the movie is over,Langda is the character you keep thinking of, and is easily the pick of the lot. If Saif deserved a National Award for HUM TUM, then an award for this is a no-brainer.

    Hats off to all the cast and crew members of Omkara, and to Vishal Bharadwaj, for creating this masterpiece of contemporary Hindi cinema.

    • Suraj


    PS- Watch out for the expletives used freely in the movie. They are a source of humour in themselves. :)
  • I took only the masterline from Othello and sketched it from there on my own. I almost felt as if I had written it …only 400 years ago.- Vishal Bharadwaj

    Haughty comment of a wannabe or simplistic fascination of an artist? A fairly new and art-house director with a star-cast to challenge any Yash Chopra production and an eight-figure production budget is not just a rarity in Indian cinema, but unheard of. What Vishal ends up delivering is highly-intelligent cinema with all the accessibility of any major commercial release (akin to a Batman Begins as a summer movie). I can't resist quoting from my review of Maqbool: Give Vishal Bharadwaj a solid pat on the back, and sit back waiting for his next movie. This man seethes brilliance in his film-making. His dialogues, his script, his music, and his direction - all are top-notch. This movie proves that Makdee was no fluke.

    Omkara (Ajay Devgan) is a gang-leader in the semi-lawless state of UP. Bhaisaab's (Naseer's) election win promotes Omi, leaving his "Youth Leader" seat empty. In a logical political move, Omi selects Kesu Firangi (Vivek Oberoi) as his successor ignoring his loyal right-hand-man Langda Tyagi (Saif). Green with envy, Langda slowly poisons Omkara's mind against Kesu leading him down a path too dark for anyone's good. Kareena, Konkona & Bipasha play Omi, Langda & Kesu's love interests respectively.

    The movie starts in the middle of an attempted wedding of a girl and carries on until she gets married. The events that transpire inbetween, the turns that different people take to affect her life and the eventual effect is Vishal Bharadwaj's unique Omkara. The title of his second Shakespearean movie went through a few changes before finally resting on his Othello equivalent. But this movie could easily have also been called "Dolly Mishra" or "Langda Tyagi". These three characters equally occupy our minds with their unpredictable fates and yet it is the triumph of Saif Ali Khan's powerfully vile performance that his limp Tyagi towers head and shoulders above anybody around him.

    Vishal writes the Screenplay & Dialogues, composes music, sings and directs in just his fourth movie yet which only strengthens the silent promise his is making to his fans of greater things to come. Missing are the escapist dream sequences and melodramatic dialogues that Hindi movies are generally associated with. He instead roots the movie in realism with even the song-and-dance sequences being what are existent in a real-world Indian lifestyle.

    Anyone who has followed Indian cinema since the 70s will note the clear influence in Vishal's work-style from his previous two movies. It does help to have this influence (Gulzar) as the lyricist of the movie and (my guess) a quiet adviser too. The most clear indication of this is in the dialogues and the style of sparsely sprinkled humour.

    My only gripe with the movie was the language spoken by the characters. It is a mix of Hindi & Bhojpuri - something that is indeed spoken in U.P. But this gripe is more to do with my short-coming in not understanding the language rather than a flaw in the movie.

    If you have not seen an Indian movie in a long time, this is the one to break your hiatus with.

    My Rating --> 4 of 5

    P.S: Vishal Bharadwaj has directed, in order, Makdee (original story), Maqbool(Shakespeare's Macbeth), Chatri Chor(Ruskin Bond's Blue Umbrella) and Omkara(Shakespeare's Othello). Chatri Chor remains unreleased although it has been shown in a few festivals around Europe.
  • Can Raw be Gorgeous ? Well here we have for that one rare spectacular treat. Vishal Bhardwaj visualizes and presents a mesmeric manifestation out of rustic, rural, and wild backdrop. Omkara is an adaptation from Othello, one of the four great tragedies written by Shakespeare that includes Hamlet, King Lear, and Macbeth. Vishal has made all possible efforts to recreate the magic of the powerful script and he has succeeded to a great extent. However he has changed background from one that at royals in Europe to pastoral countryside in western Uttar Pradesh. The movie has an extravagant treatment and every aspect from costumes to sets and dialect to music has been designed to near exactness. The beginning takes you straight into the heartland of India where politics and power equations are bread and butter of the inhabitants. The color of muscle-power, sex, and jealously makes perfect ingredients for a Bollywood potboiler. It surely have been a laudable effort by the filmmaker after depicting his genius with Maqbool in 2003 (another adaptation from Shakespeare's Macbeth).

    Omkara stays true to its spirit, (the original word is a spiritual vibration from Sanskrit) it's an impersonal and formless representation of the absolute truth. Ajay Devgan playing the lead gives the right tone and shade to the character. His intense expressive eyes and deep throat say it all. It is indeed a quantum leap over his last negative portrayal in Ram Gopal Verma's "Company". He stays in focus from the first action sequence and the title song gives him a fitting introduction on the canvas. The whole drama revolves around his emotions and his weaknesses. His love interest in the film is played by Kareena Kapoor and to say the least she has been a complete revelation to watch. She looks stunning and emotes with ease in some very delicate parts of the show. Vivek Oberoi tries his hand again on some quality stuff after a string of flops recently but unfortunately he is one of the rare weak parts of this plot. He looked very vulnerable and the character never gave him an opportunity to come to the forefront. Konkona Sen Sharma is always full of surprises and her versatility is her strength. The variety of roles she does will be envy for any actor. She plays with simple elegance for a common house villager and without a doubt impresses one and all. Another high was from Bipasha Basu, playing a sultry siren and absolutely ignites the screen with couple of dance numbers. Apart from illustrating her well toned figure there was not much of performance meat in her presence. However the most sumptuous role was bagged by none other than brilliant Saif Ali Khan. He is the fulcrum for the whole movie and he is one who raises the bar of quality for many others around him. One could essentially feel the frustration and resentment in Saif's depiction. The way he hatches the plot and then makes his wicked moves one by one develops the much needed interest for the viewer. He is very slow to start with by staying in shadows of Devgan but then came the string of frames where he outclassed the former.

