Bollywood Masala: Oh My God!
OMG – Oh My God!, a Hindi movie starring world-famous Bollywood actors Paresh Rawal, Akshay Kumar and Mithun Chakraborty stirred the imagination of movie-lovers and emerged as a successful small-budget film.
The movie, an adaptation of a popular Gujarati play Kanji Virrudh Kanji, chronicles the life of a Gujarati businessman Kanjibhai (Paresh Rawal) who sues God after his “antique” shop is destroyed by an earthquake and the insurance company refuses his claim on grounds that the earthquake was “an act of God.”
A Hilarious Plot that Revolves Around God:
Kanji Mehta is an atheist. For him, god and religion are nothing more than a business proposition. He buys idols that look time-worn and sells them as ‘antique’ statues at double, triple or 10 times their original price. The gullible customer truly wants to believe that these are actually old and rare finds. God is the biggest money spinner for him. His wife, on the other hand, is a devout Hindu. In fact, she goes the extra mile to atone for her husband’s sacrilegious babbling. Life has been a smooth sailing for Kanji until one fine day when a slight earthquake shakes the city.
Kanjibhai decides to file a case against God on the premise that if God is responsible for his loss, as has been made amply clear by the Insurance Company, then it is God’s responsibility to compensate him for his losses. So, that’s how God gets sued! Kanji sends legal notices to many high priests and heads of various religious sects.
The news spreads like wild fire that a mad man has made a mockery of religion and law alike.
Just as Kanji begins to lose ground, a man enters – riding majestic on his flaming bike as he swoops Kanji off the road straight onto his bike and speeds off … ensuing a crazy chase. But Kanji and the mysterious man emerge unscathed, much to Kanji’s astonishment!
The man introduces himself as Krishna Vasudev Yadav from Mathura.
Kanji questions, who or what is God? When it finally comes down to the proof, Kanji finds it hard to supply the evidence. After all, how can anyone ever prove that God exists? The proof remains impossible to find as Kanji loses and realization dawns upon him.
Akshay Kumar Plays Lord Krishna
Bollywood superstar Akshay Kumar plays this role of modern-day Krishna. He comes to earth on his smart superbike to rescue Kanjibhai from the murderous intentions of the religious fundamentalists. Unlike the traditional portrayal of Lord Krishna, Kumar in the movie wears nice modern outfits (designed by fashion designer Raghavendra Rathore) and also loves to spend time on his laptop. However, his tryst with the flute and his love for butter – a la Lord Krishna – does keep reminding the audience about his Godliness.
The Business of God
OMG – Oh My God! takes a dig at a lot of current religious practices of the Hindus and raises some pertinent questions around monetization of religions with passing references to some existing ‘God-men’ of the country.
The movie, mostly a courtroom drama, is filled with witty one-liners with Kanjibhai finally winning the case not only for him but also for scores of others who have been refused insurance claims on the grounds of “act of God.”
Interestingly, in South India – Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu – the movie locked horns with the Nagarjuna-starrer Shirdi Sai, a Telugu movie based on the life of Shirdi Sai Baba – who also gets a mention in OMG! in one of the scenes.
All in all, OMG is superbly entertaining mainly due to its simplicity and the lead actor Paresh Rawal, who manages to pull the movie on his shoulders through some of the “preachy” courtroom outpours. I am sure you’ll enjoy this modern ‘divine comedy.’
Cast & Crew of ‘OMG! Oh My God!’
Directed by Umesh Shukla
Produced by Ashvini Yardi, Akshay Kumar, Paresh Rawal
Written by Bhavesh Mandalia & Umesh Shukla
Paresh Rawal: Kanji Lalji Mehta
Akshay Kumar: Lord Krishna
Mithun Chakraborty: Leeladhar
Mahesh Manjrekar: Lawyer
Om Puri: Hanif Qureshi
Tisca Chopra: Anchor
Chetan Mallik is a movie buff and film critic currently based in Hyderabad. A former journalist with Hindustan Times, Times of India, and Deccan Chronicle, Chetan currently works with a leading professional services firm.