Director: Vishal Bhardwaj
Cast: Ajay Devgan as Omkara 'Omi' Shukla, Saif Ali Khan as Ishwar 'Langda' Tyagi, Kareena Kapoor as Dolly Mishra, Deepak Dobriyal as Rajan 'Rajju' Tiwari, Vivek Oberoi as Keshav 'Kesu' Upadhyaya, Konkona Sen Sharma as Indu Tyagi with Bipasha Basu as Billo Chamanbahar and Naseeruddin Shah as Bhaisaab
Pros:-The film revels in Othello's tragedy encompassing it with intriguing racial, criminal and political commentary of the Hinterlands
-Themes of loyalty, jealousy, love and psychology invade the script giving it a sense of purpose and depth to the tragic plot
-Tone of the screenplay is kept to point, never meandering into any melancholy or melodrama. Drama is restrained in the film even in a tense climax
-A much more faithful adaptation with only few changes that add extra levels to characters including a Richard III like Iago and Dolly-Omkara's impending marriage adding tension to the film
-The dialogues are so immersed in the locales it feels like they're felt rather than just written
-Characters are complex and engaging while adapted perfectly. Standout ideas being race considering caste for Omkara (Othello) and the puppeteer stirring emotions and the motion of the plot in the form of Langda (Iago)
-Action is shot with dynamic brilliance capturing the grit of the situation. The camera works itself through the setting divulging its murkiness and base color palette with the cinematography juxtaposing darks and lights for important sub text. Shots also pay attention to the claustrophobia of situations.
-The editing is crisp as it adds a sense of tension to the slow burning drama
-Bhardwaj well understands the lingo and customs of his setting while molding it into the prowess of Shakespeare's written word. He also extracts surprising performances from all of his cast
-The whole cast is sublime. Dobriyal leaves a lasting impression with the way he handles the heartbreak and slyness of his character. Oberoi emotionally tugs at you heart with his bad boy attitude and moments of emotional outburst. Sharma starts of slowly building to something remarkable with he striking delivery but more importantly her grasp of emotions on hand
-Kareena Kapoor exudes the ethereal beauty of a character reflecting it with an innocence and purity captured through her expressions
-Devgan is stellar as the hard hitting brooding protagonists. He mines the depth of the last few minutes with inspiring turn of emotions while keeping in check the earlier characteristics.
-But the show is stolen by Saif Ali Khan. From the first scene all we can see is Langda Tyagi, it's a testament to his skill that he takes something unusual to him and turns it into a performance that is equally chilling as it is pitiable as he uses his chameleon like ability to drive the plot forward. His chemisty with Dobriyal, heck with everyone, heck all the male men's chemistries are brilliant.
-The score has a methodological omnipresence through out the film. Capturing both moments of gleeful romance and tense mind game and psychological breakdowns
-Despite being item filled, songs carry context of their own in terms of both revealing character and back story
Cons:-The writers don't convincingly portray certain plot points. The film meanders yet never develops the idea of why Dolly loves Omkara or why Omkara is susceptible to Langda's words since it jumps a tab bit with that
-The films focus on Langda leaves the other characters far underdeveloped
-The commentary regarding crime politics and Omkara's caste issues are just scratched on the surface
-Bhardwaj indulges himself in the world, especially with his music
-The score takes time to get going, initially being too much masala. Despite great meaning, the songs in the film could have been reduced by one or two.
Best Scene: Langda deep in regret and anger over Omkara choosing Kesu, smashes his head on his mirror and spreads his blood on his head in a manner as selecting himself as general, a hollow fantasy but the signs to comes of the monster Langda will become
Best Performance: Saif Ali Khan as Ishwar 'Langda' Tyagi
Best Dialogue: 'Bewakoof aur chutiye mein dhaage bhar ka farak hota haiga bhaiya. Dhage ke ingay bewakoof aur ungay, chutiya. Aur jo dhaaga kheeche lo, to kaund haiga bewakoof aur kaund hai chutiya, carod rupiye ka prasan hai bhaiya.'-Langda Tyagi
(A thin line (or thread) separates the fool from the dumbass. On one end of the line lies the fool and on the other, the dumbass. Upon snapping the line it's a million dollar question as to who's the fool and who's the dumbass, brother.)
The second of the Shakespeare trilogy by Vishal Bhardwaj; the tragedy of Othello