    Omkara should well be appreciated for its technical brilliance. With bulk of shooting at Wai and Lonavala in Maharashtra, it would have been a real big challenge to structure an authentic North Indian village. The cinematography was sheer pleasure and many shots were so aesthetic that it felt like watching mesmeric work of art in motion. The frames were large and the theme of boisterous merrymaking was captured with meticulous vividness. The script is just right and director do not waste any reels on explaining irrelevant details. Though large hearted shower of local offensive words can get jarring for some audience. Music did not have much to do in this tight screenplay and the director could have done better without couple of songs. Although "Jag Ja Ri Gudia" composition sung by Suresh Wadkar is a pure melody and the veteran made his presence felt in crop of new singers. The song has special relevance with the storyline and thus goes along well.

    All accolades to the director for feasting us on an outstanding cinema. He is a showcase of the new genre of Indian film makers and he has all his fundamentals in the right place. The movie leaves us with heavy thoughts and a lot to ponder in the end. It could have been very easy for anyone to go awry with such a radiant cast line but Vishal not only develops the individual characters skillfully but also creates the magic of making Raw look Gorgeous…
  • Traditionally in Bollywood you narrate fantasy and try to make it an art form, thankfully it doesn't work. Real life is harsh, as a nation we are in the first phase of seeing reality taking art form on screen. It used to happen before but sadly those movies used to get buried under the tag of "art movie". I think as a culture we tend to have a strong disdain for reality and we love flirting with surrealism of lowest standards.

    Omkara would be a cult classic, like Maqbool, its for people who like to see smart cinema, yes cinema as in international cinema and not films. I don't think Othello is a subject that will go down well with "junta" they like singing, dancing, crying. Omkara has singing, dancing and crying, but it is similar to things in our lives. We don't like it, we like entertainment through escapism, surrealism and at times sadomaschoism. Thats Us, Indias, we are like this. It's not good, it's not bad. After weeks Omkara may not become a successful product, Omkara would be a successful Cinema.

    The movie is a stand out from a technical point of view, you can count the flaws on two fingers which is exceptional for Bollywood.The creative team has achieved a new high, so congratulations to them.The movie fits well in the location, it has an authentic feel and associates nicely with he play.The rustic and rough feel of the movie nicely captures the ambiance, never for a moment things get too comfortable and I guess if you're surrounded by political mafias there can never be a real sense of ease about any thing.

    I think acting from Ajay Devgan was a bit disappointing. I am not criticizing him maybe I was expecting too much, but sadly for me, he couldn't deliver anything new. You could always see shades of his character from Yuva and Apaharan. I kept wondering isn't Omi the same guy? I mean same stare, same approach, even the same way looks into the eyes of his lover. Strange. But overall I think in context of the story he has done a wonderful job. He's been solid and that does it for the movie so you cant be critical of him. Kareena Kapoor has been made to look really good, thanks to director. It's good to see she is improving. Konkona Sen, she is a beautiful actor a genuine talent. Sadly she was a bit wasted in a limited screen time but had emphatic presence. Vivek Oberoi, sadly he lost out. He did his usual boy-next-door-charm but you never felt for his character. He looked more idiotic than brave and loyal, not for a moment you could sympathize with him while he was being victimised. Vishal hid him very well in the script. Naseer Sab was good. He is too big now for such roles and he managed to give credibility to this character.

    The soul of the movie is Saif Ali Khan. I think since DilChahta Hai he's shown that he is one Indian actor who is ready to imply world standards to his approach and methods. His work ethics have been fantastic. I respect him for that. Personally I think Langda Tyagi is the most inspired performance since Paresh Rawal's Sardar. In between I can't think of any actor getting in the soul of a character like this. He did in this movie what Pankaj Kapoor did in Maqbool with Abba Ji, which is to re-invent how a character is portrayed, it can only be achieved by legends. Langda is a bit of Jack Sparrow and Bill the Butcher at the same time, which means quality. The best thing was, for the entire movie Saif killed himself to become Langda. When he called SMS "assum kar dena" in Car with Omi that sealed it for him.

    It wasn't an easy task following Maqbool. Vishal has done an absolutely incredible job in stretching his high standards. He is a certified genius now, a rare breed, a original of the species. His story telling, dialogues, the whole presentation was flawless. I am sure those who are not familiar with Othello will have a different view. But I don't see how could have Othello be re-worked better as a movie. It's a tragedy so the end was glum and depressing. I am impressed and awed by Vishal Bharadwaj's work. He stuck to his beliefs and made a movie that he wanted to make never bothering about crowd, money or critics. It rarely happens in Bollywood. Kumar Mangat should also be thanked for encouraging him and giving him his space. Right now Vishal Bharadwaj is the best, much better than Pretentious Leela Bhansali. Take a bow for giving a Classic of International Standards.
  • This must be one of the least-expected brilliant movies this year.. The movie-making skills of Vishal Bhardwaj are certainly not poor, but with this film, he surely notches up his ranking in our minds by so much more. The one thing I could notice while seeing the movie was the spellbound effect it had on the hall ... when the audience was ready to leave, there was not a sound.... till all came out and then a few blurted that they did not get the message of the movie.... well, guess what??... the story doesn't exude any message.. all it tries to do is give the "Indian" or better still "rural UP" touch to the Bard's masterpiece... Get awed by Saif' maturity in acting, or Ajay's powerful rendition... this movie deserves as much praise as any other classic this whole decade ! Cheers Vishal...carry on...
  • Vishal Bhardwaj's 'Omkara' is a modern-day adaptation of Shakespeare's play 'Othello'. Set in rural Uttar Pradesh, the film deals with everything the original story dealt with, including morality, faith, doubt, love, betrayal and deception. Bhardwaj's direction is marvelous and his portrayal of the rural India is laudable. He skillfully captures the spirit of these wild hinterlands and their effervescent and simple people through his dark narrative style and brilliant writing. The film is very well crafted and is amazingly realistic thanks to the serious proceedings, the authentic dialogues, the simple locations, the lifelike situations and the roundly natural acting. Speaking of acting, I will not stretch it much and will say it straight: Saif Ali Khan did not only outdo everyone in the film, he outdid himself with his performance. As the manipulative Langda (Iago), he is unrecognisable, his dialect and body language are spot-on, and he easily pulls off a role no-one ever expected him to play. Konkona Sen Sharma equals his act totally, and though her part is relatively small, she is absolutely astonishing as the vivacious and sassy Indu (Emilia) and steals every scene she appears in. Again, her dialect and mannerisms were incredible. Kareena Kapoor is very pretty in her deglamorised role of Dolly (Desdemona) and her acting is excellent throughout. Vivek Oberoi is very effective. Ajay Devgan is good as Omkara (Othello) but is very disappointing mainly because though his is the central character, you almost forget about him at the end of the show. Bipasha Basu looks stunning and acts well but she hardly has a role to speak of. Other cast members do a fine job. The film's soundtrack, composed by Bhardwaj himself (another proof to his craftsmanship), is outstanding. My favourite songs include "Beedi", "Namak" and "O Saathi Re". The film's climax is thrilling and the ending is bittersweet, very tragic and sad but still conveys the irony and provides the much-needed catharsis. 'Omkara' is an interesting and artistic movie and truly a gem where Hindi cinema is concerned. I recommend.
  • When someone makes an adaptation of one of the greatest Shakespearan tragedies, you have to stand up and take notice. And especially Vishal Bhardwaj, someone who had made Maqbool the toast of the festival circuit and on par with some of Kurosawa's best work. Akira Kurosawa, one of the best directors the world has ever seen, has made quite a few Shakespearean stories brilliantly( See Throne of blood, Ran).

