Omkara (2006 film)
Omkara, is a 2006 Indian crime drama film adapted from Shakespeare’s Othello, co-written and directed by Vishal Bhardwaj. It starred Ajay Devgn, Saif Ali Khan and Kareena Kapoor in the lead roles, supported by Vivek Oberoi, Konkona Sen Sharma and Bipasha Basu. The director Vishal Bhardwaj himself composed the entire music for the film, including the background score, with lyrics by Gulzar. The film is set in Meerut, a city in Western Uttar Pradesh.
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Vishal Bhardwaj|
|Produced by||Kumar Mangat Pathak|
|Screenplay by||Vishal Bhardwaj|
by William Shakespeare
Saif Ali Khan
Konkona Sen Sharma
|Music by||Vishal Bhardwaj|
|Edited by||Meghna Manchanda Sen|
|Distributed by||Eros Entertainment|
Big Screen Entertainment Pvt. Ltd
|Box office||₹424 million|
The film was showcased in the Marché du Film section at the 2006 Cannes Film Festival along with a book on the making of Omkara. It was also selected to be screened at the Cairo International Film Festival, where Bhardwaj was awarded for Best Artistic Contribution in Cinema of a Director. The film also won three awards at the Kara Film Festival, an award at the Asian Festival of First Films, three National Film Awards, and seven Filmfare Awards.
Omkara Shukla or Omi (Ajay Devgn) is a bahubali, a sort of political enforcer. He is the leader of a gang which commits political crimes for the local politician Tiwari Bhaisaab (Naseeruddin Shah). Ishwar 'Langda' Tyagi (Saif Ali Khan) and Keshav 'Kesu Firangi' Upadhyay (Vivek Oberoi) are his closest lieutenants.
The movie starts with Langda Tyagi gate-crashing a baraat and challenging Rajju (Deepak Dobriyal), the bridegroom, to try and stop Omkara from abducting the bride, Dolly Mishra (Kareena Kapoor). Rajju fails and the wedding never takes place.
Dolly's father Advocate Raghunath Mishra (Kamal Tiwari), mostly referred in the movie as vakeel saab (lawyer sir), is furious and confronts Omi. He puts a gun to Omi's head and demands the return of his daughter. Bhaisaab intervenes and resolves the conflict by mentioning the current political conditions and prevents bloodshed. Still unconvinced, Raghunath grieves to Bhaisaab the next day. To bring an end to this issue, Dolly is made to appear in front of her father and clarify that she eloped with Omi and was not abducted. She also tells the events of how she fell in love with Omkara. The father leaves feeling betrayed and ashamed. The director here references one of the most significant lines of the play Othello, with Dolly's father repeating the couplet almost verbatim, albeit in translation. The original lines read, "Look to her, Moor, if thou hast eyes to see. She has deceived her father and may thee."
After some crafty political arm-twisting, involving an MMS sex scandal, Omkara eliminates a powerful electoral rival. Bhaisaab is elected for parliament and Omkara is promoted from bahubali to the candidate for the upcoming state elections. Omkara appoints Kesu over Langda as his successor once he enters politics himself. Langda, disappointed with Omkara's poor judgment and jealous of Kesu, his younger, less-experienced, superior, hatches a plot to avenge both his offenders. He first causes a violent brawl between Kesu and Rajju by taking advantage of Kesu's low threshold for alcohol. Such irresponsible behaviour by Kesu infuriates Omi, who now starts having doubts over his decision.
On the one hand, playing the role of a concerned friend, Langda convinces Kesu to appeal to Dolly, Omi's lover and newly wedded wife, to mollify Omi. On the other hand, he starts to disrepute Dolly by implicating Kesu's visits to her as an illicit affair between the two. A kamarbandh carelessly dropped by Dolly and stolen by Langda's wife Indu (Konkona Sen Sharma), which eventually reaches Billo Chamanbahar (Bipasha Basu) as a gift from Kesu, plays an important part in the plot, as evidence of Dolly's infidelity.
During the climax, on the night of their wedding, Omi is convinced that Dolly and Kesu have been having an affair behind his back. In rage, he smothers his new wife to death. Langda shoots Kesu with a silent approval from Omi. Kesu is hit with a bullet on his arm. Hearing gunshots and in shock, Indu enters the room where Omi is sitting next to Dolly's corpse in remorse. Indu notices the kamarbandh and confesses to stealing it; they both understand the fatal misunderstanding with Langda as its root cause.
