Film >Om Shanti Om
From its introductory scene – an impressive homage to Shubhash Ghai’s 1980 disco bonanza Karz – Om Shanti Om defines itself as a sloppy wet kiss to Bollywood-with-a-capital-B. “Indian cinema” isn’t what director Farah Khan fetes with this three-and-a-half-hour movie. Instead, she puts Om Shanti Om into masala overdrive, putting musical numbers and belief-suspending plot twists to work gently poking at the machinations and silliness that drive the Bombay movie machine. Even the buzzed-about debut of star Shahrukh Khan’s shirtless abs is done in an ironic way: an ego-driven song about “the pain of disco.” With references from the subtle to the obvious, most scenes find a way to tip their hat to the movies and stars that keep Indian theaters full, and it’s done in a way that’s smart and playful. While Om Shanti Om loses steam by its last act, the stylish, smart, hilarious ride to that point is rewarding enough. After all, it wouldn’t be Bollywood if it weren’t maxed-out, now would it?