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Om Shanti Om released 10 years ago and in many ways, it was the near-perfect homage to decades of mainstream Hindi cinema. The cinema that many of us grew up watching, the films that our parents still like to revisit and the quintessential elements that were associated with a filmy film. In Anupama Chopra’s words, Farah Khan’s Om Shanti Om was a love letter to Hindi films. It is a well-established fact that Om Shanti Om pays an homage to many classics of Hindi cinema but when we actually list down those references, we realise that the way Om Shanti Om respectfully acknowledges the tropes of Hindi films, was quite outstanding.
Here are all the references from old Hindi films that Om Shanti Om pays an homage to.
1. The film’s plot
Om Shanti Om’s plot is a reference to many Hindi films of the 80s that were made with the plot of re-incarnation. Karz (1980), being the most popular one, is mentioned in the film’s climax as well. The plot of Madhumati (1958) and Mehbooba (1976) is also a strong reference in Om Shanti Om’s plot.
2. Dhoom Tanna – the song that is an ode to the years of Hindi cinema gone by
Laxmikant-Pyarelal’s music is synonymous with the Hindi film music of the 70s. To recreate the same vibe, Farah Khan roped in Pyarelal to compose music for the song. Since the demise of his partner, Laxmikant, Pyarelal had stopped composing but he made an exception for this song. The song was recorded in a traditional way with a 150-member-orchestra.
Many guest appearances were digitally re-created for the music video. Sunil Dutt from Amrapali (1966), Rajesh Khanna from Sachaa Jhutha (1970) and Jeetendra from Jay Vejay (1977) were all part of the song. A musical portion in the song was with reference to the popular Humjoli (1970) song, “Dhal Gaya Din Ho Gayi Shaam”.
3. Dream Girl remodeled as Dreamy Girl
After casting Deepika Padukone for this film, Farah Khan was deeply impressed by the old-world charm that she perfectly embraced. In the film, she is popularly known as the ‘Dreamy Girl’ which is an homage to Hema Malini’s Dream Girl stature of the 70s.
4. The multi-starrer song Deewangi Deewangi
Farah Khan did the impossible by roping in 31 celebrities from the film industry for the song, “Deewangi Deewangi”. This song is an homage to the song “John Jani Janardhan” from the 1981 film, Naseeb. The song featured many celebrities and was quite appreciated for its video back in the day.
5. An ode to Mother India
The famous legend says that soon after Sunil Dutt saved Nargis from a fire on the sets of Mother India, the two got married. The film references this episode after Deepika’s character gets caught up in a fire.
6. The multiple Maine Pyar Kiya references
Even though this reference doesn’t fit the timeline of the film, it still is worth noting. In a scene after SRK’s character saves Deepika from a raging fire on the set, he ends up saying “Dosti mein no sorry, no thank you”. A young Suraj Barjatya is then shown noting down this dialogue. With a cap on his head, that says ‘Friend’, it made for the perfect quirky reference. This dialogue was immortalised in Sooraj Barjatya’s 1989 film, Maine Pyar Kiya, along with the signature ‘Friend’ cap.
In another scene in the film, SRK’s character talks to Deepika’s Dreamy Girl poster and keeps repeating the line, “Tum bore toh nahi ho rahi na?”. This dialogue is from Maine Pyar Kiya as well.
7. The Manoj Kumar reference
The filmmakers got in trouble for this scene and had to chop it down later. During the scene when SRK and Shreyas’ characters are trying to sneak into a premiere of the Dreamy Girl, they cover their faces with their hands in signature Manoj Kumar style. The veteran actor did not appreciate the joke and was quite upset with the filmmakers for using his name.
8. The signature Manmohan Desai touch
With films like Amar Akbar Anthony, Parvarish and Coolie to his credit, Manmohan Desai was the king of commercial masala Bollywood films. By including tropes like a hero who is stuck to a wheelchair but can manage to disco, this film paid homage to Manmohan Desai’s films.
9. The tiger fight
As shared by Farah Khan in a recent interview, while playing a version of Quickgun Murugan in the first half of the film, SRK is shown fighting with a stuffed tiger. This was a reference to the 1970 film Tarzan 303.
10. The award ceremonies
Hindi films have had a strong association with their lavish award ceremonies. Om Shanti Om took a dig at these ceremonies by picturising an entire sequence at the award ceremony. The scenes had multiple guest appearances from famous film celebrities. This was an homage to the way the film industry award functions have been held for many decades now.
Om Shanti Om is a perfect throwback to the years when the Hindi film formula was widely accepted and recognised. Without making fun of these elements, Farah Khan appreciated the quirkiness that can only be seen in a quintessential Hindi film.