    Vishal Bhardwaj has again changed the setting to the underworld, this time in rural India...more precisely UP. Naseeruddin Shah plays a crooked MP 'Bhaisaab' who employs a local goon 'Omkara' (Ajay Devgan essaying the lead role) to do his evil deeds. Happy with Omkara's work he gives him a ticket to contest in the Assembly. So now a successor to Omkara has to be chosen. There are two main choices, the foreign returned, guitar wielding suave Keshu firangi ( Vivek Oberoi) and the yellow toothed, son of the soil Langda Tyagi ( Saif Ali Khan). Ajay Devgan decides to choose Keshu firangi. Now this is where the real story begins. Langda tyagi obviously gets incensed and decides to get Keshu removed. He craftily builds up an imaginary affair between Dolly, Omkara's soon to be wife ( Kareena Kapoor) and Keshu in Omkara's mind. By the time Omkara realizes this it is too late. Tyagi's wife Indu( Konkona Sen Sharma) unknowingly plays a pawn in her Husband's Plans.

    The question is, how is Omkara??? Well it's just Brilliant. After seeing Maqbool, i knew that i had seen one of the best Hindi movies ever made. This goes one better. There are some directors like Vishal Bhardwaj which are keeping the bollywood's ( OK, the Indian film industry's) flag flying high. He performs a Multitude of roles - Director, Scriptwriter, Dialogue writer, composer...phew, and he does them all to perfection. Of course it helps when you have people like gulzar assisting you. The stand out part- the direction. The film is very tautly made, its very engrossing. You wont realize that its already two and a half hrs when the movie ends. The script and the dialogues are also top notch. Of course if you have the bard's one of the greatest tragedies as your basis, you cant go wrong. The dialogues are very rustic. Normally this movie's audience would have been restricted to the multiplex going crowd. But by using Hindi as is spoken in UP, with all the profanities that creep up in normal day use, it will ensure that the theaters in the Hindi speaking northern belt will run to packed houses.

    The songs are quite good too. The title track is extremely good and so is 'Bidi Jaliye le'. It will become the rage among the masses.

    Performance wise, Ajay Devgan excels again as Omkara delivering a brooding performance he is so adept at delivering. Kareena Kapoor disappoints as usual. Vivek Oberoi is efficient. Konkona Sen sharma is brilliant. She delivers the performance one has come to expect from her. Bipasha as the dancer Billo, had a role of an eye candy and she looks really hot. But the real show stealer is Saif ali Khan, who enacts with panache the Role of Iago( one of the greatest villains in English literature). He is mean, cruel, ingenuous and his performance is truly brilliant. He carries off a negative character quite well in Ek Hasina Thi, but here he excels himself.

    All in all a must see movie, and especially for people who like dark, intense, dramatic movies.
  • It seems that Bollywood is coming of age. To tackle something like Shakespeare...is no mean feat and in Hindi...wow! Being a bit of a literati, I went into the movie hall, well armed with 'Othello' knowledge, ready to slam the film, however I was the one totally slammed.

    Vishal Bharadwaj has done the unthinkable, like a druid has he imbibed the soul of the quixotic 'Othello:The Moor of Venice' into the heartland of rustic India. The process is almost like a heart transplant...a highly successful one nevertheless as 'Omkara' seems to throb with a restless energy that overwhelms the viewer. The nuances are subtle and therefore impactful. The dialogues are first-rate and the songs brim with bucolic poetry. 'O Saathi re' is one track that feels as refreshing as the country air. Performance-wise, Ajay Devgan as Omkara has outdone himself, Kareena Kapoor gives a kindred performance, her innocence is truly touching. Konkana Sen-Sharma is wan, like Emilia of the original and hence one enjoys watching her. Viveik Oberoi succeeds clearly because he's more sub-dued and not cantankerous (ref.Pyare Mohan). But it is Saif Ali Khan who packs a punch as Iago. Personally, my favorite Shakespearan antagonist is Iago and I'd have been devastated if hi character had been miscast. But while Saif's portrayal makes you cringe,(thanks to his rather realistic vileness); he also succeeds in making you feel contrite for the angst he exudes. All in all, the entire crew of the film deserves a pat on their back, because the more cultured can easily pick out and savour the multifarious thematic connotations of the film, the masses themselves will not feel alienated. This is Vishal Bharadwaj's true ingenuity.
  • One of the questions that the director and the scriptwriter have to deal with when making a film adaptation of a classic is that of balance. One would like to remain true to the original story, yet each medium has its own modes of expression and a literal translation of a story would usually result in a long, incoherent, and ultimately powerless film. "The trick is," as director Trevor Nunn says in an interview about The Merchant of Venice, "to make a completely new piece of work while preserving the original piece of work." And Omkara, Vishal Bharadwaj's adaptation of Shakespeare's Othello is that rare beast. It is stunningly true in details and spirit to the original play (despite the substantial changes necessitated by transferring medieval Europe to modern day Bihar) and also be one of the finest Hindi movies made in recent times.

