Diwali is just around the corner and that means only one thing- big movie releases! Nothing could be truer this year, as we are being treated to two of the biggest films of the year, which have been saved for this festive day. If you follow Bollywood at all, all you have been hearing lately is about Om Shanti Om and Saawariya. They are the two most hyped movies of the season and are going to battle each other for Diwali supremacy. We are here to break down for you some categories where we will compare the two films to see which may end up the winner in the Diwali race. Take a look:
Cast- The cast of Om Shanti Om is led by the badhshah of Bollywood, Shah Rukh Khan. Along with him for the ride will be Arjun Rampal, Shreyas Talpade, and much hyped newcomer Deepika Padukone. Saawariya, on the other hand, is being led by star kid newcomers, Ranbir and Sonam Kapoor. One note that should not go unnoticed is the presence of Salman Khan and Rani Mukerji in special roles. Now both films have promising casts, no doubt, but which one has the upper hand? Well basically it’s SRK and a newcomer being pitted against two newcomers because it would not be fair to bring Salman and Rani into the conversation because they are not the lead characters in Saawariya. So I see it as being SRK’s track record against Ranbir’s nonexistent track record. Deepika and Sonam obviously cancel each other out since they have no experience either. Not to mention the Deewangi track with the 31 stars in OSO that includes Salman and Rani. So, OSO has the leg up here.
Director- In one corner you have arguably the best and most successful director in the Hindi film industry. While in the other corner you have a one film old director, who is better known as a choreographer. Is this even a comparison? Sanjay Leela Bhansali trumps Farah Khan in every way you look at it. They may be two different types of filmmakers, but Farah still has a long way to go to even be considered in the same book as SLB. Having one film under her belt, it is tough to gauge exactly what you can expect from her. But with SLB, who has given us four films which have all been acclaimed hugely, we know he is as dependable as they come to deliver the goods.
Music- The music of both films has been very well received by critics and audiences alike. Both are currently the top two soundtracks available as well, which is making the decision of picking a winner even more difficult. Also, making the decision difficult is the fact that I haven’t heard either soundtrack (sue me). I guess it all depends on what type of music you like better. Saawariya provides classical tunes, whereas OSO provides you with mostly masala tracks. But I’m obviously the wrong man to make a judgment on this, and based on sales and reviews, this is basically a wash.
Promotion/Hype- Because both films have a Diwali release date, the hype has been massive for both films. We all know how far SRK goes in promoting his films and this one is no different. Saawariya is not far behind, as we are finally seeing Ranbir and Sonam in various events and shows, after being in hibernation before promotion started. Although SLB is a good promoter and his films are always anticipated, SRK is quite possibly the master promoter in Bollywood and always makes sure the limelight stays on him. He has done so with OSO as well, making various appearances at events promoting the film. If he is not there, he makes sure Farah and the rest of the cast are there to spread the word about the film. Both films are eyeing interest from viewers, but it cannot be overlooked that Saawariya is being very subtle with its promotion. They are not giving away too much with their promos, which definitely makes people more curious. But SRK’s ploy of releasing the Deewangi promo worked out, as it has created a rage. Also, their promos have given away much more than Saawariya’s has, which translates to people knowing what to expect when they go into OSO.
Film Quality- Surely, it is too early to judge which is going to be the better film, but it isn’t too early to say which film is looking more promising. It’s not right to compare the two films because they’re from varied genres, but this is what I’m paid to do (not really) so I must make a pick. OSO is your typical masala fare, which if carried the right way, can be a nice entertainer. Saawariya is on a much grander scale, which has potential of being a very memorable film if it lives up to the hype. SLB’s track record also helps us in believing that we are in for a true cinematic experience when we watch Saawariya. Whereas, I believe the audience will have a love/hate relationship with OSO. Just based on SLB and the films he has done in the past, the edge has to be given to Saawariya.
Box Office Prediction- This one is actually easier than you think. Yes both movies are being hyped to no end and are the two most anticipated films of the season, but when it comes to Diwali, what do people want more than anything? Entertainment! OSO obviously is going to deliver that, while that is the one department Saawariya is lacking in. Yes it may very well be a wonderful film, but wonderful films don’t always translate to entertaining films. A time like Diwali, most people would prefer to watch a film like OSO than Saawariya. Also, SRK’s box office power plays a major factor, as it is tough to imagine two newcomers beating him at the box office, even if SLB is the director. Recently, in a nationally syndicated television program, there was a poll which asked which movie you would rather watch during Diwali. 73% of the votes went to OSO, while 27% went to Saawariya. That may not be the best source, but it is an indication as to which way the audience is leaning. Now mind you, I’m talking about box office opening here. Which film does better in the long run clearly depends on the quality of the product. That can only be determined after the movies release. In India, I expect OSO to fetch a much better opening, while in overseas, I also give OSO the edge, but it will be closer than in India for sure.
Overall winner: Find out November 9th!