Wednesday, October 3, 2012

When God is taken to Court: A review of OMG!

Just came back after watching the movie Oh My God! and it is after a really long time(seems like eternity) that I am getting down to writing about a movie.
Well, I went to watch OMG expecting it to be a laugh riot, for a movie with Paresh Rawal will never disappoint you on that front. And OMG! did not disappoint me either. May be not something that I will term a laugh riot like Hera Pheri (Paresh and Akshay combo) but a movie that has definitely left me smiling long after I left the hall and even when I laughed, there was a message within. Of course, it is based on a play and so all credit must go to the original writer, but then, no one can take back the credit from Paresh Rawal, who has carried it on his own shoulders and delivered another good performance.

I was disappointed with the first half of the movie, which I won't call as slow, but wasn't exactly what I was expecting it to be- it was neither a laugh riot, nor had any punch apart from a few lines that made you laugh (at times forcefully, because I had paid the money and I wanted to get the satisfaction of having laughed..LOL). The first half was basically what can be described as the story of a man who doesn't believe in God (but makes excellent profits selling idols of God) but has *only* his shop destroyed in a mild earthquake after he mocks a Godman; and doesn't get his insurance because the earthquake gets classified under "Acts of God" clause of the policy.

It is the second half where the movie picks up once he decides to file a case in court and makes all the GodMen a party to it and his case is accepted. From there, the movie is a reflection of today's society, on how the nexus between politicians and such Godmen runs, how, people are targeted because someone finds the act of questioning God (or rather his Godmen) as blasphemous. People of all religion who had their insurance claim rejected citing this "Act of God" clause throng to him, many of them afraid that members of their own "religious community" will turn against them if they do it themselves. The movie also depicts the role of media and the sensitization it can lead to in a small way, and how it can change public opinions. In one such TV interview, Paresh Rawal is asked, "What does he think religion makes of people?" After some thought, he replies,
 "Religion either makes you helpless or a terrorist. (Dharam insaan ko ya toh bebas banata hai, ya terrorist)"

The court proceedings are a treat to watch, where the deft Paresh puts forth his arguments, questions the various illogical practices going on in the name of God, whether it is the shaving of your head at Tirupati or pouring of milk on a Shiva Linga or lighting of candles in a Church or "chadar chadayi" in a daragah; nothing escapes his scrutiny. Then again he uses the same Holy Books that his opponents were citing to shut them up, signifying how Holy Books are mostly twisted by people with their own agenda to mislead people.

But the movie doesn't stop at this, it further goes on to show how the whole business of religion and religious people thrives on apotheosis. As Akshay Kumar(playing God in the movie) says, "Logon se inka Dharam mat cheeno, nahi to yeh tumhe apna dharam bana denge" (Don't snatch religion from these people, else they will make you as their religion).

The movie has some excellent dialogues like "Mazhaam insaan ke liye bante hai, insaan mazhaab ke liye nahi" and "These (religious) people are God-fearing people, not God loving people, today or tomorrow they will get back to these (illogical) practices". The movie releases at a time when every second day the world is reeling under protests and riots over religious issues, where these so called GodMen/Religious leaders feed on this fear of people and make this world an uninhabitable world of intolerant people. Whether you are an atheist, or a god loving or god fearing person, a religious bigot or a liberal man, this movie will surely lead you to think that if God really exists, will such a mad rush and mindless rituals please Him?

As for the acting and all, Paresh Rawal carries it all on his shoulders, and no where do you feel the need of any other actor. Akshay may have been roped in for the "star" factor but his role is minimal and anyone could have played it. Keeping with the bollywood formula, there was on Govinda song with PrabhuDeva dancing in it, which could have been easily done away with. Also, another piece of advice for Bollywood would be not to attempt to reproduce Hollywood stunts. The entry of Akshay Kumar is a direct rip off from Dark Knight movie and those "stunt" scenes look like a scene from some video game (yes, it is that bad). His bike is styled on Batman's bike and these are the only sore things in the movie which happen in the first half. The second half thankfully remains away from these bollywood formulas and thus sails through.

The best part though happened after the movie finished and I came out of the hall. A group of young (and hot) men could be heard talking and wondering why do they actually shave off their head once in a year and is it of any good. May be they will go back to the old ritual of mundan, but it atleast got them thinking.

P.S. - In my college, there was a case going on in the court between the administration and local people over land, and God (Lord Rama) was actually made a party to it, so such a thing has happened in reality already!


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