    The reason for Shakespeare's huge popularity and general regard as one of the greatest playwrights ever is the timelessness of his themes- love, relationships, race, class, gender, jealousy, hatred, betrayal and death. He created unforgettable characters who remained people we can relate to. The basic premise of all his plays is usually simple. Shakespeare was a master who wrote for everyone, a fact that is sometimes forgotten by those intimidated by his high-brow reputation. And Omkara stays true to that spirit by making no attempt to intellectualize itself. The characters are crude and their language is coarse, in a way that compliments the feel of the film perfectly. Some of the elements of the film are deliberately over-the-top or violent and the scene in which Omkara smothers Dolly is extremely long and vivid; it is to Bharadwaj's credit that he turns this lack of subtlety into an asset. Indeed Omkara couldn't have been made any other way.

    The acting throughout the film is splendid. Saif Ali Khan, in particular, is extraordinary as the wily, manipulative Langda Tyagi. Khan is one of the most versatile actors in Bollywood and it hard to believe this is the same guy who so brilliantly played 'Sameer' in 'Dil Chahta Hai'.

    And oh, the ambiance! Bharadwaj creates the perfect setting for the film with a combination of great music, wonderful cinematography and a relentlessly dark atmosphere. This is a director who knows what he is doing and is a master at it.

    I could go on and on about 'Omkara'…but probably it is best that the reader go and judge for himself. A word of caution though, Omkara is not for the weak-hearted.
  • If you like cinema, it's beyond me how you can not like this movie.

    There's so much to love here. The precision and nuance the director employs is beautiful. There are so many scenes that only last a few seconds, but they leave such an indelible effect. Like cinematic poetry. So many opportunities for extended conflicts and contrived drama is eschewed in favor of a shot that lingers for just a few moments, letting you know everything you need to.

    The director really gets it. And because he gets it, the actors are free to act, all doing much better work than we're used to seeing. Saif steals the show. Othello, the play, needs Iago.

    And Saif takes that ubermensch archetype and runs with it, from the broad strokes of the character, the obvious facets embodied in his physicality and his his presence, to the more subtle notes like that glimmer of lonely angst in his eyes. And he does it without ever trying to upstage anyone, or at least does a good job of giving that impression.

    The birthday party scene, where he quietly begs for some sign of affection from anyone gathered and finds himself all alone, was touching in a surprising way - I've seen a lot of movies, and I think I even pride myself on not falling prey to the usual appeals to emotion; the same techniques that directors and actors use over and over again. But, this caught me off-guard. There's a level of depth to the verisimilitude and nuance that's hard to come by.

    The role that music plays in all this is also amazing. Not surprising because the director, Vishal Bharadwaj, comes from an accomplished musical background. It rarely calls attention to itself and always seems to complement the visuals and action in perfect sync. A thing of beauty, really.

    Anyway, reading what I've written so far, you might think that this movie is only for people who take movies too seriously, maybe. People who're very concerned with the technical aspects of it etc.

    But, that's really not the case. It is an adaptation of Shakespeare's Othello, and it never strays too far from it's source. It's Shakespeare, that yardstick of universally applicable human experience.

    I found myself relating to every character in the movie, even the minor ones. It engages you on a level that few movies ever do and does it without asking too much. Because there are no long monologues. The dialogue is succinct and apt. The visuals are always pretty, many of the frames like paintings taken by themselves. In other words, despite belonging to that post-Tarantino MTV generation, expecting constant stimulation and engagement to be provided to you instead of actively investing it, I had no trouble with this movie.

    The film doesn't have the arrogance to ask you to sacrifice your viewing pleasure because it's Shakespeare and invest extra amounts of energy and attention. Without using the word in a bad way at all, there's plenty of entertainment here. And that's Shakespeare too.
  • harpisteva31 July 2006
    I just recently watched Omkara. I felt that the movie was hard to follow during the first half of the film due to the UP slang and I was completely reliant on the subtitles. The movie was very well directed however you really have to watch the movie very intently in order to grasp the plot. I felt that was the only flaw of the film. Saif Ali Khan's portrayal of Iago was outstanding. Konkanya brought light to the movie through her humorous dialog. Saif and Konkanya's performance shine in this film. I was disappointed with Ajay Devgan's performance. I have read Othello and I felt that Ajay Devgan didn't depict the character Othello properly. I felt that his portrayal of Othello was one dimensional and I didn't see the multi dimensional portrayal of Othello which is a crucial aspect of the character Othello. In Shakespeare's works, the characters tend to quite multi dimensional, and have layers of emotion which I didn't see in Ajay Devgan's performance. In Othello, Othello is torn between jealousy and his love for his wife Desdemona and I really did not see that portrayed in Ajay Devgan's performance.
  • Macbeth became Maqbool And Othello became Omkara Both these movies are oh! so cool This marks the beginning of Vishal's era

    Fortunately, the movie has no similarities with my rhyme!

    Omkara is a tragic love story set at the backdrop of political turmoil in the rustic locales of UP (actually shot in Beed, Maharashtra). Omkara Shukla (Ajay "I still cant shake off my brooding image" Devgun) is the main henchman of a political bigwig (Naseeruddin "somebody gimme a meatier role" Shah). Omkara's trusted sidekicks are Langda Tyagi (Saif "I can do any role" Ali Khan) & Kesu (Vivek "Kisna screwed my career" Oberoi). Dolly (Kareena "Im pretty impressive" Kapoor) is Omi bhaiyya's love interest but was supposed to marry one Mr. "always in suit, even in the scorching sun" but is kidnapped in the first frame itself by Omi. They stay together, waiting for the auspicious day to get married. Everything goes fine from then on - the usual politics and the occasional shootouts. Things take a turn for worse when Kesu is named the baahubali in place of Langda as he is the educated one. Jealousy drives Langda to malign poor Kesu's image in front of Omkara and that forms the plot of the movie.

    Omkara banks on superb performances and a solid screenplay. The proceedings keep to interested, especially whenever Langda is on the screen. The dialogues are witty when required else pretty harsh with all the imaginable profanities thrown in. Moreover every now and then you struggle to keep up with the dialect but then the effect wouldn't have been the same without it. Music is in sync with the movie and the tracks make for a neat compilation. "Beedi" - the desi dance number with rhythm guitars stands out as one of the most innovative songs of the year. Vishal the composer deserves applause here.

