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    27 Burning Questions From An American Who Watched "Om Shanti Om" For The First Time

    Did Om really think his name was the only thing holding him back from becoming famous?

    Hello, everyone! My name is Kayla and this is my friend, Sumedha. While we may live far apart (me in America and her in India) and lead very different lives, there's one thing that bonds us together: our love for movies.


    So, when I told Sumedha that I had never seen a Bollywood movie before, she immediately sought to correct that by making me watch one of her favorites, Om Shanti Om. And y'all, I was so not prepared for the roller coaster ride that was this movie.

    The two stars of "Om Shanti Om" appear on the Netflix homepage for the movie.
    Netflix / Red Chillies Entertainment

    The movie follows Om, an aspiring actor who is tragically murdered in a fire. However, 30 years later, he's reincarnated into the present day. Om then attempts to get revenge on his murderer and find Shanti, the love of his previous life.

    Thankfully, I had Sumedha to answer all of the questions that came up during my viewing! Let's get started!

    Netflix / Red Chillies Entertainment

    1. Do all Bollywood movies start with big musical numbers???

    Om wears a sparkly silver jumpsuit as dancers run behind him.
    Netflix / Red Chillies Entertainment

    Answer: Yes! They actually emulate real life because Indians like to start their mornings with a proper song and dance routine. Here's an example.

    2. Did Om really think his name was the only thing holding him back from becoming famous?

    Om and Pappu sit together at a small cafe table.
    Netflix / Red Chillies Entertainment

    Answer: Since this is Bollywood, if you have a name like Timothée Chalamet, Benedict Cumberbatch, or Omprakash Makhija, your chances of becoming famous are bleak. 

    3. Why was Om so comfortable with professing his love to an actress on a billboard in PUBLIC?!

    Om stares at a giant billboard of the famous actress Shanti.
    Netflix / Red Chillies Entertainment

    Answer: Our man does not shy away from some PDA*

    *As long as the object of his affection is inanimate. 

    4. What was the significance of the string Omi’s mom wrapped around his wrist?

    Om smiles at his mother as she wraps red and green string around his wrists.
    Netflix / Red Chillies Entertainment

    Answer: It's for good luck — like when you want the loose end of your crush's saree to accidentally get caught in this string bracelet of yours, so you finally get to make eye contact with her.

    5. Is this typical Bollywood premiere red carpet fashion?

    A man wears a red peacoat with a blue scarf, a man wears a black shirt under a black leather jacket, and a man wears a red, black, and yellow checkered sports coat.
    Netflix / Red Chillies Entertainment

    Answer: Hell yeah! Sorry, but our fashionable actors could give Björk a run for her money.

    6. Do you really have ceiling fans in your theaters?

    A crowded movie theater.
    Netflix / Red Chillies Entertainment

    Answer: We do! Most of our actors are incredibly hot and sexy, so we need to keep fanning ourselves from time to time. Since hand-held fans are not allowed inside theaters, we have to make do with ceiling fans.

    7. Where can I buy these incredible purple and pink tennis fits?

    Shanti leads a line of women as they wear various shades of purple and pink jumpsuits.
    Netflix / Red Chillies Entertainment

    Answer: This Teletubbies costume is close enough.


    Shanti stands in a field of hay as a fire rages around her.
    Netflix / Red Chillies Entertainment

    Answer: She was probably very ill-behaved and mean IRL.

    9. Did I just get transported into another movie?? WHAT IS HAPPENING HERE?!

    Om wears a red leather cowboy outfit with black tassels.
    Netflix / Red Chillies Entertainment

    Answer: I think this scene was added into the film just so our boy Om could fight a stuffed tiger and call it "Naughty Pussy."

    10. Is pushing your hair back the ultimate Indian fuck boy symbol?

    Om and Pappu use one hand to push their hair back.
    Netflix / Red Chillies Entertainment

    Answer: Yes. This signal was the ultimate chick magnet in the '70s. Like, "Hey! Look at how nicely combed and oiled my hair is. I'm about to destroy your mental health with my perfect hair."

    11. Is there a significance to the snow globe Shanti gives Omi?

    Om gazes into a snow globe which contains a woman and man dancing in the snow.
    Netflix / Red Chillies Entertainment

    Answer: The snow globe actually has nothing to do with snow. It is basically Om promising Shanti that he'll still love her if she gets flaky dandruff.

    12. How did Pappu and Omi set up this elaborate date location with such little time?

    A gazebo stands in front of multiple small round tables against a purple backdrop.
    Netflix / Red Chillies Entertainment

    Answer: Maybe they did event management as a side gig and were *really* good at it? IMO, they should have stuck to this because they were clearly failing at their acting careers.

    13. Did the actors sing their own songs in this movie?

    Shanti sings to Om as they dance against a purple backdrop.
    Netflix / Red Chillies Entertainment

    Answer: If they did, this movie would be banned in 195 countries in the world.

