Reincarnation formula revived with 'Om Shanti Om'

Oct 14, 2007 Arpana


New Delhi, Oct 13 (IANS) Amidst comedies and love stories, Farah Khan's "Om Shanti Om" revisits the reincarnation theme after many years. Trade analysts say it will work at the box office as it has all the right ingredients. And the main theme suits the Indian psyche.


"I think it's a good idea to make a film on reincarnation because people in India believe in it. My favourite film has always been 'Karz' and 'Karan Arjun'. I think 'Om Shanti Om' will do well at the box office because people like such films," trade analyst Taran Adarsh told IANS.


Farah has teamed up with her favourite actor Shah Rukh Khan and newcomer Deepika Padukone in the film, which is apparently inspired by Subhash Ghai's "Karz".


The film revolves around a struggling actor, played by Shah Rukh, who falls in love with a successful actress. But before his love could blossom and his career flourish, he dies in an accident.


Apart from the rebirth formula, Farah has thrown in all the right ingredients, including humour, music and masala.


The choreographer-turned-director did the same in her directorial debut "Main Hoon Na". She had banked on the tried and tested formula of uniting two brothers and it turned out to be a gold digger.


Critics described that movie as a good entertainer, and even three years after its release, Farah is basking in its glory.


"'Om Shanti Om' will certainly work. The first half of the film is about the 70s and the second half is absolutely modern - Farah Khan has put all the right ingredients for a blockbuster," said Saurabh Varma, vice president (programming and distribution), INOX Leisure Ltd.


"There is a tremendous demand for the film not only from multiplex owners but also single screen theatre owners. It's like an ice cream which has all the flavours and would satisfy everybody's taste buds," Varma said.


Legendary director Bimal Roy was perhaps the first to embark on the theme of reincarnation. He popularised rebirth and reincarnation in Hindi cinema with his masterpiece "Madhumati". Released in 1958, the Dilip Kumar-Vyjanthimala starrer boasts of an engrossing story, mind-blowing performances and soulful music by Salil Choudhury.


"Madhumati" walked away with nine Filmfare Awards including for the best film, direction and music.


A decade later Adurthi Subba Rao recycled the theme in another hit "Milan". The Sunil Dutt-Nutan starrer revolved around two lovers who are united in their next birth. The film was a huge success and its music was equally appealing.


Ram Maheshwari's "Neel Kamal" was released the following year. Audiences again lapped up the rebirth formula film, which had Raj Kumar, Waheeda Rehman and Manoj Kumar in key roles.


In 1976, Shakti Samantha adopted the subject in "Mehbooba". Featuring Hema Malini and Rajesh Khanna, the film was not a big hit but it did fair business at the box office.


Chetan Anand repeated the same lead pair and the subject in his well-scripted and deftly executed "Kudrat".


However, it was Bollywood's self-proclaimed showman Subhash Ghai who hit the bull's eye by recycling the reincarnation subject in his revenge thriller "Karz". The Rishi Kapoor starrer turned out to be one of the biggest hits.


In 1990, Gulzar repeated the theme in his critically acclaimed "Lekin". The film featuring Vinod Khanna and Dimple Kapadia couldn't stir the box office but its music, composed by Hridaynath Mangeshkar, was well appreciated. The song "Yaara seeli seeli" sung by Lata Mangeshkar was hugely popular.


Filmmaker Rakesh Roshan too hit the jackpot in 1995 in "Karan Arjun". The onscreen chemistry between Shah Rukh Khan and Salman Khan did wonders to this rebirth saga.


But two years later when Sanjay Gupta tried his hand at reincarnation in "Hamesha", he bit the dust. The Saif Ali Khan and Kajol starrer was a huge flop.


Going by past records, Farah's film, which releases Nov 9, may recreate the same magic that "Madhumati", "Karz" and "Karan Arjun" wove.



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Om Shanti Om


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