Om (1995 film)
Om, stylized as ॐ, is a 1995 Indian Kannada crime drama film written and directed by Upendra. The film was produced by Parvathamma Rajkumar under the production company Sri Vajreshwari Combines. The film stars Shiva Rajkumar and Prema in lead roles with Srishanthi, G. V. Shivanand, Sadhu Kokila in supporting roles with real life gangsters - Bekkina Kannu Rajendra, Tanveer, Korangu Krishna and Jedaralli Krishnappa - portraying the role of gangsters in a small but important portion of the movie.
Theatrical re-release poster
|Produced by||Parvathamma Rajkumar|
|Written by||S. Muralimohan (dialogues)|
|Cinematography||B. C. Gowrishankar|
|Edited by||T. Shashikumar|
|Distributed by||Sri Vajreshwari Combines|
|19 May 1995|
The film was notable for its exposure of Bengaluru's criminal underworld. The film's plot revolves around Satya, son of a priest who becomes a gangster after his lover framed him in a murder. The rest of the film is about Satya leaving the rowdyism. The soundtrack was composed by Hamsalekha who also wrote the lyrics for all songs. B. C. Gowrishankar and Shashikumar handled cinematography and editing respectively.
Om was remade in Telugu as Omkaram (1997) starring Dr.Rajshekar and Prema which was also directed by Upendra. Hamsalekha was also the music director of the Telugu remake and retained the songs from this movie in the Telugu version. The movie was unofficially remade in Hindi as Arjun Pandit. UP gangster Vikas Dubey was reported to be an ardent fan of Arjun Pandit. Bollywood's 1998 blockbuster Satya shares many similarities with Om, including the fact that both dealt with criminal underworlds and protagonist's characterization and name in both the movies were same: Satya.
The movie which was made under budget of around 70 lakhs was the costliest film for Dr.Raj banner at that time. It made a pre-release business of around 2 crores. The film became a successful venture at the box office. It remains a cult classic film in Kannada cinema with a dedicated fan following among audience owing to its re-release every two weeks. This film has a Limca record for re-releasing more than 550 times. The movie has released 30 times in Kapali theatre, Bangalore which is a record. On the occasion of completion of 25 years, Upendra had revealed that the core plot of the movie was based on a real life person - Satya who was his brother's friend.
The film begins with a reporter writing articles about underworld dons and the reasons why people enter the underworld and become gangsters. The film revolves around the main character Satya (Shiva Rajkumar), a son of a priest who turns into a gangster for love. But the same love brings him back into being a civilized person. But there are twists involved in the movie as to why he is provoked to turn into a gangster, how he is rejected by his family and relatives and also the girl for whom he had to become a gangster in the first place and many other events which are the key scenes to watch for in the movie.
- Shiva Rajkumar as Satyamurthy 'Satya'
- Prema as Madhuri
- Srishanthi as Shashi
- G. V. Shivanand as Narasimha, Madhu's father
- Upasane Seetharam as sreekantha shastri, Satya's father
- Honnavalli Krishna as press photographer
- Sadhu Kokila as Shankar
- V. Manohar as Chennakeshava, Editor-in-chief of Krantiveera
- Vanishree as Sujatha, Satya's sister
- Sandhya as Suma, sathya's sister
- Michael Madhu as Michael
- Bekkina Kannu Rajendra as himself
- Tanveer as himself
- Korangu Krishna as himself
- Jedaralli Krishnappa as himself
- Ajay as srirampura kitti,gangster
- Dileep as Jai
- S. Murali mohan as Harish, Madhuri's brother
- Harish Rai as Don Roy
- Kote Prabhakar as Deena
- Tumkur Mohan [nataraj] as rowdi ponna
- Vikram Udayakumar as police inspector
- Sriraksha Shivakumar as Geetha, Madhuri's friend
- Balu Murugaraj
- sriraj Kothari
- shankar Narayan
- Ashwath Narayan
- N. Lokanath
- Mysore Anand
- Suresh Rrai
Speaking on a talk show, Weekend with Ramesh in 2014, on how he developed the story for Om, Upendra said he wrote a part of the story during his days in college in the late-1980s. Purushottam, a friend of Upendra, brought to him a letter written by someone that caught his attention. Drawing inspiration from it, he drafted the first part of the story, that he subsequently developed, although incompletely. He also revealed that had always wanted make a film on organized crime and mafia, based on real-life incidents. He said he was "disappointed" on learning that the screenplay of 1989 film Siva had a similar storyline to what he had written. He began working as a dialogue writer and songwriter in Kannada cinema during the time, and the first half of the 1990s saw him direct two films, Tharle Nan Maga (1992) and Shhh! (1993). Alongside, he developed the storyline and wrote a screenplay with the plot taking sequences of flashback, which he said "took another form" at the end of completion.
