Although Om Shanti Om is an out-and-out Shah Rukh Khan film, newcomer Deepika Padukone shines through. Be it her grace, poise, dignity and class as a '70s diva or as the spunky contemporary girl in the latter half, the actress plays both roles with commendable finesse and elan.
The film, released Friday, had a phenomenal opening, thanks to the pre-release publicity.
The lovely Deepika, former world badminton champion Prakash Padukone's daughter, literally lights up the screen whenever she comes on. She holds her own in every frame, even when pitted against the larger-than-life superstar Shah Rukh. The newcomer has a beautiful smile and expressive eyes, which she uses to mirror the character's feelings.
"Deepika's performance is so good that you forget she is a newcomer. She is very fresh and her body language exudes oodles of confidence," says Anuradha, who saw the film on Diwali day.
"Shah Rukh's energetic performance is not able to overshadow Deepika. Her emoting is faultless. She carries off the '70s look as well as micro minis equally well," said Geetika Sahai.
While Shah Rukh's fans have lapped up the film, critics too have given favourable reviews. But most seem to have skipped commenting on the film's flaws. They have deliberately brushed its weaknesses under the carpet. But, never mind, the film on the whole is entertaining.
While in Chak De! India, Shah Rukh slipped under the skin of his character and wowed with his stupendous performance, he disappoints in Om Shanti Om. The superstar is repetitive and does overact at times in the first half. He needs to curtail his unwarranted superstar mannerisms even in a total masala film like Om Shanti Om.
Apart from Deepika, another actor who makes an impact is Arjun Rampal. Farah Khan has done justice to the model-turned-actor by giving him a negative role in which he has proved his mettle. Arjun is able to bring the same kind of unscrupulous cold-blooded feel to his character just like villains of the early '70s.
He plots to kill Deepika, a successful actress who is secretly married to him, because she is pregnant and it poses a threat to his ambitions and career, and succeeds.
Talented Shreyas Talpade, as Shah Rukh's chum, is equally impressive.
Om Shanti Om is entertaining, but script-wise weak. Director Farah Khan could have worked on the script a little more to make the takeoff on the '70s golden era funnier. The imitation and spoofs are enjoyable, though at times weak. The finer details of that era are missing.
The film doesn't look like an ode to the golden era of Bollywood, as Farah claims it to be; rather it looks like a satire.