    14. Are bright and colorful costumes considered a Bollywood staple?

    Om, wearing a white shirt and red head scarf, throws colorful dust into the air as women dance behind him.
    Netflix / Red Chillies Entertainment

    Answer: Most of our films are sponsored by paint companies, so this is just a way of showcasing their best-selling colours. 

    15. Why is this the second time Omi is creepily listening to Mukesh and Shanti’s conversation? Doesn’t he have hobbies?

    Om hides in a vent and behind a curtain as he eavesdrops on Shanti's conversation.
    Netflix / Red Chillies Entertainment

    Answer: He does have hobbies — eavesdropping tops the list. 

    If it were up to me, this film would have been called "Om Sneaky Om."


    Mukesh holds a lit lighter as Shanti is the background.
    Netflix / Red Chillies Entertainment

    Answer: I mean, you have to admire the resourcefulness of this guy. He decided to make do with a pocket lighter.

    17. Why does this fire look cartoonishly fake?

    A room is in the midst of a raging fire.
    Netflix / Red Chillies Entertainment

    Answer: Fun fact: This movie was originally supposed to be India's first animated feature, but the editor quit midway due to creative differences. The producers then decided to turn it into a live-action film with Shah Rukh Khan playing the male protagonist instead of merely voicing him. However, some clips from the initial animated version ended up in the actual movie. 

    And my trivia was just as fake as the fire.


    A timestamp shows an hour and forty minutes left of the movie.
    Netflix / Red Chillies Entertainment

    Answer: I'm telling you — if Bollywood movies were made in the UK, they'd each be a TV show with at least three seasons.

    19. So was the teasing in the beginning of the movie foreshadowing, as Rajesh Kapoor did technically become Om’s father?

    A reborn Om stands next to his new father as they wave to a crowd of fans from a balcony.
    Netflix / Red Chillies Entertainment

    Answer: I guess they took the phrase "like father, like son" to a whole other level.

    20. Is it common for the main character of a movie to be referred to as “the hero” in Bollywood?

    Netflix / Red Chillies Entertainment

    Answer: Yes, because all that lots of Bollywood "heroes" do is swoop in, flex their muscles, and help a movie earn billions because of their sheer presence. No acting required :)

    21. Why does the "Distress Disco" song slap so hard?

    Om, shirtless and bathed in golden light, is surrounded by women with afros in cheetah costumes.
    Netflix / Red Chillies Entertainment

    Answer: Because Shah Rukh Khan's abs come absolutely free with it. Also, you had me at "Distress Disco."

    I suppose it's only fair for me to listen to it for the 21,165th time.

    22. Do a lot of Bollywood films focus on the concept of reincarnation?

    A reborn Om is now OK, a famous popstar.
    Netflix / Red Chillies Entertainment

    Answer: They do, simply because adding an additional superstar to the cast can be extremely expensive.

    23. Can you not curse in Bollywood movies? Are you not allowed to in general or is it just a case-by-case basis?

    Om stands in the rain under an umbrella as he says, "What the fish!"
    Netflix / Red Chillies Entertainment

    Answer: We have a Central Board of Film Certification that's a tad bit sensitive about these things and likes awarding "A" Certificates (the Indian equivalent of Rated R) the way Oprah likes giving away cars.

    Also, most of Shah Rukh Khan's movies and dialogues are very popular among kids, so imagine 4-year-old Indian children dropping a "What the fuck?!" at every minor inconvenience.

    24. Did this man just pull a gun out at an awards show?!?!?!

    A chaotic sign of a man pulling a gun on a woman in a crowd of people as those people try to pull him away.
    Netflix / Red Chillies Entertainment

    Answer: Lots of our actors would actually behave like this if they were invited to award ceremonies and received zero trophies. To avoid this situation, these are some real award categories that organisers have come up with: "Nothing To Hide Award," "Honorary Millennial of the Year," and "Beauty Tastemaker Award." Yep.

    25. How did Mukesh not recognize the similarities between the movie scene and the night he MURDERED someone?!

    Mukesh holds Shanti hostage and a fake Mukesh and a fake Shanti  reenact the night Shanti died.
    Netflix / Red Chillies Entertainment

    Answer: Well, let's just say that his memory faded as quickly as the colour of his hair and eyebrows.

    26. Why do all the buildings in this movie catch on fire?? Are they all extremely flammable or something?

    Om walks through a raging fire to save Sandy.
    Netflix / Red Chillies Entertainment

    Answer: I have a very strong feeling that this movie was written by a pyromaniac.

    27. And finally, when can I watch this again?!?!

    The ending title card for "Om Shanti Om" is shown in lights.
    Netflix / Red Chillies Entertainment

    Answer: To that, I'd say, "Picture abhi baaki hai mere dost!" :D