    Talking about performances, Ajay Devgun gets the role he is used to playing and expectedly he does fine. Kareena gets to display a wide range of emotions are she does a neat job (read: a couple of nominations for sure). Naseeruddin Shah's role is small, plus he doesn't get a chance to display his potential. Vivek Oberoi does okay, actually you hardly notice him in the movie. Bipasha (special appearance), leaves her mark with two dance numbers. Kokana Sen does a fantastic job playing Langda's wife but its Saif who yet again proves that he has got a trick or two up his sleeve. He gets into the skin of Langda Tyaagi and rocks the movie completely and walks away with the best lines. The guy never fails to surprise. Overall, Omkara is pretty dark and it will be remembered as a worthy adaptation of the tragic Shakespearean love story. Hats off to Vishal Bharadwaj for making a genuinely good movie.He wove the political uncertainties and love story neatly without any loose ends showing off.

    If you live on a diet of Karan Johar movies, stay away. If you want to spend that idyllic evening with your babe watching Omkara, then fuh-get about it. This is serious gritty stuff - stuff which separates the boys from the Bard.

    -Arun
  • Based on the Shakespearean tragedy 'Othello', 'Omkara' is an imaginative adaptation by director Vishal Bhardwaj, enriched with rustic characters in a politically simmering village setting. Though the film is titled 'Omkara', the character that truly calls the shots and drives the meaty, yet lethargically paced plot is Saif Ali Khan playing Langda. The foul-mouthed Langda, a loyalist turned traitor and a schemer who must manipulate the hand of chance when it favors his inferior, with innocent lives and streams of blood. Saif truly is the backbone of the film and has delivered the most smashing performance of his career. Unflinching in plotting revenge against his offenders, the original character created by the bard has been magnificently recreated by Vishal and its villainy comes to life only because Saif Ali Khan spewed it with unassuming poison of the proverbial snake that takes the form of man. And it's no exaggeration to state that no other actor could have played that part better than Saif. Moving onto other actors, Kareena Kapoor is the other top runner in performances. She acts with staunch realism and credibility, her face and eyes ooze with a flood of unambiguous emotions that simply take your breath away. Her character beams with a brighter shining spark as she performs the part of Dolly than was last seen in 'Dev', 'Yuva' or even 'Chameli'. Konkona Sen Sharma also wins brownie points, transforming from the character of urban educated girl in her previous films like 'Page-3' or most recent 'Yun Hota To Kya Hota' into an unsophisticated, almost boorish yet headstrong woman who mouths unflattering expletives with a natural ease. Ajay Devgan hangs tough in an effort to take his character to the next level, but only succeeds marginally. The character which is perhaps the weakest on writing board as well as in execution is that of Viveik Oberoi playing Kesu Firangi. Other characters that are half-etched are that of Naseeruddin Shah and Bipasha Basu. A good screenplay that unfolds the plot effectively is always supported by compelling dialogues. This is where 'Omkara' glaringly falls short. The dialect is difficult to comprehend even for the audience that has in the past appreciated films like 'Gangajal' or 'Apharan' for their dialogues. The editing of the film also suffers and the length of the film renders some of the scene ineffective making them lose their sheen or the razor edged drama that was infused in the original play. The unimaginative camera work and background score also neglects a stronger need for creating a sense of drama and mystery required for an adaptation of this stature. The song 'Bidi' is the only one with the recall value for its music by Vishal, raunchy lyrics by Gulzar and for newly crowned Goddess of oomph Bipasha Basu. In a nutshell, 'Omkara' is not everyone's cup of tea and will have more efficiency in the film festivals and for those with a seriously cultivated taste. In other words, for 'Omkara' to touch the finishing line at the end of the race at the box-office is highly wishful.
  • First of all, I'll start off by saying that Omkara isn't a classic or a masterpiece, but came awfully close to being one. It has a great story, adapted from Shakespeare's brilliant 'Othello', great dialogues, a good screenplay, excellent performances, and great music. It starts off quite well, and the ending is a thing of class. But the middle act seems muddled and a little slow. What I appreciate the most, however, is the effort put forth by director Vishal Bhardwaj and his team. Each and every single shot seems carefully thought out, and orchestrated. Tassaduq Hussain makes his debut as DP here but you wouldn't know it..the great Conrad Hall would've been proud had he watched this movie if he was still alive. The music by Bhardwaj has a great vibe to it, and editing is certainly on par, even though some scenes seem way too long. I read a comment by a user saying that Bhardwaj embellished his dialogues with profanity to attract the college going crowd. I vehemently disagree with that. Bhardwaj simply tried to make the movie seem as authentic and realistic as possible because the story is set in UP -- a state we all know is not especially known for law & order. The performances are brilliant. Ajay Devgan does it again, and although you might have a feeling of 'seen-him-do-that-before', he's understated & solid throughout the movie. Vivek Oberoi doesn't have a whole lot to do, but I thought he shined in the scenes where he's given the opportunity. The scene where he bashes up the guy in the car when he's not exactly in the greatest frame of mind is well executed from a technical standpoint. I went into the movie thinking I needed Kareena Kapoor to impress me, and wow! she did. She displays an entire plethora of emotions & expressions and delivers a standout performance. Never thought she had it in her. Konkona Sen Sharma is her usual brilliant self. She doesn't have a lot of scenes, but manages to leave us in awe of her enormous acting talent. Bipasha Basu & Naseeruddin Shah have what you can call 'extended guest appearances', but are adequate nonetheless. The real standout here, though, is Mr Saif Ali Khan. Never been a great fan of him, although I certainly knew he was quite a capable actor after watching Dil Chahta Hai, Ek Hasina Thi, Hum Tum, & Parineeta. But here, he delivers a powerhouse performance that is the stuff of Bollywood history! His performance is the kind of rare tour-de-force that you don't get to see that often from actors. To be honest, he has the best character to play with in Iago - certainly one of the most fascinating Shakespearean characters. But his raw, spellbinding performance will leave you speechless. Within minutes into the initial reels in the movie, you'll know you're in for a treat. Watch Omkara because it is something different from the usual crap-fest that Bollywood serves up. After Rang De Basanti & Gangster, this is the best Bollywood movie to come out this year. Watch Omkara, because Vishal Bhardwaj is a class apart from peers like Karan Johar & Sanjay Gupta. Kabhi Alvida Na Kehna is still unreleased, but I can assure you that you'll find Omkara to be ten times better than KANK.
  • Saif Ali Khans performance was his career best...Konkana Sen Sharma was the essence of the film, Kareena Kapoor was average and Bipasha was great...Deepak Dobriyal was exceptional and Vivek Oberoi was also good...Naseeruddin Shah was nice in a small role...Lastly Ajay Devgn, who gave a knock out performance as he had given in the past and no one could essay it better...Vishal Bharadwajs Direction was excellent and same goes with his music...Film has lots of abuse and many people won't be able to understand because of the accent...Not to be missed and highly recommended...
  • There is something about Omkara that I cannot quite put my finger on. For someone who isn't familiar with the rustic and colorful UP dialect and its swear words, understanding this movie is difficult. Get the best subs you can find and sit tight!

