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OMG Oh My God  : God, It’s Daring
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Friday, September 28, 2012
Umesh Shukla
Paresh Rawal, Mithun Chakraborty, Akshay Kumar, Govind Namdev, Mahesh Manjrekar, Om Puri
Does God exist? But it’s not really a battle between atheist and believer out here. The ultimate message of OMG is to demolish the need for costly rituals and middle-men who’ve turned God and religion into lucrative commerce.

The plot: It’s an irony. Businessman Kanjibhai (Paresh Rawal) is an atheist but he makes a comfortable income from peddling religion by selling a variety of idols. After he disrupts a ‘Go go Govinda’ celebration in his natural disdain for religious practices, Kanjibhai’s shop is destroyed in an earthquake while everything else is left unharmed in the area. The insurance company refuses to settle his claim as the policy does not cover an act of God. Outraged, Kanjibhai goes to court not just against the insurance company but against God himself.  Kanjibhai’s lines drip with the sarcasm of a non-believer. To whom does he want to send a legal notice? Kanjibhai’s simple answer: “Bhagwan…Bhagwan ke toh kayee naam hote hai, Ram, Krishna, Shiva, aur ladies bhi hai, Durga, Lakshmi, Saraswati…”

A systematic, well-thought-out argument serves as an eye-opener on how, in the name of faith, babas and sadhus have made a business out of people’s fear of God.

The atheist in the audience won’t be entirely pleased because God (Akshay Kumar looking fresh and clean) does exist out here. He even pays Kanjibhai a little visit and holds his hand right through the court proceedings because ultimately He too wants mankind to wake up and see the conning that goes on in His name.

The good: Three winning points. After doing the role 100 times and more on stage, Paresh Rawal is effortlessly Kanjibhai. Not for a moment does he step out of character. The crisp, sardonic writing (Bhavesh Mandalia, Umesh Shukla) provides both food for thought and entertainment. And the concept, a premise that few would dare to tread, is relevant and daringly different. A pat on the back to director Umesh Shukla and to Paresh, Akshay and gang for backing a thought that has the guts to go into sensitive territory. The dialogues are smart – timeless as well as a nod to current affairs. eg. When Kanjibhai is looking for his son during dahi handi, he and his sidekick come across Sonakshi dancing. In a hurry with no time to look at her, he says, “Arre ye Rowdy hai, mera Rathod baju ki gali mein hai.”  There’s also a comment by Akshay Kumar on how the Gods have not uploaded their latest pics on Facebook.

Like Munnabhai did Gandhigiri, Kanjibhai does Bhagwangiri. He preaches and teaches the real meaning of God (he gets a beggar to stop asking for alms in the name of God and to work hard instead).

The entire concept of commercialisation of God has been handled with skill. Even though religion is a sensitive area to step into, the ultimate message that God is all about one’s belief and not about what others ask you to believe, should not raise a protest from any quarter. The preachy premise gets immense relief from the generous humour and the smorgasbord of excellent actors which includes Mithun Chakraborty and Govind Namdev. After his recent run of mindless comedies at the box-office, Akshay Kumar as God is a breath of fresh air.

The bad: The overall music by Himesh Reshammiya, Anjan-Meet Bros, Sachin and Jigar is not remarkable. Sonakshi and Prabhudheva’s ‘Go go Govinda’ is obviously a hit but in the film it looks a tad forced.The length of the movie is a bit of a deterrent. It could’ve been easily shortened by a good 15-20 minutes. The dialogues get a bit repetitive in places.

Also, while OMG goes hammer and tongs at Hindu practices (handling other religions perfunctorily and with kid gloves), was it really necessary to add the sleaze element too with a B-grade Poonam Jhawar as a sanyasin?

Overall: For entertaining while getting the mind to tick with must-ask queries, OMG is worth a visit.

– Priyanka Ketkar

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