Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Om Bahadur: Indian movie review

DailyOnorio presents a review of an Indian movie made in 2006, presented by Meenu Sarkar in association with Yashkun Movie Makers.

This is Om Bahadur, a self-proclaimed action movie about an Indian movie star/crime boss/the greatest movie character ever, named Satya.

This is one of those "so bad it's good" foreign films. As if the akward zoom-ins and tilted camera angles weren't enough for your average Indian movie, this film feels the need to do it constantly. There's never a dramatic moment in the movie where the camera doesn't do an extreme zoom-in on someone's face, or even zoom-in on the same character's face multiple times. Most of the time it's extremely apparent that someone was just holding the camera without using any other equipment. The editing is also lazy and since it's an Indian movie, it's obvious the special effects are going to be cheesy, but reverse effects are used in some scenes for no reason, as if they were just used it for the sake of being used.

The movie itself is very incoherent. The first hour-and-a-half is just some romantic buildup between the two main characters, mixed with different action scenes and musical sequences that happen so randomly and out of place they're almost like non-sequiturs. After one scene where Satya and the girl are talking, the movie will randomly cut to Satya competing in some fighting competition and there's no explanation or background at all. And it doesn't matter what scene happened beforehand, when a musical number springs up it's always in a happy tone. The romance also comes on and off so much that you stop caring after a while, and even then you don't know if anyone's being serious because the whole movie takes place while a director is filming them (making an Indian movie in another Indian movie), so you don't really know if they're acting or not, which really adds to the confusion. After an hour-and-a-half of that nonsense, the actual conflict steps in and the movie suddenly turns into anti-Pakistan propaganda. The villain, who you never pay attention to until the end of the movie, finally decides to advance the plot, and before the final fight scene, he just bluntly says he's from Pakistan when he was asked no questions and given no real reason to mention it. After some unexplained "magic" scene, the hero makes some long, winded speech about how Pakis don't appreciate India, or something like that. Another thing that isn't explained at all are the "magic" scenes. I won't spoil anything, but two people in the movie die and are brought back to life by "love", and there's absolutely no explanation or any questions asked afterwards, as if stuff like that just happens so casually, you know. It makes even less sense that this movie has a G rating when there's so much intense violence, which is automatically apparent by the very beginning of the movie.

Satya makes his debut appearance.
But what takes this movie one step further is Satya, the main character himself. That's him in the above image. He's India's answer for an American-style action star. He wears shades and jewelry, smokes cigarettes, has his own posse (which he can summon at any time to kick some serious ass), fights with knives, knows martial arts, and is a womanizer, all while having a stylish mullet and handlebar mustache. He's basically the only reason this movie is worth watching at all.

Aside from him, everything in the movie also happens incredibly fast. Even though most of the scenes aren't even action scenes, the movie just bombards you with constant talking and awkwardness, not one minute of this movie isn't gif or reaction image worthy. There's not even a scene that's completely quiet or allows for reflection on what's happened previously; after one scene's done there's an instant cut to the next scene. Everything's just non-stop, even after the climax there's no resolution, the film quickly cuts to a "The End" title card and that's it, it's over; there's no credits because all the credits are placed at the beginning of the film for some reason. What's also weird is that the film looks extremely dated, but it was made in 2006.  Even the sound effects you hear during the fight scenes sounds like something you'd hear in an eighties Kung-Fu movie. The fight choreography is also similar, complete with "I-didn't-actually-touch-him-but-still-managed-to-hurt-him" punches and kicks.

The movie is predominantly in Hindi and subbed in English, so I'm wondering why it looks like all the voices were dubbed. Some of the dialogue spoken in the movie is in English though, it sounds kinda funny too.

You can watch the whole movie on YouTube here:

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