Having given the film a working title as Satya, Upendra initially decided to cast Kumar Govind as the eponymous lead, who he had previously collaborated with, in Shhh!. However, later, eager to cast Shiva Rajkumar in the role, Upendra approached actor Honnavalli Krishna in 1994, and persuaded him to speak the matter over to Shiva's father and actor, Rajkumar. Krishna spoke to S. P. Varadappa, Rajkumar's brother, who invited Upendra and him over to their house in Bangalore. Impressed by the story narrated by Upendra in a span of ten minutes using newspaper cuttings of oil mafia to elaborate on the subject, Rajkumar gave the go-ahead and Shiva was signed as the male lead. Rajkumar also agreed to produce the film and handed an amount of ₹50,000 over to Upendra the same day. Shiva had till then portrayed roles predominantly of a romantic hero in his then career of 8 years. Speaking on casting him, Upendra said he was drawn by Shiva's "powerful brownish-shaded eyes" and wanted to "make full use of it". Many actresses had been speculated to play the role of the female lead Madhuri, in the film, including then popular Hindi film actress Juhi Chawla. Finally, on Rajkumar's approval, Prema, a newcomer then, who was already filming with Shiva in Savyasachi, was cast in the role. Real-life gangsters Bekkinakannu Rajendra, Korangu Krishna, Tanveer Ahmad and Jedarahalli Krishna made cameo appearances in the film.
The principal photography began on 7 December 1994 in Bangalore. On the day, Rajkumar wrote the spiritual icon "ॐ" on the film's screenplay material using kumkuma, which was later made the title design for the film. B. C. Gowrishankar who handled cinematography used a warm, yellow tone and employed filters throughout the film to diffuse the violence and the colour of the blood.
|Soundtrack album by|
|Genre||Feature film soundtrack|
Hamsalekha composed the film score and the film's soundtrack, also writing its lyrics. In September 2015, the rights for the soundtrack album was acquired by Sony Music Entertainment, and was released digitally. All the songs including Hey Dinakara and O Gulabiye were well received and became chartbusters.
Hamsalekha was also the music director of the Telugu remake and retained the songs from this movie in the Telugu version.
College Kumar  was re-used as College Kurrodu. O Gulaabiye  was re-used as O Gulabi. Mehabooba  was re-used as Bullemma. While only the opening Sanskrit verse from Hey Dinakara  was used in the Telugu song Om Brahmanda, the Telugu song followed the tune of another Kannada song by Hamsalekha - Eke Heegaytho  from the 1988 Kannada movie Anjada Gandu.
|4.||"O Gulaabiye"||Hamsalekha||Rajkumar, Rathnamala Prakash||4:58|
The film was made at a budget of 68 lakh rupees.H. D. Kumaraswamy bought the rights to distribute the film for the Mysore area and made a small fortune. Bangalore area was distributed by regular Telugu film distributor in Karnataka G.Venkatpathy.
The movie crossed its 500th re - release mark in 2013. As of March 2015, Om had been re-released over 550 times and in over 400 theatres across Karnataka. On 12 March 2015, the film was re-released with Digital intermediate and DTS for the first time in over 100 theatres. It was distributed by Kishore Films.
Even though the film was released in 1995, its satellite rights was sold to Udaya TV in 2015 for a sum of 10 crores. The film had its television premiere on 15 August 2015 on the eve of Independence Day. The amount is the highest for any Kannada film considering that the film is already 20 years old and has been released hundreds of times. Video rights was released by Sri Ganesh Video.
- Best Actor — Shiva Rajkumar
- Best Actress — Prema
- Best Screenplay — Upendra
- Best Cinematographer — B. C. Gowrishankar
Om attained cult status in Kannada cinema. It became a trendsetter in the genre of films based on gangsters. Rediff in its review of Darshan starrer Shastri (2005) called it "poor imitation of the trendsetting Kannada film, Om". Murali Mohan who worked as an assistant in Om made his directorial debut with Santha (2007) which had a similar plot.
In 1999, the film was unofficially remade in Hindi as Arjun Pandit (1999) by Rahul Rawail which stars Sunny Deol and Juhi Chawla in leading roles was criticized by film viewers by deactivating the story line.
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