Wednesday, August 16, 2006


Othello in Hindi

Are music directors good film makers? Vishal Bharadwaj proved that he can direct with panache when he made Maqbool. Omkara is Vishal's next directorial venture that succeeds although the language with its difficult UP dialect would probably not encourage many to watch and appreciate it.

An adaptation of Shakespeare's Othello, Omkara has its setting in UP. The theme is pretty similar to Othello, Omkara Shukla (Ajay Devgan) is the chieftain of a group which includes Langda Tyagi (Saif Ali Khan) and Kesu (Vivek Oberoi). Langda plots revenge when Omkara apponts Kesu as his chief lieutenant. He does this by instilling seeds of suspicion in Omkara's mind by falsely implicating Omkara's fiancee Dolly (Kareena Kapoor) in an affair with Kesu.

The film gets a new treatment from Vishal, the language and the setting gets dark and disturbing at times. The music blends beautifully with the situations and look out especially for the wonderful number rendered by the gifted Suresh Wadkar.

In the title role, Ajay Devgan is surprisingly restrained barring a few times when the uncertainity of Omkara comes to the surface. Vivek Oberoi is ok, although he could have done with a role of more substance. Saif gets the best role and does deliver in probably his best performance to date, there is a moment of sheer brilliance in the part when Langda realizes that its Keshu instead of he who has been appointed the chief lieutenant. Kokana Sen who plays Langda's wife is yet again simply outstanding in the very few scenes she gets to perform. Kareena proves that she can act if the script demands it and when the director is commendable.

Finally its Vishal Bharadwaj who gets full credit for attempting a difficult theme and making it work and for proving that its the director who can bring the best out of his crew and actors.

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