Upendra and Shivarajkumar’s unparalleled magnum opus, Om, which released way back in 1995, still has a cult following and going by the latest statistics, the film has been re-released around 550 times since its original opening and screened in over 400 theatres around Karnataka.
The makers are now releasing the movie all over Karnataka and embracing the technology which was not available 20 years ago. The film, complete with Digital intermediate (DI) and DTS sound system will hit more than 100 theatres this week and will be distributed by Kishore films.
Reminiscing the Om days, Shivrajkumar says, “Some things happen rarely and Upendra has managed to create that once-in-a-lifetime magic with Om. His thoughts were so futuristic back in the day that even after two decades, the film still retains its impact.”
According to the actor, even though there are a variety of films releasing in Kannada and other languages, Om still stands out. “I feel that the title has created that power. They say Om is imperishable and that’s the positive vibe we get about the film each time it releases. Secondly, the sequences captured were very natural and they suit today’s style of filmmaking too. It is like the film has naturally passed on from the older generation to the newer audience,” he says.
Shivarajkumar maintains that the freshness of Om lies in its characters. “The natural neutrality of the characters created the magic. Despite being a film on the underworld, it has love and family sentiments which are underlined. Upendra’s sensitive handling of the film lent importance to even a small character,” he says.
The actor states that his father, Dr Rajkumar, who had sung two songs for the film, was quite impressed by the way the film turned out. “My father’s appreciation used to come as small gestures; he would brush his hand through our hair or press our hands. He always spoke to my mother about our films and she used to come and tell us what he thought about our performance,” he recollects.
Though the audience keeps thronging the theatres to watch his film, Shivarajkumar has personally only watched Om in bits.
Shivarajkumar and Uppi, who have been the best of buddies, are planning to come together for another project soon. “I am ready but Upendra has to make up his mind. He feels that the right time should come soon and then we will come out with a good project,” he says.
- The film was shot when the underworld had a strong hold over Bengaluru
- The film’s story was narrated to Uppi by a friend. The actor-director had the story in mind for a long time before bringing it to the screen.
- Initially the film was supposed to be titled Sathya but the title rights were with actor Kumar Govind. In fact, Upendra had planned to direct the film for Kumar Govind with whom he worked in Shhh, but ultimately it landed in Shivarajkumar's lap.
- Shivarajkumar received the Karnataka State Film Award for the best actor for his role. Actress Prema too received a State award for her performance.
- While shooting for the Om song sequence, the team managed to catch a gorgeous sunrise at Nandigrama.
- There was a scene with Prema, where Shivrajkumar had to pull her hair and ask her why she loves him. However, he ended up exerting extra force by mistake and she landed up with a scratch.
- The makers had to blow up a car for a scene and had arranged a body double for the heroine. However, Prema insisted she would take part in the sequence and a natural shot was captured. The fight scene was shot amid 200 people.
This film produced under Poornima Enterprises is one of the favourite films of Puneeth and Raghavendra Rajkumar.