This is one one my top two SRK films to watch and watch and watch again. (The other is Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi, which is next in my blogging queue.) They both showcase Shah Rukh Khan's virtuosity in dual roles, and they also have very catchy soundtracks. They are also both interesting "gateways" into Hindi film history because of their extensive use of old themes and references to popular movies. So much to love! And they are perfect for this series, because they mark the debut of two of my very favorite female actors of the current era, Anushka Sharma and Deepika Padukone. In both cases, their first roles were as Shah Rukh Khan's co-stars.
Deepika plays Shanti/Sandy to Shah Rukh Khan's Om Prakash Makhija(Omi)/Om Kapoor(OK) in this truly masala mix of romance, comedy, mayhem, murder, revenge, karma, and HAPPYS ENDINGS. Yes, she gets to try her hand at a dual role, too, and she rises to the challenge beautifully. So they get to have not one but two first dates!
In the first half of the movie, SRK is a lowly Junior Artiste (bit player or extra) and Deepika is a glamorous superstar, the object of his distant and unrequited affections. Their first encounter is on the red carpet at a movie premier. She is the center of attention, and he is the lowly but ardent fan. Her sweet, gracious response to his goofiness is a wonderful introduction to her character: unpretentious and guarded. The goddess acknowledges her worshipper, but keeps him at a safe distance.
Their relationship deepens, but is inevitably one-sided, and doomed. No more plot spoilers; see this movie yourself!
Thirty years later, and the roles are reversed. Om Kapoor (OK) is the superstar, and she is the adoring fangirl.
Their relationship is subordinated to the dramatic plotline in the second half of the film, and only at the very end is there a hint of something happening. But that's fine. I use Om Shanti Om to introduce my friends to SRK and Hindi "entertainer" films, and it usually does the trick. (Except with one of my very best buddies, who finds it too melodramatic. But we do share a taste for malty, not hoppy, beer, so that's ok.)
So, now the questions:
What is your first impression of Omi/OK? Omi is a good-hearted, cuddly bundle of overacting. He is a good son, a good friend, and respectful, distant admirer. He is a dreamer, an optimist. OK is a spoiled, privileged superstar, sauntering late to the set, and behaving rudely to nearly everyone. (Fortunately, he grows as a person throughout the second half.)
What is Shanti/Sandy's first impression of Omi/OK? I've described it above, but the contrast between the two first meetings is very sweet. Luckily for Sandy, by the time she meets OK for the first time, he is already shedding some of his arrogant brat ways. So SRK gets to make two good first impressions!
How would you describe their chemistry over the course of the film? Fabulous. There is a reason Deepika has made several blockbuster movies with Shah Rukh Khan since their debut. Despite the 19-year difference in their ages, they have great chemistry, whether in comic, dramatic, or romantic scenes. She is a very fine actor; in 2015 she was nominated for Best Actress awards for not one, but two films (Piku and Bajirao Mastani). How is this for chemistry?
If you had a first date with Omi/OK would you go on a second? I really love SRK's goofy nebbish characters, so I would be following him around while he was mooning over Shanti. The obnoxious pup version of OK is not my type, but by the time he is in full-on revenge mode, he's got my attention.
Speaking of getting my attention: Arjun Rampal.