    I have never been so impressed with Hindi cinema as I am now. The way Vishal has managed to take this story and apply it to a wild and rural UP setting, seems effortless!Its dusty, barren and sometimes grimy, but I loved it because it seemed to fit perfectly like a painting on a canvas.

    Each star does a brilliant job of portraying their characters on screen. The real shocker was Saif.You get to see how much he's grown as an actor; he's certainly come a long way from those old flicks where he had long hair and short dialogs! His portrayal of Langda as a calculating, cold blooded killer will certainly chill your bones.

    Ajay was splendid as always. Great eye work. Gives the impression that under that tough exterior is a man riddled by insecurity, jealousy and pride. Vivek is adorable, was hoping for a bigger role for him, his potential as an actor is largely untapped. Konkona does a great job of portraying the den mother, while managing the trials of being married to a gangster. I'm not sure why they had N. Shah play Bhaisaab, it seemed unnecessary. He gets sidelined in the movie.

    I thought Kareena wouldn't have much to do as Dolly Mishra, but I was wrong. Dolly's heart is so pure and so innocent, it tugs at your heart. Dialogues are crisp and the script is tight, though it slows a bit in the middle of the movie. No bull shitting or low IQ jokes here.No long drawn out songs. You have to sit up and pay attention. The songs are blended in to the movie so that they're not eye sores or headaches.

    The ending is tragic, leaves you shocked and deep in thought afterward. Omkara now has a permanent place on my shelf. I recommend it to anyone who is a skeptic of Hindi cinema. It certainly changed my outlook.
  • I always appreciate it when Indian directors try to make films that aren't just another tired Bollywood musical.

    There's nothing inherently wrong with musicals, but does every Indian film have to be one?

    That said, the whole premise of Omkara didn't quite work for me. Othello was a noble character - a soldier, a hero. You could understand why Desdemona would love him.

    Omkara was not noble - he was a gangster. Why did Dolly love him?

    It was harder to empathise with Omkara and his downfall after you see him being a thug. You wonder what the delicate and sheltered Dolly would possibly have in common with him.
  • This is a movie which has magical music, cinematography and over all -- strongest story line. Credit goes not only to Shakepeare's Othello, but also to Vishal Bhardwaj who has done an excellent job of adoption -- very powerful. The thread of the movie is Saif Ali Khan, who has given a power house performance -- a word I use only for Densel Washington.

    Music and songs are great -- Naina, Omkara and Saathi are par excellence. The music supporting the mood of Langda or Omi actually takes you to the depth of their minds.

    The movie flows like a hot knife on a slice of butter, smooth without any jerks. The way story moves ahead and shapes Lagda's character is worth watching. How a dedicated man now filled with vengeance plans a flawless tragedy. The end will make you think, even cry, that much faith I have in the story of Shakespeare and narration of Bhardwaj.

    Performance wise Saif is the best, rest played there parts, Ajay Devgan is so monotonous, Kareene looked graceful through the movie -- best after Chameli. Nasir did a chore, Vivek was average. and Konkana did justice to her part. But once again standing ovation to Langda Tyagi: Saif.

    Don't worry about the language, its only in the .00009 percent of the movie. You hear worse on Indian roads. So, just go out and watch Omkara.

    You must go and watch this movie if you want to strengthen your belief that good cinema is still made in India.

    Swapnil Bhartiya
  • Well, in reviewing the movie, Omkara, I must say it's an honest attempt but it's not a great film. Why? Because it wasn't intimate enough for me & that is the most essential part to portray any of Shakespeare's drama. Before unfolding any further, first we must understand why he is still acknowledged as one of the greatest storytellers of all time.

    You see the strength of his gems lies in the absorbing stories they tell, in their wealth of complex characters, and in the eloquent speech—vivid, forceful, and at the same time lyrical. The concept of the "stream of consciousness" style of narrating somehow started from him. It's a literary technique that presents the thoughts and feelings of a character as they occur. It has often been noted that Shakespeare's characters are neither wholly good nor evil, more like gray and that it is their flawed, inconsistent nature that makes them memorable. Shakespeare had a tremendous vocabulary and a corresponding sensitivity to nuance, as well as a singular aptitude for "coining neologisms and punning". All the characters are so versatile. They are never been perfect & that's how they are so realistic, so easy to be identified. We can feel all of his characters are so real that they actually breathe, smell like us. In reality, no one is perfect, isn't it! That's how the appeal spreads across the globe. That's the genius of that man. Let's take an example; he created Othello's characters in such a way that when Mr. Vishal Bhardwaj decided to adopt it, like it had been adopted before in zillion times, luckily the director didn't have to go for any extensive research, all been done before comprehensively. It's a treat to work with Shakespeare's.. But there are some slight problems, you must have to be creative enough while adopting any of his…& you do have to give some space to those congested characters to breathe. Otherwise the very foundation can be shattered. The sheer delicacy of Shakespeare's writings are featured as a gift in terms of it's rich, well constructed format but at the other hand, it's very dangerous to handle with. It's like a fire. The probabilities of backfire are always quite high. So, to me, the best way of doing it right is being intimate with the characters, give them some time & space. Shakespeare isn't all about being swiftly, more like being steady.

    In the creative department, director might be merely succeeded but in the later department, he failed completely. He did try to set the tempo here without spending sufficient time. To give a closer look, leaving camera with the characters at their highly emotional moments is something one must do. He should have just let the camera roll like all the great directors Do. In Satyajit ray's movies, if you notice, how Camera simply follows whenever the characters go through any critical stages with a strong sense of presence, it completes the characters. Apparently, this type of works is tending to unnoticeable but these types of small touches push a good movie into greater levels eventually. These are called "pushing the envelope" touches.

