Navigation | What does Om Shanti Om say about Religion? — Rebecca Montana

What does Om Shanti Om say about Religion? — Rebecca Montana

There are many religious symbols and images used in Om Shanti Om.  For example, we are purposefully  introduced to Om’s tattoo on his wrist which represents the religious syllable that is his name.  His wrist is at the center of the shot at one point in the 1970’s song sequence.  When Om is reincarnated, we see a scar in place of a tattoo on his wrist.  ‘Om’ is placed at the beginning and end of many Hindu prayers and often symbolizes a sacrifice to a god.  This gives a context for the film title, Om Shanti Om, as the syllable ‘Om’ is placed before and after the word ‘Shanti’ which typically means ‘peace.’  Perhaps the idea of sacrifice is manifested in Om’s sacrifice of his life for his attempts to rescue Shanti from the fire.  Also, it could be that the idea of peace and karma is represented by Mukesh having to pay for his sins.

Reincarnation is also a religious idea present in the film.  Spiritual happenings such as hearing voices and seeing images from a past life are present as well.  Reincarnation is associated with many religions, but seems to be most often connected to Hinduism and other Indian religions such as Buddhism and Sikhism.  The fact that Om was the subject of reincarnation was interesting, because he did not seem to be a spiritual or religious man.  Perhaps the message of this is that religion, spirit, and the cosmic force bind all people despite whether or not everybody practices religion.  This is a particularly important idea in India, because it is believed that all religions have importance and merit.  In Amar, Akbar, Anthony the lost and found plot of the three brothers with three different religions (Hinduism, Islam, Christianity) also represents the idea that it is not what sect or type of religion that is significant, but rather the presence of religion that is important.

I wonder if there was critical reception to the religious imagery used in this movie.  I imagine that some people thought the religious symbolism was quite interesting and meaningful to the plot, but I can see others interpreting some of the symbols as somewhat offensive in a commercial context.  I am not sure that everybody would accept the combination of religion and cinephilia in one movie.

Filed by rmontana at April 21st, 2013 under Uncategorized

I really like your post! I like how you looked at the religious imagery in the movie and you have definitely increased my knowledge. I never made the religious connection probably because I didn’t know much about it and also like you said Om did not seem to be a spiritual man. Great post. – Jessica Dennis

Comment by jdenn918 — April 22, 2013 @ 9:40 pm

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