Scene by Scene: Ultimate Betrayal in ‘Om Shanti Om’

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Now it’s my turn, and I’ve chosen to write about a scene that could have arguably been the turning point in a bright career. It is a scene from the recently released Om Shanti Om. The scene in question features Arjun Rampal as Mukesh, and Deepika Padukone as Shanti.

Shanti has just broken the news to Mukesh – she’s pregnant with his child. She’s ready to start a family with him, and he seems to feel the same way. Mukesh shows Shanti a grand new set he has had built and tells Shanti that it will be the venue for their marriage. He promises her a lavish wedding with a huge orchestra, a fountain flowing with champagne, and a beautiful chandelier. But suddenly the tides turn and Mukesh lets Shanti know how he really feels. He blames her for not being able to make his movie and having to burn down his beautiful set. So he says that she must burn along with it.

I’ve always wanted to give Arjun Rampal the benefit of the doubt, that he could actually act convincingly when he needed to. This scene proved that to me. You grow to hate the character of Mukesh, which is what you’re supposed to do. Arjun just jumps right into the role, especially in this scene. Farah Khan even mentions in her directors commentary that Deepika was actually scared in this scene because Arjun was performing it so convincingly. Her expressions in the scene are real, because Arjun was really scaring her.

Performing a villainous role is not easy. I feel it’s harder to really get into the character if it’s someone you aren’t used to being in real life. Considering that, Arjun’s done a wonderful job in this scene and in the rest of Om Shanti Om, and I hope this paves the way for this talented actor.

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