First clearing the air about its inspired status, the team clearly accepts its sources in a detailed caption in the titles, making it all official this time which needs to be appreciated. The caption said that the film is based on a Gujarati play, 'Kanji Virrudh Kanji' or ‘Krishan Vs Kanhaiya’, which was adapted from the original film “The Man Who Sued God” (2001) and then there were two more lines written below it which I couldn’t read as it stayed for only less than 2 seconds on the screen, as if they didn’t want us to read it. So though I wished to know what was written in those next two lines, still it was good to see that the right kind of credits were given to the original creator of the idea as it should be.
Anyway, moving on to the review I would like to describe the film in three different parts as given below.
As an Adaptation of the original film “The Man Who Sued God” (2001)
The film is actually developed from the basic idea introduced in this lesser known Australian venture featuring Billy Connolly in the lead. And if one has seen the same then he is sure going to give a mixed response to OMG as it somehow reduces the impact generated by the original. Reason being, that in the English film the proceedings just keep moving in and out of the court and that’s it. There are no separate tracks of various God-men and there is no Real GOD coming into Billy Connolly’s home to make it filmy.
In the original we only have a case filed by Billy against the God (involving the Church) catching the phrase “Damages caused by the ACTS OF GOD” in the Insurance Company’s papers and then its all about the court and arguments given for or against the claim filed the applicant. In short, the film has everything focused on the logical points brought forward by the lawyers along with a beautiful insertion of “A Sign from the GOD himself” coming into the court-room towards the end, which serves as a pleasant surprise for the viewers.
So where the original keeps stressing on a single point in its script, OMG tries to bring in too many good points to impress the viewers which take the focus away at times which could have been avoided. Plus the original had a brilliant culmination wherein Billy takes his case back, sighting a drastic conclusion for the society whether he wins or loses, which is sadly not there in this Hindi adaptation. Yet OMG scores decently on its own merit with its Indianised version of the concept which remains highly recommended even if you have watched the original flick or play.
As an individual film making a new breakthrough in Hindi Cinema.
Looking upon OMG as an individual film for viewers who haven’t seen the original English film or the Gujarat-Hindi play, it is no doubt an appreciable attempt by the makers giving us something fresh and new which we have been loudly craving for in the last few years. Moreover it can also be called a daring attempt by the team, considering our society’s conservative state of mind which always gets active when it comes to RELIGION. So in that terms the film successfully manages to make us aware of the so called “Religious Markets” strongly functioning around us like big super-malls with different names and titles.
Director Umesh Shukla and his writing team adds many good entertaining punches which are able to make you think and laugh at the same time. Hence as it progresses, the viewer largely feels entertained as well as tickled regarding his individual religious beliefs, which I personally consider nothing short of an achievement by the entire team. But at the same time the film has its flaws too. It takes too much time to come to the point and then tries to add too many elements into the narration which were not required. For instance, its first half is not able to impress until the film comes into the court and reveals its actual interesting plot. To put it straight, where the English film takes only 20 minutes to reach the court, OMG takes almost an hour to get there following our usual film-making norms.
Further, if you think about the concept after it gets over, then its main publicized theme talking about the GOD himself coming on the earth, seems to be of no use in its basic storyline. So it thankfully remains far away from the Sanjeev Kumar classic YEHI HAI ZINDAGI (1977). In other words, Askhay posing as KRISHNA (and that too on a modified bike like BATMAN) does nothing substantial in the film and is just added to give an extra edge to the project commercially. And that’s where I can say that the English film remains more meaningful or beautiful since it makes the presence of GOD felt in the tense court without showing any REAL GOD incarnated on the earth in the human form.
OMG also loses its grip towards the climax with some overstretched references of Paresh reaching the hospital and then THE GOD giving him the healing touch, which in turn seems to be added just to satisfy the religious sentiments of the viewers emotionally. And it surely would have been more impactful with a sharper and enjoyable climax right within the court-room itself. But despite of all these flaws, the film can easily be rated as a feel good project mainly due to the novelty offered by its fresh plot to the viewers who have not heard of its original sources before.
Performance wise OMG is one of those few films which has its script as the biggest performer in its more than 2 hours of duration. However regarding the cast, Paresh Rawal is as always first rate carrying the entire film on his experienced shoulders, well supported by his entire cast namely Om Puri, Mahesh Manjrekar & Govind Namdeo. Akshay Kumar making his entry just before the intermission looks cute but the scene stealer in the second half remains Mithun Chakraborty as a Spiritual Leader (like never seen before). In reality the few Spiritual Icons shown in the film are based on some highly famous Guru’s presently active in the country which you can easily judge without taking any names. Musically OMG doesn’t have much scope but even then the producers have added an item song “Go Govinda Go” to en-cash the festival season featuring Prabhu Deva and Sonakshi Sinha dancing to the beat energetically. Cinematography and Background Score just serve the purpose well making a decent impact along with the minimal special effects used to showcase The GOD.
However rising above all these usual features of a Hindi film, the producers of OMG rightly deserve a special mention here for going ahead with such a risky venture (having some bold dialogues) which could easily hurt the religious sentiments of our sensitive society. The makers have visibly added many safe justifications in the film (like Paresh’s hospitalization in the end) to guard their commercial interests, but still its undoubtedly a courageous decision to make such a delicate project in India taking all the necessary precautions.
The Social Message in OH MY GOD.
If one considers the great importance or relevance of the Social Message in the film targeting the common man, then OMG rises much above the status of a movie alone which needs to be watched both by the believers and non-believers in the concept of GOD. It tells you the naked truth at your face about all those “Religious Shops” operating right in front of your eyes which have been exploiting the common man from ages. But here instead of getting preachy (which also remains one of the avoidable features of OMG), I would like to share a personal real life instance with all friends here which will clearly give you the message I wish to convey in a more thoughtful manner.
Once a foreign delegation came to New Delhi for a seminar and on their humble request they were all taken to a famous Religious place of Delhi related to a specific religion (I would not like to disclose). Now they all liked the spiritual ambience there filled with peace and love but one of them had a question in mind which he asked when they were back in the office and having their lunch. The wise man asked,
“I understand that there was a big Donation Box placed right in front of every single place or door where we were supposed to bow down with respect. I understand that a person is supposed to put in whatever amount of money in it as per his own capability and devotion.
Now till here its all perfectly right for me…..But what I don’t understand is that why all those Donations boxes were having Big LOCKS hanging on them quite shamefully………Are you all thieves who can even steal money from there too?”
Apparently, this honest question of that thoughtful foreign delegate sums up the entire “Religious or Spiritual Mafia” operating in our country and can easily be considered a tight slap on our own faces painted with different religious colours. And the ‘Ultimate Truth’ is that if we simply throw away all those Money Boxes planted in every religious place of the country, then that will clearly show us the ‘Original Colours” of their so called ‘Godly Caretakers’ in the open.
In the last century, New Age Indian Spiritual Masters like J. KRISHNAMURTHY and OSHO kept saying this for many years throughout their life but very few heard them resulting in the present chaos in the country and world over. So here is OH MY GOD giving the same message to the people once again but deep inside I also know that the situation is never going to change for the very reason that,
“We all are taught to be GOD FEARING and not GOD LOVING people by our so called Religious Teachers!”