Tag Archives: National Film Development Corporation

Movie Review: Om Dar-B-Dar (1988)


Tadpole | Cycle | Diamond | Typewriter | Dream | Ajmer

Brain-nailing keywords right? Yes you exactly are reading my new blog categorized as ‘Movie Review’. You are not in a humble mistake or any point at stake, this is how strange tags for a movie wonders you make. Will you allow me to add few more plot keywords? LOL Let me try to open your jaw;

Horoscope, Radio, Caste, Sleeveless Blouse, Nitrogen, Googly, Counterfeited Coins, Tourists, Promise Toothpaste, Yuri Gagarin, Potassium Cyanide and list goes on…

After the plot keywords or tags, what if I tell you that this Hindi-movie ‘Om Dar-B-Dar‘ was produced in 1988 and commercially released in 26 years!!! Yes it is very unknown to the moviegoers because majority of viewers are more familiar with popular cinema as compared to parallel and mainstream cinema.

But the movie has its critical prominence and has gained a ‘CULT’ status on the badge. This movie won ‘Filmfare Critics Award for Best Movie‘ in 1989 and even reached Berlin Film Festival. I heard a lot about it and after watching it, I found it one of the most complicated movie Bollywood has ever produced. 

There are 5 characters existing in Ajmer:

1. Om (Aditya Lakhia) is a carefree kid, a daydreamer. He loves tadpoles and has ability to hold his breath for a long. He is slipped from the edge of bitterness and is mentally a normal person who do not want to accept normality.

2. Om’s father (Lakhsminarayan Shahstri) was a government servant. Now he is an astrologer.

3. Gayatri (Gopi Desai) is Om’s sister bound within her limits. She is liberal by nature who wants to ride a cycle and climb Mount Everest.

4. Jagadish (Lalit Tiwari) is from Jhumri Telaiya. Fell in love with Gayatri and teaches her and her father cycling.

5. Phoolkumari (Anita Kanwar) is dark and mitty character who joins Om’s family. She write sex stories and has no money. Looking for work, she type letters for Om’s father.


ODBD is an experimental movie where 5 characters are connected but prostrate towards the fantasies of life. The sketch-frame is so complex that you will not accept the happenings at once but will flow on you. It is rebellious towards the nature, an absolute outcry.

ODBD is a directional masterclass where the movie-making is very advance from its time, you may call it a post-modern movie. Although the background score is pretty intrusive but the usage of camera technique is remarkable. It is a unique presentation of the world where a hatchling runs over the class attendance sheet and tadpoles become terrorists. 

Another impressive aspect of the movie is very powerful and thought provoking dialogues. With all the silence speaking out loud, the scenes are well translated by the dialogues where the director opens his heart and speaks very deep emotions and illusions.

Two of the dialogues which hit hard on brain is when Om speaks his heart out “Mere pass hone ke liye zaruri hai ki mera sapna fail ho jaye” trans. “It is important to fail my dream in order to succeed”. I have to repeat the scene to understand Om’s character which defines a lot.

The other dialogue is where Om’s father is annoyed of the term ‘googly’ and tells Phoolkumari to type a letter to prime minister “please ban googly in cricket and life in general”!!!! Just vow!! Googly and life has a very deep relation if you calculate the nature of both the terms philosophically. Literally it is just a dialogue but practically, it hits very hard.


Songs are way absurd but two of the tracks are of cult nature. ‘Babloo Babylon Se’ and ‘Meri Jaan’ are isolated songs with a natural caricature. By cast, all actors have done above average job but Aditya Lakhiya as ‘Om’ is the winner.

ODBD is a nonlinear-narrative and extraordinary movie produced by National Film Development Corporation on a budget of RS. 10 lakh and directed by National-award winner Kamal Swaroop. His CV includes writing dialogues for Mira Nair’s ‘Salaam Bombay’ and assisting Richard Attenborough in ‘Gandhi’. While watching, his direction will remind you works by Satyajit Ray and Stanley Kubrick. 

This movie is recommended only to whose who are more interested in watching parallel or mainstream movies, well actually ODBD is way passive from that cinema too. Even it is hard for me to come with a better review of ODBD due to the weight of absurdity, confusion and utopian creativity. But one thing is for sure that unarguably it is Indian cinema’s one of the greatest Cult Classic ever made.

Ratings: 8.9/10

Follow me on TWITTER @saminaik_asn