Friday 28 September 2012

Novel concept

Film: OMG Oh My God!
Producer: Akshay Kumar, Ashvini Yardi, Paresh Rawal
Director: Umesh Shukla
Cast: Paresh Rawal, Akshay Kumar, Mithun Chakraborty, Mahesh Manjrekar
Genre: Comedy
Rating: Good
Novel concept
by Bhawana Somaaya
Inspired from a popular Gujarati play Kanji Virudh Kanji enacted as Kishen v/s Kanhaiya in Hindi, the film tells the plight of Kanji bhai (Paresh Rawal), a shopkeeper. When a tornado destroys his store and the life insurance company refuses to compensate his damages, Kanji turns rebellious and takes on God and all the Godmen. Kanji is an angry atheist determined to fight the world alone until a miracle happens. Lord Krishna (Akshay Kumar) visits Kanji and thus begins a conversation between man and the supreme.
What works about the film?
Is that the idea is original and the writing refreshing. The film raises a debate on the existence of God.  The narrative is linear and has two protagonists - the harassed human Kanji bhai and the Almighty portrayed as a contemporary Krishna in designer suits and goggles doing stunts on his motor bike.
Mithun Chakraborty as the Godman, who sing-songs his lines, is a caricature and least appealing. Paresh Rawal as the angry, exasperated and amusing Kanji bhai is convincing and speaks his lines with a facility that comes out of internalizing the character. Akshay Kumar as Krishna Vasudev Yadav from Gokul has a difficult part of balancing the believable with the surreal. Akshay plays Krishna with restrain and mischief. He polishes off all the butter from the refrigerator, wakes up playing  the flute, adorns a peacock feather and works miracles at his will.
What does not work?
Is that it is too verbose which usually happens when films are adapted from plays. For those accustomed to a diet of song and dance there is just one Sonakshi Sinha’s item number. The production values are below average and most important, Kanji’s conversations with God even though laced with great humour and drama, after a point become rhetoric.
Umesh Shukla tries to earnestly do something different and to an extent succeeds. His desire to initiate a dialogue between the atheist and the believer is intriguing.
   Some montages in the film stay with you, for instance when Akshay steps on the streets and watches his many idols on sale. There is just one scene presenting him in the Vishnu avataar and it is effective.
The film reminds you of Nagi Reddy’s Yehi Hai Zindagi where Vikram Gokhale played God and Sanjeev Kumar the common harassed man. In Yehi Hai Zindagi, Lord Krishna in his original avataar visits Sanjeev Kumar from time to time until Sanjeev, an atheist transforms into a believer.
It is brave of Akshay Kumar to play a part which is in complete contrast to his image. It would be interesting to watch how his fans accept him in this new avtaar. 

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1 comment:

  1. I think such films are better off when they are confined to theatre. They get too preachy and verbose when adapted for films. Dialogues and performances work better on stage not on film, sadly. I could barely survive by the end of this film.