Om Shanti Om

I remember the first time I heard a remixed song — Bally Sagoo’s version of Chura Liya. In the beginning, I wasn’t sure what to make of it. The original is such a thing of beauty that the idea of adding random extra stuff to it seemed sacriligeous. This one didn’t work, but I could see how it could have. It is not just enough to pick an original you are fond of — you should be able to reimagine it, add your own stuff seamlessly and yet retain its soul. Non-trivial, as my mathematician friends would sometimes say.

I guess what I am trying to get at is this. When I watched Om Shanti Om, I said to myself: This is what a remix should feel like.

I guess I could spend the next few paragraphs talking about the acting, the screenplay and dialogue (with its innumerable obvious and not-so-obvious inside jokes and smart, self-referential quips), the set design, the music, lyrics, direction…

Nah. Not this time. You don’t deconstruct joyrides. You just get on, get off and wait in line to get on again.

Let me just leave you with this little observation. Right at the end of the movie, Farah Khan did her thing of having the entire cast and crew come on camera while the end-credits rolled. The movie was over, there was no further story to tell. Yet, not one person got up from his or her seat until the screen went blank.

Not one.

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15 thoughts on “Om Shanti Om

  1. Ramsu,
    Thanks for this review. I needed reliable first-hand info, and you gave me just that.

    You see, I don’t believe in Taran Adarsh’s 4 star ratings anymore (after kaal, dhoom-2 and more..)..Rediff is in the same ballpark anyway.

    Giri

  2. Rajendran says:

    Ramsu – I think that is still justified. What completely stumped me was that some guy here told me – “Jhoom Barabar Jhoom is the best subtle comedy to have been released in Bollywood in the recent years”. Apparently, it was humour.

  3. NR >> Let me give you a quasi-mathematical proof for why D2 cannot get a four star rating.

    Let us assume that the rating is arrived at on the basis of ranges of values on a score. The score is in turn calculated as a weighted sum of a set of real-valued inputs. All weights are assumed to be finite.

    Lemma 1: All the inputs, save for Aishwarya Rai, have finite values.

    Proof of Lemma 1: The only two inputs that need to be analyzed in order to prove this Lemma are Hrithik Roshan and the action sequences. None of the rest, including Bipasha’s bikini, deserve to be considered. The action sequences are badly done, but are offset by the fact that some of the slow motion shots look nice. Hrithik is good, but is he that good? I don’t think so. Hence both inputs deserve finite values and nothing more. QED.

    Axiom 1: Aishwarya Rai gets a value of minus infinity.

    Through Lemma 1 and Axiom 1, and the assumption that the weights are finite, it is proved that the score cannot have a value greater than minus infinity.

    Since it is intuitive that a higher score gets a higher star rating, and since it is also assumed that the ratings are not all equal, a movie with a score of minus infinity cannot have a four star rating. QED.

    Note 1: I’ve been careful about mentioning that the inputs are real-valued, so I don’t think there’s much scope of getting into the whole continuum hypothesis type discussion.

    Note 2: You could, however, say, “Yes, but in what topology?”

    Note 3: You are right. I should normalize.

    As regards JBJ, I was about to retort that it is as subtle as… and tried to find something that was the epitome of unsubtle. Trouble was, I realized that the only thing I could come up with was JBJ itself. Can you have recursive similes?

  4. Rajendran says:

    Ramsu – Very clever and neat argument. There is no way I cannot concur with the impossibility of a four star rating. To begin with, I never doubted that premise.

    For the sake of exposition, you could get rid of assigning -\inf to Aishwarya Rai by the following restatement of Lemma 1 and Axiom 1 and hence Note 1) –

    Assume that all inputs are real and bounded values, save Aishwarya Rai. This implies, every input, say l is such that |l| k for all k \in N, where N is the set of natural numbers.

    This way, you are defining Aishwarya as an unbounded function and hence no need to get into the complicated world of the extended real number system. Let wi denote the weight attached to Aishwarya Rai. Choose wi such that wi > \eps for all \eps > 0 i.e. wi is bounded away from epsilon for all positive epsilon.

    The proof of lemma 1 still goes through and I have just exercised my own version of axiom of choice to redefine axiom 1.

    Under this scheme of things, you can get rid of the Note 1 as well, since we are now confining our attention to R and not extended real line.

    “In what topology”! The only answer to that is 42. No other answer can answer this question.

    I am left but you should still normalize.

    Excellent and deja vu – Recursive similies are a figure of speech I have been thinking about for sometime now, but we could define a sigma field of such extended pathetic fallacies, so that JBJ and D2 belong to the same sigma field. This way, cross-referencing them would be legitimate under the sigma algebra operations. Makes sense?

  5. Sagarika says:

    Rajendran (and by the cross-referencing rule above, Ramsu): This makes complete sense to me in the pretend universe that I frequently inhabit, where I often masquerade as a mad math maestro. 🙂

  6. you were lucky. the two morons in front of me stood up at the end of the movie but did not move making it very difficult for me to see the spotboys!!! very upsetting it was. oh and i completely enjoyed the movie too. so much fun!

  7. Raj >> Fairly compact. Although I think there is a little typo in the expression in para 3. Pl check.

    Sagarika >> Raj and I inhabit the same pretend universe. Me more than him.

    Pri >> That is indeed sad. The spot boys arrived in a limo. Carry a cattle prod next time. You know what to do.

  8. Rajendran says:

    @Ramsu – Yes sir – the knight eyes caught the error – I meant |l| > k. I missed the > sign.

    @Sagarika – That is my natural habitat. I mean, the pretend universe. I think, pretention is than prevention and since prevention is better than cure, it is not too bad a world to inhabit.

  9. scribebollywood says:

    That last paragraph is the most succinct and powerful encapsulation of the magic that is Om Shanti Om. No one got up and left in the theater I saw it in either. Not one!

  10. Omstrung says:

    (I saw a woman at the park yesterday wearing a black t-shirt with “Omstrung” inscribed on the back, with umlauts and all. I’m guessing it’s something inconsequentially interesting, in Norse. 🙂 )

    I can’t believe this is actually coming from me, a die-hard remix hater, but like you so often say, stranger things have happened: I listened to this remix of Kitne Bhi Tu Kar Le Sitam (the Asha Bhosle version) yesterday and it blew me away!

    On an unrelated note, I happened to catch Naan Kadavul on DVD (thank God for the FF button; I zipped right thru those beggar-torture scenes where Bala gives Boyle a run for his money), and what did I think? Well…to put it in one line, was it perhaps a willfully warped take on the popular saying, “hOMe is where the heART is”? I don’t know…

  11. Ding vs Dingolfi says:

    Ah for the joys of an ever-expanding vocabulary! This weekend, I watched Say Anything for the first time AND read my first Majaa review. And now, Ding and Dingolfi (respective closing words that both sum up the same sentiment, silly!) are both doing that “Dueling Dragons” (a roller-coaster at the Universal theme park where the Ice (Blue) and Fire (Red) dragon rides are simultaneously loaded and launched into nothingness — their insanely intertwined twin trajectories subsequently leaving you
    lolling like a loopy lump of lightheadedness) thingee inside my head — oooh I love it!

    And you’re totally right when you say “You don’t deconstruct joyrides. You just get on, get off and wait in line to get on again [and again…].” 😀

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