Om Shanti Om

India 2007. Dir Farah Kahn.

Farah Kahn, one of the few mainstream female directors in contemporary Bollywood, is not the only Kahn associated with Om Shanti Om. Megastar Shah Rukh Kahn plays (ironically) an unknown film extra Om, in love with Shanti, a larger-than-life 1970s film star. The film’s title is a tongue-in-cheek pun that reprises a religious incantation and film song “Om Shanti Om” from Subhash Ghai’s 1980 thriller Karz. It tells a story of revenge and reincarnation, in which Om and Shanti must find each other by decoding clues left behind by their onscreen doubles. A romantic costume drama, ludic period film, art deco fantasy, and film-within-a-film, Om Shanti Om offers bold and spectacular reflections on nostalgia, stardom, and cinephilia in Bombay cinema.