Omkara completes 15 years today, and we can’t keep calm. The film was a commentary on the rampant lawlessness and gangster feuds of Uttar Pradesh, which was fantastically brought to life by the master craftsman Vishal Bhardwaj.
While each performance in the movie was a masterpiece in itself, there are a couple of them which were absolutely the best. One was the character of Ishwar ‘Langda’ Tyagi played by Saif Ali Khan and the character of Keshav ‘Kesu Firangi’ Upadhyay played by Vivek Anand Oberoi. The names Langda Tyagi and Kesu Firangi even till today ring a bell in the minds of audiences as their characters were so memorable. Both Saif Ali Khan and Vivek Anand Oberoi put their hearts and souls into crafting the characters so well that they stand the test of time even after 15 years of the movie’s release.
For Saif Ali Khan this was the first time probably when he was playing such a gruff character. No one had ever seen him in that look and no one ever expected the performance to be this good that it would win awards at pretty much every award night. Saif’s performance blew everyone away. He managed to not only delve deep into the body language of Langda Tyagi but also get the dialect to so much perfection that it completely wowed everyone.
Talking of Vivek Anand Oberoi, he breathed life into such a complex character of Kesu Firangi. He was funny in his own way. He brought in the cool and calm vibe to the entire storytelling and managed to bring out a completely different side of her acting personality which audiences had not been privy to before. He had a certain amount of innocence in his eyes which helped audiences connect with him even better. His character was layered with different emotions and Vivek managed to bring them all out with perfection.
Omkara was one of the very rare films during that era that had such strong characters. While everyone knew that the story was adapted from William Shakespeare’s Othello, no one could actually figure out how it would be put in the Indian context. But when the movie was released, people were left spellbound by the setting of the story in the heartlands of Uttar Pradesh. It was a brilliant setting that helped people relate to the story and helped the actors portray the nuances of their characters to the level of absolute brilliance.
Today, as the movie completes 15 years, Omkara is still very relevant. Here’s wishing the makers and the brilliant cast on their landmark anniversary.