In retribution, Indu slashes Langda's throat and Omi commits suicide. The movie closes with Omi lying dead on the floor and Dolly's dead body swinging above him, while Kesu looks on.
Cast and characters
|Actor||Character in the movie||Character in the play|
|Ajay Devgn||Omkara 'Omi' Shukla||Othello|
|Saif Ali Khan||Ishwar 'Langda' Tyagi||Iago|
|Vivek Oberoi||Keshav 'Kesu Firangi' Upadhyaya||Cassio|
|Bipasha Basu||Billo Chamanbahar||Bianca|
|Kareena Kapoor||Dolly Mishra||Desdemona|
|Konkona Sen Sharma||Indu Tyagi||Emilia|
|Deepak Dobriyal||Rajan ’Rajju’ Tiwari||Roderigo|
|Naseeruddin Shah||Bhaisaab||Duke of Venice|
|Kamal Tiwari||Advocate Raghunath Mishra||Brabantio|
- Omkara "Omi" Shukla — Omkara is a hardened goon, equivalent to a capo, a man with principles who sees life in extremes, either as good or evil. He is the illegitimate child of a higher caste Brahmin man and a lower caste woman.
- Dolly Mishra — Dolly is a playful, innocent, young woman, smitten by Omi. She is the one who expresses her love for him and lays the basis of their relationship. Throughout the narrative, other characters are shown to doubt her innocence, including her father. Omi finds her personality ambiguous, resulting in the tragic end.
- Ishwar "Langda" Tyagi — Langda (which means limp in Hindi) is the catalyst in the story. He had been a loyal right-hand man to Omi for years and expected to be the next bahubali. Kesu's promotion gives a crushing blow to his ambitions and brings out the evil in him. His jealousy and hatred towards his kin is further encouraged by chiding remarks from Rajju.
- Keshav "Kesu Firangi" Upadhyay — Kesu is Omi's other deputy. His epithet comes from his knowledge of English. He is college-educated and urban, known to be somewhat of a casanova. He is important to Omi for his political contacts in the students. After admitting to having "known" a string of women, he falls in love with Billo and proposes marriage. He is shown to be impatient and easily frustrated with a low threshold for alcohol.
- Billo Chamanbahar — Billo is a singer/dancer who melts hearts with just her looks. She sees Kesu as a future companion, though keeps him hanging on. She makes an easy tool for Langda to manipulate.
- Indu — Indu leads a bittersweet life as Langda Tyagi's wife. She becomes an unwitting aid in her husband's plan.
- Rajan "Rajju" Tiwari — Son of a respectable thekedar, he is head-over-heels in love with Dolly. He tries to win her affection throughout the movie.
- Tiwari Bhaisaab — Bhaisaab is an influential and powerful politician that many characters defer to. He is an outwardly sophisticated man, with a ruthless interior. He is a politician to the bone and rules the region with an iron fist, picking up enemies as he progresses his career. He is a father figure for Omkara as well as the political head honcho.
Omkara was shot over a period of 4 months across various locales, including Lonavala, Lucknow University, Allahabad, Satara Mahabaleshwar, Mumbai and Wai, Maharashtra, where bulk of the shooting took place. Even though most of the shooting took place in Maharashtra, sets were erected with precise details to create an authentic Uttar Pradesh village.
Members of the production team included stunt co-ordinator Jai Singh, costume designer Dolly Ahluwalia, choreographers Bhushan Lakhandri and Ganesh Acharya along with chief assistant director Ajit Ahuja.
The title of the film was decided by a popular vote. Moviegoers had a choice among Omkara, Issak and O Saathi Re, all of which had already appeared as the film's song titles. Sushmita Sen was first choice for Kapoor's role. Aamir Khan was originally considered for Saif Ali Khan's role. Bhardwaj and Aamir were going to collaborate on an earlier project but due to creative differences, the film was shelved. Bhardwaj thought about casting Khan in this film but decided against it and approached Saif.
