Read the Exclusive OMG! Oh My God! Movie Review
God is a touchy topic. Playing around the theme of flagrant atheism, which in my opinion could be as dangerous as any right-wing extremist group, can potently trigger a violent insurgency. So how does one make a film that entirely discards the concept of God with genuine reasons to back that claim up? By not promoting an ideological agenda but in fact, mocking the commercialization of faith and our unrelenting devotion to a seemingly irrational mechanism.
|Star-Cast: Paresh Rawal, Mithun Chakraborty, Sonakshi Sinha, Akshay Kumar|
|Director: Umesh Shukla|
|Producer: Akshay Kumar|
|Duration: 2 hrs 12 mins|
OMG had scope to be a poignant social satire that could poke its handle on our flawed concept of idol worship and blind faith in Gods and bogus over-dressed cheats posing as God-men, but the film’s over-the-top ambition plays a deterrent making it not only tediously preachy but a poor adaptation of the Gujarati play on which it is based. Paresh Rawal plays Kanji bhai, an atheist who runs a shop that sells miniature figures of Gods and capitalizes on the unshakable faith of gold-flaunting businessmen, by manipulating them into buying rarest-of-rare idols passed by some 120-year old Maharshis. His family is jittery about his attitude, the wife even tries to unsuccessfully instill a sense of devotion until one day earthquake strikes the city and Kanji’s shop is the only one in the flea market to come tumbling down amongst hoards of others. His next logical step is to go to the insurance firm, who deny the claim citing the “Act of God” clause in the T&C. So Kanji does the next logical – sues God. He wants God to pay up because His alleged “Act” cost him his shop.
The premise is robustly interestingly for a hilarious, rollickingly funny satire. But rather than sticking to the crux of the idea – Kanji recovering money from God using all the tricks from His own books, the film steers away in becoming a liberal Astha channel of sorts where messages of Gods being all encompassing and having no form, of them residing in the hearts rather than in an idol made from stone et al, are haphazardly placed and passed. Akshay Kumar plays God, he is a random avatar who has landed to aid Paresh Rawal in his court case. But he doesn’t represent Him in court, rather clergies, pundits’, God-men, pastors’ fight against Kanji’s irreverent case. Mithun Chakrovarty plays a Swamy Nityananda inspired character and his actions are so ridiculously funny, you’d be laughing your guts out. He looks entirely stoned and there are strong hints on his homosexuality. And Mithun da being Mithun da, keeps one of his hands in a shank-like position over his mouth throughout the film. Crazy, this. Poonam Jhawar playing Gopi Maiyya is as absurdly funny as it sounds. But these are instances where the film evokes laughs because it is deliberately tweaked to be so. Throughout its very long running time, you’d be annoyed with the ear-pounding background tone and obnoxiously loud songs that are way too frequent. The theatrical dialogues constantly take away from the cinematic experience making OMG look like an awkward cross between a play and a movie – and the worst part, it is exceptional in neither. Paresh Rawal is at the center of the film the veteran actor is comical and profound, in equal measure. But monotony soon sets in and things like, God wants us to help the poor, just become propaganda to watch, with zero entertainment value. Akshay Kumar is painful in that Godly attire. His dialogues carry no conviction and are so contrived as if he is reading it from a teleprompter.
I’d have happily recommended OMG! had it remained honest to its essential subject. Man sues God and recovers money from manipulative insurance firms. Sadly, the scale of ambition here is so towering, and direction so inept, even God, if there is one, will feel shortchanged.
Verdict: What could have been a great social satire goes off-topic becoming a tediously preachy film.