Thursday, April 27, 2006
Vishal Bharadwaj's adaptation of Othello will be named anything from the following - Omkara, Isssak or O Saathi Re as per the audience poll opened to general public.
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...