Om Shanti Om has come to my local art/independent/international theater, so of course I had to go see it again. It was notably not as good. It felt a bit flat, actually, much to my surprise. Even the movie jokes weren't as cute. The hometown crowd was less excitable than the one in the Chicago suburbs where I had seen it two weeks ago, and rowdier definitely would have been more fun. However, one only has so many chances to cheer publicly for Rani and Abhishek, so one takes what one can get.
And now, the Beth Loves Bollywood List of Stuff Beth Noticed or Wants to Solicit Opinions about (the first two of which comment on things you may not want to know if you haven't seen the movie yet)....
- I'm still very happy that there isn't a mushy romantic hoopla at the end. Good for Farah for sticking to the main story of Om's self-discovery and Shanti's revenge.
- Potential plot problem, if you care about that kind of thing: if Mukesh wants to be the biggest producer in Bollywood but thinks that people won't back a film with a married heroine, then why did he marry Shanti (whose career is his doing, we are told) in the first place? This whole "you ruined my masterpiece" thing is completely his own fault.
- Isn't that Siddharth as Sooraj Barjatya in the jaunty "friend"-emblazoned cap (brilliant touch, by the way) outside Om's tent? Babasko, who has a keen sense for such things (while the Sanjay's away, the Viennese will play?), hadn't noticed him when I asked her about it - and I'm one of those types who always thinks she recognizes people but is wrong at least half the time - so now I don't trust my own judgment.
- Gah! What happened to the usually gorgeous Rekha in the makeup room? She looks like she's going to eat you! Even if you leave her gingerbread house alone, she's going to hunt you down and jab you with her eyeliner.
- Deepika Padukone made a much stronger and better impression. I still think her role could have been a lot more, but this time I saw some nice little touches in her Shanti and Sandy that I missed before - how charmed Shanti seemed by Om's antics and how wide-eyed with "I can't believe I'm working with Om Kapoor!" Sandy was, for example. And she gives very good bhoot eyes - spooky!
- Shahrukh too was even better second time around. Maybe because I knew the jokes already, I could focus on delivery, all his little ticks and nonverbals. He, unlike Deepika, is given a lot to do: earnest, bratty, angry, scheming, swooning, narrating.... So much fun to watch.
An artifact of our shiny, six-pack, crotch-patch times.