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After breaking up with his childhood sweetheart, a young man finds solace in drugs. Meanwhile, a teenage girl is caught in the world of prostitution. Will they be destroyed, or will they find redemption?
Advocate Raghunath Mishra has arranged the marriage of his daughter, Dolly, with Rajan, knowing fully well that Dolly loves Omkara Shukla. Before the marriage could take place, the groom's party is attacked, they flee, and Dolly is reportedly abducted. Raghunath is able to trace Dolly to Omkara, a criminal and hit-man, a verbal confrontation ensues until Politician Bhaisaab telephonically intervenes, and a crestfallen Raghunath faces the reality that Dolly was not abducted but is here with Omkara by her own free will. He warns Omkara, and departs. Shortly thereafter, Bhaisaab is shot at and wounded, announces that Omkara should stand in the next election, and as a result, Omkara appoints one of his lieutenants', Keshav Upadhyay in his place as the 'Bahubali". Omkara realizes that he may have blundered in having Keshav succeed him, as Keshav is unable to control his temper when under the influence of alcohol, which puts him in the bad books of Omkara. Then Omkara suspects that Keshav ... Written by
Om Puri and Anupam Kher were both considered for the role of Bhaisaab before Naseerudin Shah was selected. See more »
The Enfield rifle that Langda Tiyagi (Saif) is shown shooting so accurately does not have a rear sight. The lack of it is plainly visible through the movie but even more so in the scene when he shoots the tires off the marriage bus. See more »
Now that you know, know only this: that there isn't any difference between my truth and my lie.
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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.
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