Oh My God–Film Review

Oh My God (OMG)  is an interesting and thought-provoking film that raises an accusing finger at god-men, stuff rituals and other religious paraphernalia. Shun them, read more not God, is what the film says. Don’t allow the ‘business of God’ to flourish: why waste milk over stone idols when it can be used to feed the hungry? Be God-loving, not God-fearing.

The film is *not* against God, but against the impenetrable boundaries that religion builds around Him. The film takes on all 3 major religions – Hinduism, Islam & Christianity – and is, in that sense, quite inclusive.

Kanjilal (Paresh Rawal) is an atheist who takes God to court when his shop is devastated by an earthquake,  because the insurance company refuses to pay compensation citing that ‘act of God’ is not covered in its myriad fine-print clauses. Since God cannot be called to court, he chooses to deliver summons to the god-men ( an absolutely whacky analogy given in the film: you won’t call Anil Ambani if Reliance Energy cuts your power, you will go to their offices, similarly why call God, when His ‘offices’ are run by these so-called godly figures! Superb!)

Even though at times it looks a bit simplistic and fantastical and uses some creative liberty (which Indian court case moves at this speed?), the film eventually delivers what it sets out to – an appeal to believe in God as a friend not some threatening entity. That God is portrayed by Akshay Kumar, looking absolutely dapper & smashing, helps the visual cause.

The film relies on two important pillars – a strong content and striking performances.

Paresh Rawal’s Kanji is absolutely right on mark – indignant, irreverent and instigating. But it’s Mithun Chakravorty who simply snatches the acting trophy as the religious head – the sway, the lissom but subtle hand movements, the half-eye look: just too good! Poonam Jhawar doesn’t have too many dialogues, but she does look suspiciously too close to a figure called Radhe Maa, who keeps popping up now and then on all Mumbai hoardings. Om Puri in a brief role is quite wasted. Other supporting cast are adequate, barring Govind Namdeo who hams his way through.

The script is fairly taut, peppered with interesting anecdotes, and is supported by some spicy tongue-in-cheek dialogues. In fact, the dialogues elevate the script  several notches upwards. The script sticks to its purpose (and deliberately leaves out some other prickly questions aside).

The only place I felt the script lets down is that in the end it takes a catastrophe for Kanji to believe in God – hmmm, doesn’t somewhat gel with the overall message, but then that part was required to take the film to its logical denouement.

The direction is adept & assured.

On the flip side, the film has a ‘theatrical’ feel (probably because it *is* based on a play) and there is only so much one can go on the production values. The makers try to infuse some *conventional glamor* with Sonakshi Sinha and Prabhu Deva’s Go Govinda song.

The music is average – and the only song that really holds on is Go Govinda, which in any case has it’s main riff borrowed from Kalyanji-Anandji’s iconic Govinda Aala Re song from the yesteryear Shammi Kapoor starrer Bluffmaster.

The background score, on the other hand, is quite uplifting & interesting.

Overall – it’s an interesting watch and does tickle not only your funny bone but your thoughts. You may or may not agree with it, but it will definitely make you question a few beliefs. My recommendation – go for it!

Tags: , , , ,