Sunday, 27 January 2013

Oh My God!

Oh My God! (a.k.a. OMG) was a movie released in 2012. The plot revolves around a divine satire and is directed by Umesh Shukla. Paresh Rawal (as Kanji Lalji Mehta) plays the lead role in the movie, initially as an atheist and by the end of the movie he too starts believing in 'GOD'. As per the google information, the story line of OMG is based on a Gujarati stage-play entitled Kanji Virudh Kanji. Also the script of this movie is said to be similar to that of an Australian film, The Man Who Sued God. OMG managed to do well at the box office, and was declared a super hit grosser.

The storyline is simple yet unique. Kanjiwala (as called in the film) is an atheist and also is a vendor of Gods' idols. The character never mocks at anybody's faith in the God but satirically comments on ways of practice that is ought to be assumed as the different ways of pleasing God. Kanjiwala's business comes to an end when his shop is destroyed due to an earthquake. He claims for the insurance money but is denied because the policy only covers any mishaps that is caused by man and not by God - (satirically stated in the movie as) "Act of God". The hero of the story now charges a case against God and therefore against their followers and this he does with the help of a lawyer, Advocate Haneef Qureshi (role played by Om Puri). The arguments in the court session is well articulated and it is indeed my favourite part of the movie. Again during the court sessions, Kanjiwala very intelligently argues about the ways of practice people follow to obtain the blessings of the divine, as a sensible atheist he also gives solutions as to do the good and to feel the presence of the God from heart than to go searching for him in the temples, mosques or churches.

The climax of the story is more of a twist in the story than expected; Kanjiwala experiences a severe paralysis attack and Akshay Kumar as Krishna Vasudev Yadav from Gokul cures him and this is the point where Kanjiwala realizes that there is God. Meantime when Kanjiwala is hospitalized, he has been made the center-head of the estimated business turnover for the year. This is indeed a harsh mockery of the mentality of the people. At the end, Mithun Chakraborty as Leeladhar Swamy (playing the negative role) comments on Kanjiwala's efforts by saying, ".... they are not called loving people, they are God-fearing people..." - this is certainly the reality, where we forget to do the good and simply follow the masses. Also, there are two more statements made in the movie that caught my complete attention, one by Kanjiwala where he says, "Jaha dharam hai, waha satya ke liye jagah nahi aur jaha satya hai waha dharam ki zaroorat hee nahi." and another by Lord Krishna, "...logon se unki dharam math cheen na varna woh tumhe hee apna dharam bana denge...".

Overall, I liked the movie and would give it a rating of 4.15 on a scale of 5.0 and I would suggest you to watch the movie at least once for it has good substance in it. I as an atheist is not making an attempt to change your concept of God but simply sharing my thoughts on erasing the false beliefs and practices which still prevails in our country.


Vivek M.V said...

Dear Suhasini,

I watched this film and felt good about it. Firstly, the veteran actors Paresh Rawal and Akshay Kumar are put to good use with worthy roles which extracted wonderful performances from them. Also, its a good example to show how mythology as a concept has never gone out of fashion in Indian cinema, as it get re-invented in different forms. I agree with your point that its not about influencing the concept of God, it is about living with better thoughts and setting good examples, thereby making the world a much happier place to live in (especially in a country where religion fuels intolerable reactions). Again on the acting side, Mithun and Om puri are at their best. Finally, as a film buff, waiting to watch VISHWAROOPAM!!

Suhasini Srihari said...

Thank you Vivek!
I agree with your note that mythology never escapes even in the modern times; but the re-invention or rather the re-creation of movies based on the myths, faith and religion has indeed found several ways to attract the mass. OMG is one such effort where in it is the thematic issues of belief in god, in the different ways of practice, etc. And w.r.t. the actors, I liked everyone's acting but I am afraid I have to contradict you on your take on Akshay Kumar's acting. I do not know if it is him or the role given to him, either of the two, that did not actually entertain me as a viewer. Also, I too am waiting to watch 'Vishwaroopam' which in recent days is discussed as a controversial movie. Hope the movie kindles my thoughts, so that I can come up with a detailed review!

Arun said...

I tried to send my comments after reading your review but somehow it didn't save so I started writing one more time. Good to see a nice review on OMG.... I should say now really OMG your review is really interesting. I was just wondering when I was watching the movie, though I am a movie buff I generally watch movies and analyze the same. When I was watching the movie I didn't read any review earlier, so I was wondering how come there are no objections to the movie as to me its a really a different movie, these types of movies normally get objections. Any way I really enjoyed the movie, in the end as I expected even Kanji is turned into avatar, which is the normal phenomenon. Even today I feel that why we always worry about the movies or books, they are expressions of author, director, if we don't like their works either we shouldn't read or ignore them or analyze why we don't like that. Any way your review aptly views the movie.

Suhasini Srihari said...

First of all, I apologize for the inconvenience caused to you Sir and thank you for writing in your comment all over again. And I agree with your point where you say one mustn't feel objected or offended by movies or books or any other things as far as one has his/her own reasons to substantiate his/her own decisions and statements. I enjoyed the movie as well though I watched it way too late after it was released! :)

Arun said...

I did watch Viswaroopam, but I am still not sure why star of Kamal stature spend so much on the movie of this sort already available. Though movie most of the time serious to watch with certain scenes as the beginning of the movie claims are bit uneasy to watch with lots of violence. I am looking forward for your review on this as well.

Suhasini Srihari said...

Thank you for writing in your opinion Sir. I still haven't watched the new movie yet. Hope to watch it soon and I hope I might come up with a short review at least if not in the elaborated manner. :)

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