Seems that some of the directors who made a debut in the last months need to take a lesson in the craft of direction. Watching 'Om Shanthi', you will like to make this suggestion one more time. Prakash Dantuluri's first work begins like a terrorist flick, soon turns into a wafer-thin popcorn flick and culminates in a poorly conceived and executed climax. So much so, you will ask, "where are five stories, five characters and one truth?" Every character can't qualify to be called a narrative. Every narrative can't make a story. Let alone five stories that we were always told would be running parallel, the film doesn't even boast of a compelling climax.
Beautifully titled as 'Om Shanthi', which means the mantra for peace, the film begins with a promise when it says the universal ideal of shanthi is the most sacred. We are introduced to a terrorist gang which is hell bent upon destroying the city of Hyderabad, on a day.
Next, we are introduced the prime five, one after another but none of them sounds interesting. Meghana (Kajal), incurably bored of the routine, tries to do everything in a new way. Then there is Anand (Navdeep), charming yet anxious about impressing upon the right girl. He bumps into Aditi Sharma (restrained performance) and they immediately strike a chord with each other.
If these three unexciting characters are not enough, there are Teja (Nikhil), wanting to be the Next Ravi Teja of Tollywood and Noori, the sister of a misguided terrorist-brother. The twosome perfectly fit in the roles, with Nikhil vibrant as usual and Bindu apt as a Muslim girl. Yet, as in the case of Kajal, Navdeep and Aditi, these two characters remain ordinary through out.
A dastardly terrorist conspiracy is under way and the city is going to bombarded on the D-day. How is everyone going to be involved in the climax? How does fate put these five complete strangers at the cusp of an attack of mind-numbing proportions?
The film is eerily unconvincing. There is a dichotomy between the characters the film throws up and the message it seeks to deliver. The most important part should have been the climax, but laughably, it just executes like a freakish scene. Had the writer-director got his lessons right, he would have known that the climax should have a run time of at least 15 minutes in this kind of a flick, if not more.
It would not have been difficult for many-films old actors in the film to do these routine characters. Illairaja's music, except for the first song, is pretty average. Nikhil and Sunil try hard to evoke laughter. Dialogue by Nagaraju Gandham are adequate (especially in the scenes involving the farmers' family).
All in all, the film that comes with a shallow plot and half-baked climax is at best avoidable.
Released on: 15th Jan, 2010