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Omkara - 2004 DVD $7.99

Omkara - 2004 DVD
Movie : Omkaara
Cast: Upendra, Preethi Jhangiani and Shwetha Menon
Year : 2004
Lyrics: Upendra, Gurukiran, Kaviraj, V.Manohar
Music Director: Gurukiran
Direction: Shivamani
Producer: Kanakapura Shreenivas

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DVD9-English Subtitles-NTSC-All Regions
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Omkara - 2004
Omkara - 2004

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Douglas DB
Sunday 10 March, 2013
Omkaara Kannada

Starring: Upendra, Preeti Jhangiani, Rahul Dev, Rangayana Raghu, Shwetha Menon, Geetha Suryavamshi,
Sadhu Kokila, Bullet Prakash
Director: Shivamani
Producer: Company Films
Music Dir: Gurukiran
Lyricist: Upendra, Gurukiran, Kaviraj, V. Manohar
Singers: Hariharan, Kavita Krishnamurthy, Gurukiran, Upendra, V. Manohar, H.G. Chaitra, Shamita Malnad
Distributor: Sri Ganesh Video
Genre: Crime Thriller Action

We are introduced to the rowdy, Sathya (Upendra), who is in the process of rigging an election in favour of an old man Somaiah, whom he believes to be a patriot, and he does this by dividing the vote. He sends his men to different areas, and tells them to get each area to vote for a different candidate. He then visits a film set, where the hero is trying to seduce the heroine, saying that she will not get anywhere in the film industry without him. When Sathya realises this, he beats up the film hero. He then says that he will be the hero, and the film will be about rowdyism. A heroine is chosen, Divya (Preeti Jhangiani), but she fails to turn up on the set. It seems that her father (Rangayana Raghu) has ?sold? her to a don, Yasim Khan (Rahul Dev), who is at present in jail. Yasmin Khan is promoting her film career, in return for the promise of riches when she achieves fame. One of the film crew phones Yasim, who then asks her father why he has not sent her. He says it is because her fee has not been paid. Yasim insists that she be sent. She arrives on the set, but when she sees who the hero is, she refuses to act with him, and says she will go back to Bombay. Sathya explains that they had met previously. She had been brought to a film training school, where the boss (Sadhu Kokila) employed Sathya as the coach, in swimming, dancing and horse riding. Divya had come to the pool, unable to swim, and had asked for a female coach, saying that she would not allow a man to touch her. However, Sathya said that he was the only coach. He is about to leave, when she falls in the pool, and calls for help. He jumps in and saves her from drowning. Then another girl, Anju (Shwetha Menon), arrives on the scene, and Sathya and Anju seem very fond of each other, and Anju does not mind Sathya touching her when he is teaching her to dance. By this time, Divya is beginning to fall in love with Sathya, and she becomes intensely jealous of Anju. She finally has a row with Anju, and slaps her face. Anju leaves, and tells Sathya she will never come back. Then Divya feels guilty, and tells Sathya she would like to apologise to Anju..
However Sathya had made a bet of Rs. 50,000 with the boss that he would make Divya fall in love with him. He wins the bet, and Divya overhears him telling everyone that the way he won was by making Divya jealous. She becomes very angry with him, saying she wants nothing more to do with him. However, Sathya has by this time fallen in love with Divya, and he tries to apologise and explain, but she will not listen, and drives off in her car. He gives chase on his motorbike, and follows her to Bekal Fort in Pallikere, in the Kasaragod district of Northern Kerala, where she stops. He convinces her of his love. The rest of the film reveals how Sathya became a rowdy, and why Divya came to hate him, as seen when she refused to act with him.

1. Othu Othu Otu Othu
2. Abbaba Eeke 50 Kg Halva
3. Bhalobhashi Bengalili
4. Suit Boot Car Idhre
5. Goli Maaro

Released Year: 2004
Running Time: 166 minutes/Colour/Kannada

Please note that this film bears no similarity to the 2006 Hindi film, ?Omkara?, which is based on the Shakespeare play, ?Othello?

?Omkaara? was one of the major releases of 2004 and had one of the biggest openings in Karnataka at the time of its release, particularly in Bangalore and throughout Karnataka ? and deservedly so. However, it did not fare as well as expected in the following weeks and turned out to be just a moderate success at the box office by only running for 50 days in the cinema. I wonder why, because it is a ?big? film with a ?big? story. It deserved to be a major success. The story is out of the ordinary.
It is well acted by the entire cast. Upendra, (as Sathya) shows his versatility, by acting as as a rowdy feared by everyone, and as a likeable guy before he became a rowdy. Preeti Jhangiani is also very convincing as the Film Diva, who will let nothing stand in the way of her career. Shwetha Menon is thoroughly convincing as the girl who is a close friend of Sathya ? did she just arrive, or did Sathya arrange for her to come on the scene to make Divya jealous, and win his bet? We don?t know. Rangayana Raghu does not play the role of the usual loveable alcoholic, but plays rather a ?slimy? character, who enlists the help of an underworld don to promote his daughter, with no thought for her real welfare, just regarding her as a money-making machine! Rahul Dev plays the underworld don, the sort of part he always plays well. Sadhu Kokila plays a relatively small but important part as the boss of the film training school.

The songs are good. ?Othu Othu Otu Othu? is telling people to stamp their votes in the election which Sathya rigs. ?Abbaba Eeke 50 Kg Halva? (she is a 50 Kg. Sweet, beware of touching her, she will melt, right?) ? this is a song mocking Divya, comparing her with Anju who sings that beauty is her wealth.
It is worth buying the DVD for the next song alone, a love song with Sathya and Divya, ?Bhalobhashi Bengalili?, which tells you how to say I love you in (I think) nineteen different languages, including Hindi, Bengali, Sanskrit, Telugu, Tamil and Malayalam. This could perhaps be useful! However, don?t go by the subtitles, because the French given in the subtile is ?she peg?, which is wrong. The French for ?I love you? is ?je t?aime?, and this is what is sung on the soundtrack if you listen carefully. All the melodies are good, but this song in particular.
?Soot Boot Car Idhre? is wrongly spelt in the subtitles, it should be ?Suit? not ?Soot?. It is a song saying that all you need is a suit, boots (presumably) and a car, and the girls will love you. But when your pocket becomes empty, they say goodbye.
?Goli Maaro? is another love song with Sathya and Divya, telling us to shoot everything we don?t like, society, rowdyism, jealousy, yesterday, tomorrow, all our tensions.

?Bhalobhashi Bengalili? and ?Goli Maaro? are both filmed in Switzerland in the spring, one of the most beautiful times of year there, you see the tulips blooming in quite a number of the scenes. Berne, Interlaken, Lauterbrunnen, Lake Thun, Spiez, Luzern, Geneva, Gstaad are some of the easily recognisable locations.

5 stars

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