    In his previous movie, Maqbool , Vishal Bhardwaj did seem to remember the true meaning of "kasish", "tharao", that's why the movie became so captivating, at least to me. Don't know what happened in here. In stead of showing his creative touches to set the violent backdrop, he used lots of slang & some really inappropriate songs. I'm not saying the songs of "Omkara" are bad. Some of them I have enjoyed listening but not with the movie. As someone said, from the very beginning of mankind, there was no good or bad, there were always two choices, easy & harder. To set up a highly intense scene, bringing the melodies songs into play is the easiest way, because when a song pops in, the melody starts to dominate the scene. We may like that for a moment but that's not good for the movie. Usually it distracts the viewers & hampers the natural flow of storytelling. it has to be a part of the movie, not an accessory. In different subject matter, it might have some considerable values but in such noir drama as Othello, it works as kamikaze. The harder thing would be let the characters expressed their own mental dilemma, guilt, grief, anguish, love….if it happened, I'm pretty sure that would payoff handsomely. But that didn't. As a true movie lover, I'm really sad for that.

    In terms of acting, I like Mr: Saif Ali khan's acting most. To me, he is one of the most brilliant actors in Hindi film fraternity today. We got some of his sparks in movies like "dil Chahata Hai", "ek Hasina Thi"...This one adds to his list. But i still believe his best yet to come like I do in big B. The good thing is he is very clear in his mind what he does. In giving a promotional interview, he defined "Omkara" as how beauty creates problems in a surrounding of lots of ugly people! Rest was okay. Nobody was outstanding which was required severely. Though I liked Vivek Oberoi as "Keshu", but got a very small role. The main character, "Omkara" was supposed to have lots of shades but way Mr. Ajay Debgan presented, seems to me so one dimensional. The occasion was perfectly poised for somebody like him to hit the bull's eye but he simply blew it. The next most talked about character has to be Kareena Kapoor as Desdemona. But unfortunately it never took off. Don't know why but somehow I wasn't able to empathize or at least sympathize with her character which I must. May be it was bad scriptwriting/direction or poor acting from Kareena Kapoor, again! Konkona was okay but hey, got the smallest room. Bipasa Basu,utter waste. my question to the great Mr: Naseeruddin Shah, was it really worth shaving head off!
  • Saif Ali Khan's characterization of Langda, the Iago-like role, is outstanding. From tiny bits of business like having one long, sharp fingernail that he keeps immaculately shaped and polished, to his ugly-face makeup, to his always-excellent timing and mix of vulnerability and toughness, I can't think of a better actor from India for this role. In fact, there may be few actors worldwide who could do this role better than SAK did. There are three SAK scenes I think are destined to become film classics:

    His bridge-sitting and drinking scene, with Deepak Dobriyal as Raju, the hapless former fiancé of Dolly (Kareena Kapoor in the Desdemona role).

    The scenes of his shock, and subsequent handling of himself, at being ignored and underestimated by Omi Shukla, aka Omkara (Ajay Devgan in the Othello role).

    His hilarious, poignant and deeply revealing after-romance scene, with Indu (Konkana Sen Sharma in the Emilia role).

    Ajay Devgan is quietly powerful as always, and once again I think I know why Kajol married him. Kareena Kapoor is outstanding as a spoiled but innocent and sincerely in-love young woman, who gives up everything for her lover, and is ready to live according to her best dreams, but is also unequipped and too naive to handle the real world and all the deceptions that swirl around her. Naseeruddin Shah as Bhaisaab, the Brabanzio role, is essence of casual intensity -- he vibrates with meaning with every move he makes, and every breath he takes (yeah, I know that's kind of from a song). Vivek Oberoi, as Kesu (the Cassio role), may be labeled merely adequate here, but I think that's the nature of the role itself (as written in Othello), and echoes of his past choices in film and life. He is really quite excellent in this film. Konkana Sen Sharma's smallish role is something she makes the most of. Every minute of her on-screen presence is memorable. Deepak Dobriyal is funny and moving as a hapless jerk and target of Lambda's casual cruelties. And for the guys, Bipasha Basu is stunning as Billo (the Bianca role), a dancing girl who can really dance, and who really loves her Kesu.

    The only reason for a vote below 10 is the length of the film. While 146 minutes may not be long for a BW film in India, it's long for everywhere else. It's clear that tighter editing would have helped the pace in lots of spots. For example: In the last scene, right before the credits, count the number of times the action repeats, and think about how much better those 90 seconds would have been if the count had been reduced by two.

    And please do yourself a favor, if you're not from India: See the film in a theater that draws a big Indian crowd. The reason for long Indian films will become organically obvious, and you'll enjoy the humor and understand the ethos of the film better, too.

    I saw the film twice, and it held up superbly through the second watching. It was better, in fact.

    Excellent direction from Vishal Bharadwaj.

    Oh, and I almost forgot, and it would have been a sin to forget this: Superb music! Lyrics by the unsurpassed Gulzar (thank you, dear friends from India, for teaching me about Gulzar), and music by the director himself, Vishal Bharadwaj. Bharadwaj sings on one song; other singers include the legendary Sukhwinder Singh of Chaiyya Chaiyya and other fame, Shreya Goshal (she of the honeyed voice), Sunidhi Chauhan, Rakesh Pandit, Rekha Bardwaj, Rahat Fateh Ali Khan, and Suresh Wadekar. My favorite songs are Omkara, O Saathi Re, and Beedi. Excellent choreography, better integrated with the film than is often the case with BW movies. The choreographer is Ganesh Acharya, who's done work in films such as Shakti and Khakee.

    Excellent sets, locations and costuming.

    Outstanding cinematography, by Tassaduq Hussain.
  • what can i say ? i knew i was in for a fantastic ride after watching the opening scene. i had watched the trailers for Omkara and had a lot of expectations, and i was not deprived. can't think of a period during the movie which was not gripping. a very realistic and beautifully taken movie, right from the start to the end. the movie is full of UP slang but don't let that hold you back. when the movie is as powerful as this, the language/dialect does not matter.

    Saif's performance is brilliant to say the least. Dil Chahta Hai, Kal Ho Na Ho, Humtum, Salaam Namaste make it seem like he is not very versatile.. but its movies like Parineeta and this one that bring out his true talent. kudos to Vishal Bharadwaj for bringing it out. Saif's character is by far the most interesting one. Konkona Sen did a great job too. the performances from others, Ajay, Vivek, Kareena were just mediocre, or maybe they seemed that way relative to Saif's. i personally would have preferred some upcoming/non-mainstream actors like Siddharth(Rang De Basanti), Madhavan, Vidya Balan get casted instead of these three. anyway, no complaints. again hats off to Vishal Bharadwaj, and make sure you don't miss this one.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    I just watched the film last night. Was I expecting too much? I think not, since I already had a rough idea what the basic storyline was, having read Othello (albeit years ago). Let's not get me wrong. The film is quite brilliant in many aspects. Saif Ali Khan as Tyagi is superb, and I couldn't have seen him play that role, but kudos to the director for having seen it like that. The cinematography is great. Excellent music, both soundtrack as well as background score. There were however a few things that didn't seem to gel.

