As a general rule, I do not write about modern Bollywood movies, mainly because I stopped going to theaters since the turn of the century. Today, at the insistence of some young friends, I dragged myself to the nearest mall to watch Oh My God.
And oh my God, to my considerable surprise, I thoroughly enjoyed the movie. OMG is a well made movie that takes an interesting look into the age-old question – is there a God or not?
Paresh Rawal, one of my favorite actors, plays the protagonist, Kanji Lalji Mehta, an atheist shopkeeper who makes his living selling religious artifacts. After an earthquake destroys his shop in Chor Bazaar, Kanjibhai files a claim with his insurance company, only to be told that the insurance agreement does not cover acts of God. A furious Kanjibhai decides to sue God for damages, and in the process courts a lot of trouble – in a literal sense.
Krishna, in the form of Akshay Kumar, comes to Kanjibhai’s rescue, and helps his atheist opponent fight the case against Himself. As the court drama unfolds, Kanjibhai poses several uncomfortable questions to the self-appointed custodians of religion that stand opposed to him.
Kanjibhai’s pointed observations about the fallacies of our religious practices had most of the audience on their feet, cheering and clapping.
The Go-Govinda item number by Prabhu Deva and Sonakshi Sinha is racy and a treat to watch – although I had to ask the young lady sitting next to me who the girl dancing with Prabhu Deva was. And she told me with a smirk, “That’s Sonakshi, Uncle!”
OMG has fine cameo performances by Om Puri, Govind Namdeo and Mithun Chakraborty as the primary antagonist.
Humor aside, the questions about religion raised by the protagonist are pertinent and hard-hitting. No wonder the movie was not allowed to be screened in some parts of North India, and even in the UAE.
Although OMG is based on two plays on this theme, the movie reminds me of another film from our time that explored the same theme and also had Krishna in a pivotal role. Yehi Hai Zindagi, released in 1977, had Sanjeev Kumar playing the role of an atheist who is helped out by Krishna, played by Vikram Gokhale, and eventually surrenders to Him.
All in all, OMG is a movie worth watching and really enjoyable, whether you are a theist or not (like me).
If Bollywood can make movies like OMG, it still has some hope!
Cheers … Srini.