Om is a Kannada crime drama film written and directed by Upendra. The movie casts Shiva Rajkumar and Prema are in the main lead roles along with Srishanthi, G. V. Shivanand, Sadhu Kokila are seen in supporting roles with real life gangsters like Bekkina Kannu Rajendra, Tanveer, Korangu Krishna and Jedaralli Krishnappa portraying the role of gangsters in a small but important portion of the movie. The Music composed by Hamsalekha while cinematography done by B. C. Gowrishankar and it is edited by T. Shashikumar. The film is produced by Parvathamma Rajkumar under Sri Vajreshwari Combines banner.
Om film is notable for its exposure of Bangalore's criminal underworld. The story Starts with a journalist interviewing and publishing the stories of Bangalore gangsters presenting the circumstances which lead them to become so. Which tells the story of a gangster - Satya alias Satyamurthy(Shivaraj Kumar), coming from a poor family, is a soft spoken guy studying in a college.
He is made fun of in the college and is a subject of constant humiliation. Madhuri(Prema) is being woed by a man whose brother is a gangster. Madhuri does not care and makes Satya fall in love with her. Unable to bear this, the man brings his brother to settle score with Satya. Madhuri turns to Satya, provokes him to take on the gangster. Satya in rage beats up the gang and Madhuri makes sure that Satya gets arrested by the police.
Satya gets released and comes to know that Madhuri is taking revenge on him – circumstances had lead Satya to lie in the court to save his family, as result of which Madhuri’s brother gets convicted and commits suicide.
Satya is not accepted in his house as well and the only door open to him is to join the underworld. But he still loves Madhuri even though she does not love him. In the latter part, Madhuri is faced with similar situation as of Satya and realizes her mistake and wants Satya to come out of underworld. But the underworld who Satya is a part refuses to leave him.
The Film ends saying how one can never be happy as a gangster and the three gangsters promise to put down their arms as well.
The film which gave new image to Kannada hero, Shivaraj Kumar and super star status to director Upendra. It also marked the emergence of Prema, who after this venture went on to become No.1 heroine in the Kannada film industry. It was probably the first film in India to be based on underworld dons. After this only came the bollywood version of gangster movies like Satya, Company, Vaastav. The film was remade in all south Indian languages and also in Hindi as Arjun Pandit with Sunny Deol taking up the lead role.
Gangster movie trend which started with ‘Om’ still continues in Sandalwood. Numerous movies have come after Om based on gangster theme, no movie tasted success as Om did.
Songs are important ingredients of any film to become hit and Om had it in plenty, thanks to the lyrics by Upendra and music by Hamsalekha. If Om brahmaananda omkaara, O Gulaabiye, Collegeu Kumaru became hit among the masses, ‘Mehabooba’ was for the front rows crowd.
Release and Distribution
Om movie released in theaters on 19 May 1995 iwth record number of prints. The film was made at a budget of 68 lakh rupees.H. D. Kumaraswamy bought the rights to distribute the film for the Mysore area and made a small fortune. Bangalore area was distributed by regular Telugu film distributor in Karnataka G.Venkatpathy.
As of March 2015, Om had been re-released over 550 times and in over 400 theatres across Karnataka. On 12 March 2015, the film was re-released with Digital intermediate and DTS for the first time in over 100 theatres. It was distributed by Kishore Films.
Satellite and Digital Rights
Even though the film was released in 1995, its satellite rights was sold to Udaya TV in 2015 for a sum of 10 crores. The film had its television premiere on 15 August 2015 on the eve of Independence Day. The amount is the highest for any Kannada film considering that the film is already 20 years old and has been released hundreds of times. Video rights was released by Sri Ganesh Video.
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