A politically-minded enforcer's misguided trust in his lieutenant leads him to suspect his wife of infidelity in this adaptation of Shakespeare's 'Othello'.A politically-minded enforcer's misguided trust in his lieutenant leads him to suspect his wife of infidelity in this adaptation of Shakespeare's 'Othello'.A politically-minded enforcer's misguided trust in his lieutenant leads him to suspect his wife of infidelity in this adaptation of Shakespeare's 'Othello'.
Omkara, Bhardwaj's victory!
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.
- Feb 4, 2010
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