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New This Week: Om Shanthi Om

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om-shanthi-om-movie-stills-043What makes human beings leave the laboratory of science and reason, and grope for totems in the great beyond? We don’t know. We do know that coming up this Friday is yet another supernatural film. Om Shanthi Om, starring Srikanth and Neelam Upadhyaya, is all about embracing the ghostly possibilities of our existence. If the trailer looks haunted by Suriya’s Massu Engira Masilamani, that’s because it probably is. Ghost, The Sixth Sense, and Pisaasu can be expected to make an appearance as well. Here again we have a likeable hero, who can probably speak to ghosts, all five of them. Being the hero, he heroically takes on their troubles, and with a healthy dose of romance and drama, we can reasonably expect a feel-good horror-thriller.

The 1:48 minute trailer runs through a range of light and gritty flashes, including the romantic ‘Ival Daana’ song which is full of sunsets, happy smiles, and young love. And ends with the hero explaining that if he ever met a girl like her (as if he hasn’t already), then he would get married. Cut to the ominously (not really) flashing road sign which indicates that Thanjavoor is 25 kms away. It’s a little cheesy, not least because the blue reminds you of a bubble gum wrapper.

It may be a horror film, and might have gritty sequences. Like the close up shot of the hero’s face as he vividly rolls in pain on the road, rain splattering over his curly hair, and his blood-soaked arm. But it’s not going to be scary, promises debutant director Suryaprakash. The ghosts are friendly. They want to bless people, not exact revenge. It’s been given a ‘U’ certificate, if that’s any indication. The fight scenes look hyperbolic (like the one backhanded punch flooring 8-odd persons), but there might be (ahem) supernatural realism to that. After all, there’s so much that hasn’t been proved scientifically.

Om Shanthi Om has been extensively shot in Trichy, Singapore, Malaysia, and Angkor Wat in Cambodia. With Vijay Ebenezer’s music, and this handsome actor playing a key role, Om Shanthi Om should be worth the ride.

*****

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