#65 Omkara: Top 100 Bollywood Albums, Film Companion
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Movie Details of Omkara

Music: Vishal Bhardwaj

Lyrics: Gulzar

Label: Eros Music

Director: Vishal Bhardwaj

The 2006 film was part of director Vishal Bhardwaj’s ambitious three film project adapting Shakespearean classics. I have said this before too on this site, Vishal Bhardwaj has delivered some of his best songs as composer when he was also donning the director and screenwriter hats; and Omkara is a glorious example of this fact. The album saw a splendid fusion of sophisticated arrangements with the raw earthiness that represented the UP hinterlands where the Othello adaptation was set. The beauty of the album derived just as much from Gulzar’s words that saw a similar fusion of sublime poetry and clever innuendos.

On a related note: Nine years before Omkara, Malayalam filmdom saw another award-winning take on Othello, titled Kaliyaattam, once again in a village setting (centered on the traditions of the art form called theyyam). That movie too had a superb folk-based soundtrack, by veteran lyricist-composer Kaithapram Damodaran Namboothiri.

Best Song of Omkara: Apart from Beedi that became the biggest hit from the soundtrack, Bipasha Basu also featured in another folksier (and to me, better) dance song, Namak Ishq Ka, lyrics of which have been subject to much analysis and interpretation over the years. The song (and Laakad) established Rekha Bhardwaj as a go-to singer in the industry for folk-flavoured tracks in the years to come.

The Omkara Playlist:

  1. Omkara (Singer: Sukhwinder Singh)
  2. Beedi (Singers: Sunidhi Chauhan, Sukhwinder Singh, Nachiketa Chakraborty, Clinton Cerejo)
  3. Namak (Singers: Rekha Bhardwaj, Rakesh Pandit)
  4. Naina (Singer: Rahat Fateh Ali Khan)
  5. Jag Ja (Singer: Suresh Wadkar)
  6. O Saathi Re (Singers: Shreya Ghosal, Vishal Bhardwaj)
  7. Laakad (Singer: Rekha Bhardwaj)
  8. The Tragedy of Omkara (Instrumental)
  9. Beedi (Remix) (Singers: Sunidhi Chauhan, Sukhwinder Singh, Nachiketa Chakraborty, Clinton Cerejo)
  10. Omkara (Remix) (Singer: Sukhwinder Singh)

Listen to the entire album of Omkara here:

(With contributions by Praveen VR, co-founder of musicaloud.com)

#66 KAL HO NAA HO: TOP 100 BOLLYWOOD ALBUMS

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