    The basic character of Omi was written out a bit different from the character of Othello. I don't know whether it is Devgan that did that to the character, but his inner angst didn't hit home too hard.

    What was Naseeruddin Shah doing there? A brilliant actor who seemed to have been brought into the cast to only add weight to the movie. It's like commercial cinema adds Bachchan to their cast without having a proper role written out for him.

    The screenplay was not as tight as it could've been. Too much slang leaves lot of the audience alienated. Although I must say that a lot of the individual dialog was well-written. Other bits of dialog, however, seemed that they were written to induce a cheer from the audience more than anything else.

    Lastly, I would say that the film could've been much shorter. Some serious editing could've been done. i felt that many scenes were stretched and seemed to hang loose in the film.

    I do recommend this film to people in order to appreciate the canvas that the movie is set upon. It is quite an undertaking. The treatment of the movie is rather impressive and adds another feather in the cap of Bollywood.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Omkara is an adaptation of Shakespeare's Othello. The expectation from the movie is huge due to the accomplished names associated with it, both on and off the screen. As also that it is the first time some filmmaker has attempted to adapt a tragic Shakespearean drama. I watched the movie yesterday in the paid preview and here is my take on it.

    Omkara( Ajay Devgun) is a 'bahubali' (name given for a local dons in UP/Bihar) who is very close to politician bhaisaab (Naseeruddin Shah). When Bhaisaab moves from being an MLA to an MP, he nominates Omkara for MLA seat. This leaves a vacancy for the bahubali and Kesu Firangi (Vivek Oberoi), a trusted lieutenant is made one. This enrages Langda Tyagi (Saif), another lieutenant as he expected the post. Raju (Deepak Dobriyal), the person who was supposed to marry Dolly (Kareena), Omkara's fiancée, edges him on. The story then is about how a jealous Langda creates suspicions and manages to create a rift between the protagonists by poisoning Omkara's mind about Kesu and Dolly. Indu (Konkona), Langda's wife, becomes a pawn without knowing. By the time Omkara realizes the truth it is too late.

    Some outstanding scenes/dialogs in the movie to look out for – 1. The dialog Dolly's (Kareena) father says to Omkara that a girl who can deceive her father can deceive anyone 2. The sequence where Omkara kills a rival for betting on his love and says "Sharath ghodon pe lagave hai kathor … sheron pe nahin" ("bet on horses not lions") 3. The killing of bhaisaab's arch rival 4. The climax is expertly executed and has a chilling effect with everyone doing an outstanding job here.

    The movie succeeds in creating a rural UP ambiance. The dialogs, the settings, the performances all work towards that direction. Cinematography is a plus which aids this. The movie never lacks in pace and is expertly edited. Another aspect is the music which is very good and Gulzar's lyrics are fantastic, as can be expected from the master. "Beedi" and "Saathi Re" are the songs to look out for. The movie does tend to be a bit too realistic. The expletives used could have been toned down as also some 'below the belt' humor. Agreed these make the movie realistic but will put off quite a few people.

    Coming to the performances, this is one area where the movie does not lack anything and the expectations from such a cast are completely met.

    The one performance that really stands out head and shoulders above is Saif's as Langda. This is no mean achievement considering that the movie has some splendid performers and Saif had never played such a character in his career. He is simply brilliant. Be it the limp in his walk or the stained teeth, be it the way he talks or the emotions he displays on screen are all fabulous. A definite award worthy performance!

    Ajay Devgun as the smoldering Omkara is also very good. The pathos he shows when suffering with suspicion is fantastic.

    Kareena Kapoor also puts in a fantastic performance. She plays the innocent Dolly to perfection. This is after a long time that I can talk about her performance. Just goes to show what she can achieve given the right directors and setup as otherwise most of her characters are way too loud (K3G, Khushi, Main Prem Ki Diwani Hoon come to mind) and those really put off a lot of people.

    Vivek Oberoi is competent, so is Nasser who has what you can call a special appearance. Konkona Sen-Sharma is brilliant as Indu. Her expressions in the climax are worth watching. Bipasha has only some scenes apart from the two songs where she performs very well. New comer, Deepak Dobriyal as the jilted lover of Dolly, thirsting for revenge is a find for sure. Whether he goes the way of Vijay Raaz is something to be watched out for.

    Direction wise the movie is fantastic. Vishal Bhardwaj who previously directed the universally acclaimed Makdee and Maqbool is in form here as well. He is a multi talented personality. He has not only directed this but also given music and written the story and screenplay. He is a director to watch out for the future.

    Overall the movie is good but the expletives-laden rustic language is a big put off for families. Another jarring point is the dialect in which the dialogs are spoken. It will be difficult for people outside of UP-Delhi-Bihar belt to really understand the nuances. This can make some not really grasp the movie which goes against it. Watch it if you can manage the language.
  • No one can present Shakespeare stories like Vishal Bharadwaj, you name it he has it. This movie has given us Saif Ali Khan, the actor we wanted to see...so much potential he has but this movie shows what a hidden gem he is. This movie is dirty and real and grounded, just watch it if you haven't because if you haven't then you have missed something special.
  • Bharadhwaj knows how to takes a Shakespeare tragedy and make it completely his own version rooted firmly in Indian soil. The ensemble cast is brilliant in outperforming each other at every given opportunity it's impossible to praise just one of them. Music by Bharadwaj himself is atmospheric along with the cinematography. The lyrics to the songs were also amazing as in they all foreshadow the coming events of this version of Othello. The only small problem I felt was in the editing and the fact that I am not a big fan of Othello itself. Even though I understand Hindi, due to heavy dialects used I was missing some words and used an English subtitle and it does no justice to the wonderful dialogue in the film. I don't know if there are better subtitles but, with the one I used, someone who doesn't understand Hindi wouldn't even have half the impact of the movie.
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