Othello Revisited

Saturday, 29 July 2006
I got a chance to see Omkara and was simply blown away. It begins with Saif Ali Khan saying "there's a thin line between a fool and a moron" and you're hooked. His depiction of Langda Tyagi (Iago) was fantastic... the foul language, the rotting teeth, the greed, jealousy and angst... he really proved how versatile he is. Ajay Devgan has played the angry young man type before but this character obviously had generous shades of grey. Kareena, Bipasha and Viveik (note new spelling) weren't too bad either. Konkona's portrayal of Emilia was expectedly powerful.
I had accompanied some friends from Afghanistan and they were a bit surprised by the sex, violence and abusive launguage shown in the film - compared to "normal Bollywood fare." But that's what interior India is... the director showed UP thug politics at its ugliest best, besides the usual colors and rustic way of life. It's interesting the plays he's chosen to adapt for desi sensibilities. After Maqbool (Macbeth) and Omkara (Othello) maybe he should complete the trilogy and take a stab at Hamlet or King Lear next. Then collect his laurels at some film fest!

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