Omkara had a fairly good performance at the box office in India and earned praises all over. The movie grossed $16,466,144 worldwide in its total run at the box office. Even though the movie received rave reviews, the dark theme and strong language kept away family audiences. It was, however, a grand success abroad. The film quickly entered the UK's Top Ten and did very well in Australia, South Africa and the United States. Omkara was praised for its taut script, dramatic sequences and its lead performances. Kareena Kapoor's and Ajay Devgn's performance was considered to be the finest of their films. Director Vishal Bhardwaj says it was Aamir Khan who was keen to star in the role of Langda Tyagi initially, but finally it was Saif Ali Khan who played it and drew the most praise for this villainous role, along with Konkana Sen who eventually won a National Award for her performance.
All the dialogues in the film are delivered in a strong input of the Khariboli dialect other than Hindi, including the use of swear words, generally absent from mainstream Hindi cinema. The movie received an A Certificate from the censor board of India. Critics and audiences were divided in their opinions about the foul language. Many believed that it was not required and would lead to distancing the movie from the family audience, while some applauded it for authentically showing the rustic setting of the story. The language and A certificate narrowed the audience but in turn brought accolades for the creators of the movie for valuing creativity over commercial success.
|Soundtrack album by|
8 July 2006
|Genre||Feature film soundtrack|
|Producer||Hitesh Sonik, Clinton Cerejo|
|Vishal Bhardwaj chronology|
The music is composed by Vishal Bhardwaj and the lyrics are penned by Gulzar. The music was released on 8 July 2006. The official soundtrack contains eight tracks. In January 2009, the track "Beedi" was used as the theme tune to a Brazilian TV soap opera called Caminho das Índias, produced by Rede Globo. On the back of this success, "Beedi" received considerable airplay on pop radio stations in Brazil becoming the first Hindi-only song to achieve this. The mini-series' soundtrack, which includes the track, went on to become one of the biggest selling albums of the year. Eventually Bipasha Basu became the talk of the movie for giving 2 blockbuster hit songs, "Beedi" and "Namak", both of which became immensely popular. According to the Indian trade website Box Office India, with around 11,50,000 units sold, this film's soundtrack album was the year's eleventh highest-selling.
Music Director - Vishal Bhardwaj
|2||"O Saathi Re"||Shreya Ghoshal, Vishal Bhardwaj||5:30|
|3||"Beedi"||Sunidhi Chauhan, Sukhwinder Singh, Clinton Cerejo, Nachiketa Chakraborty||5:05|
|4||"Jag Ja"||Suresh Wadkar||4:29|
|5||"Namak"||Rekha Bhardwaj, Rakesh Pandit||6:52|
|6||"Naina"||Rahat Fateh Ali Khan||6:49|
|8||"The Tragedy of Omkara"||Instrumental||1:35|
Awards and nominations
Nominations are as below;
- Levenson, Jill L.; Ormsby, Robert (27 March 2017). The Shakespearean World. ISBN 9781317696193.
- Dionne, C.; Kapadia, P. (27 March 2014). Bollywood Shakespeares. ISBN 9781137375568.
- Ramesh, Randeep (29 July 2006). "A matter of caste as Bollywood embraces the Bard: Big budget remake of Othello — with song and dance — starts new trend". London: The Guardian. Retrieved 20 May 2010.
- "Moor of Meerut".
- "A book on the making of Omkara to be released at Cannes". Bollywood Hungama.
- "Omkara arrives at Cannes too".
- "'Omkara' shines in Cairo and Karachi". Apun Ka Choice. Retrieved 26 December 2006.
- "Aamir wanted to play Langda Tyagi in Omkara: Vishal Bhardwaj - Times of India". The Times of India. Retrieved 29 October 2016.
- "The Telegraph — Calcutta : Look". Telegraphindia.com. 27 August 2006. Retrieved 6 October 2011.
- "Aamir Khan wanted to play 'Langda Tyagi' in Omkara: Vishal Bhardwaj". indianexpress.com. 26 November 2012. Retrieved 26 November 2012.
- "Saif Ali Khan breaks his lover-boy image in 'Omkara' : Bollywood News". ApunKaChoice.Com. 12 July 2006. Retrieved 6 October 2011.
- "Konkona thanks Vishal Bhardwaj for the National Award". Bollywoodhungama.com. 25 June 2008. Retrieved 6 October 2011.
- "Families stay away from Omkara". The Times of India. 1 August 2006. Retrieved 28 May 2007.
- "Music Hits 2000–2009 (Figures in Units)". Box Office India. Archived from the original on 24 June 2010.