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Photo Feature: Pictures from <i>Omkara</i>

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Monday, June 26, 2006

Ajay Devgan as Omkar aka Omi Shukla

Passion

Omkara is a combination of greatness and weakness.

A principle man of action, he doesn't see life in mid tones. He sees things as either good or evil.... And therein lies Omi's tragic flaw...

Saif Ali Khan as Langda Tyagi

Envy

The principle catalyst in the story, Tyagi manipulates chaos into an orderly world and coldly invigilates its utter destruction.

Tragically, the one person who truly loves him, is the one who will have to settle the scores...

Viveik Oberoi as Keshav aka Kesu Upadhyay

Integrity

Kesu is a natural charmer...he likes his woman as much as he loves his guns...Inspite of his first skin, he manages to fall in love with Billo, an orchestra party singer.

Fearless and loyal to the bone, Kesu's only chink is his impatience...and he pays for it in blood...

Kareena Kapoor as Dolly Mishra

Innocence

Dolly's love and trust for Omi remains rock steady till the end. Smitten by O, she believes that the idyllic life of her dreams will begin soon. And it almost does...

One of Shakespeare's more rebellious heroines, Dolly remains a loving vision in white long after the reels run out...

Konkona Sen Sharma as Indu

Loyalty

Life with a scruple-less gangster was always going to be tricky but Indu bore it all with stern determination.

Fiercely devoted to Langda, she becomes an unwitting aid in her husband's nefarious scheme. When the truth dawns in the end, she takes up the cudgel and decides to stem the rot...

Bipasha Basu as Billo / Chamanbahar

Temptation

Billo's wiles and charms has seen the sternest men melt with desire. Kesu is besotted with her but she just keeps him hanging on.

A capricious soul, she is easily sucked into Langda's master scheme...

Naseeruddin Shah as Bhaisaab

Authority

An influential cog in the Brahmin politics of the region, Bhaisaab is a sophisticated man, which can be misleading at times, given the ruthless nature of his profession.

Omi treats him more like a father figure than just a political mentor...

The Omkara Parable

Once upon a time in the east, in a world ruled by outlaws,
A world that lived by the trigger,

...there was a single clan that was held together by loyalty...

...friendship tied their hearts
...adversity strengthened their bonds...

But beneath all the merry, lay eyes...
Lurking eyes that shone of envy...

Beneath the greed...lay a gut...
A gut infected with deceit...

Beneath the deceit, lay a heart...
A heart that only knew how to live for love...
...and to kill for the same.

Storyline

The film is Vishal Bharadwaj's interpretation of the bard's classic, Othello. A play that has been made four times in Hollywood but is being brought to life for the first time in a mainstream Hindi film in a commercial format. Like Hollywood legendary filmmaker, Orson Wells, Vishal Bharadwaj is fascinated with Shakespearan drama. One of Vishal's finest works remains his interpretation of Shakespeare's Macbeth - Maqbool. Omkara in spirit stays true to the central theme of Othello and ends up humanizing Shakespeare's characters with the necessary folklore and ethnic charm that is required for a contemporary story setting.

Set against the Indian milieu of political warfare in the interiors of Uttar Pradesh, the film follows one man's descent into sexual jealousy because of his passionate love for his woman and the final destruction of that love at the altar of blind obsession. Love is blind but the flip side of love is jealousy and that can tear apart the strongest and bravest of warriors - in this case Omkara.

Omkara or Omi (Ajay Devgan) is a gifted chieftain who heads a gang of outlaws, which include the crafty Langda Tyagi (Saif Ali Khan) and the dynamic Kesu (Vivek Oberoi) amongst his chief cohorts. The story begins when Omi appoints Kesu and not Langda as his chief lieutenant. Langda's pride is slighted and raging with envy he hatches a plot to falsely implicate Omi's beautiful lover Dolly (Kareena Kapoor), in a love affair with Omi's "favorite lieutenant", Kesu.

With the unwitting aid of Indu (Konkana Sen Sharma), Langda's wife, and the willing help of Raju, a fellow grouch, Langda's plan takes shape and results in horrific tragedy. Using petty insinuations and lies, Langda keeps poisoning Omi's mind till one day it snaps and Omi goes about tearing up his own safe and secure world. By the time he realizes what he has done and the backlash of his actions it is too late...

But like all love stories which never really end...out of the ashes of this one too comes a twist. Omkara's dark issak or love for Dolly, Dolly's unquestioning issak for Omi, Langda's warped loyalty and jealousy for Omi, the vibrant Kesu's unswerving devotion to Omi - all leading up to a dark tragedy where Omi finally realizes what he has done...

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