Opening of The Rake's Progress
Idle Soprano Gossip

Om Shanti Om

Om Shanti Om* Notes *
I have this particular friend who has attended every performance with me at
Seattle Opera. She is from the Bay Area, so we occasionally go to the opera in San Francisco when she is in town. Last year during the Thanksgiving holiday we spent 7 hours and 25 minutes listening to 3 operas in a mere 30 hours. This year I was not supposed to be around, so when my plans were changed at the last minute, I insisted that we see the opening of The Rake's Progress together, forcing her to travel from Fremont to San Francisco on BART early in the morning the day after Thanksgiving. Since she is moving to Germany at the end of the year, I figured I should let her spend some time with her family, and not drag her to see the Macbeth that showed yesterday and La Rondine, which was performed today. I thought the Macbeth would be particularly cruel to drag her to, considering she will be seeing plenty of Regieopern in Berlin. Additionally, the last time she heard Thomas Hampson was in Simon Boccanegra at the Met, and the last Macbeth she saw was pretty awful.

I regularly listen to the BBC Asian Network podcast of Love Bollywood, for I find the show rather entertaining. This year, their reviewer Komal Nahata has only liked one film, this being Om Shanti Om. The movie is also doing well at the box office. Since Fremont, where my dear friend is from and was staying this weekend, has a "Multicultural Entertainment Megaplex," I was sure Om Shanti Om would be there. As I suspected, the film was being shown every hour during the day, so I dragged my friend there 5 hours before her plane departed.

The film is absolutely hilarious, poking fun at the Hindi film industry with a charming light-heartedness. The first half is set in 1977, replete with fabulous costumes and glorious dance sequences. The second half is set in present day, and has tons of cameos and fun music. I laughed during many of the 168 minutes. Shah Rukh Khan was convincing both as a junior artist and a superstar. Newcomer Deepika Padukone makes a  beautiful leading lady, she was suitably dignified when called on to be so, and also quite silly when necessary. The songs are good fun, I especially enjoyed "Dard-E-Disco" (Pain of Disco).

* Tattling *
We were nearly 10 minutes late to the cinema, but because my friend's flight was at 7pm, we were obliged to see the 2pm show. We sat in the center section, right in front of a pair of men. I tried my best to slouch. There was some speaking on the part of the audience, but it was not terribly distracting.

As I drove my friend to the airport, I admitted that I had enjoyed Om Shanti Om more than The Rake's Progress, but would only see the film once more, at least, so I can see the beginning. Undoubtedly I will try to hear William Burden and Laura Aiken at least two more times.