Oh My God
In The God Delusion, Richard Dawkins says that Darwinian natural selection is a much better explanation for our existence than the idea of a god, which, he argues, is essentially a delusion. He is an evolutionary biologist. In Oh My God, the protagonist, a Gujarati businessman called Kanjilal Mehta, files a case in court for the loss caused to his business by ‘an act of God’. He sues both God and the corporation that insured his shop. As they say in Gujarati, ‘paisa ni baat karo’.
Or as they used to write on the walls of Irani cafes in Mumbai: ‘In God we trust. The rest, strictly cash.’ But Mr Mehta does not trust God either. OMG starts off as a very entertaining concept in a religion- and godman-obsessed country like ours, and since the film’s witnesses for the defence of God are made up of the usual gallery of rogues—the kind of saffron-clad charlatans who keep appearing in the media—it is, at times, a hilarious movie.
Certainly, the first half of the film is a refreshing demolition of God cliches. Mehta’s petition against God and the Holy Insurance Corporation is really very funny. Particularly amusing is the ‘Chief Whip’ of the Godmen (Mithun Charkraborty), who is shown at his ‘Darbar’ mysteriously producing gold watches for his devotees, incontrovertible proof of his hotline to the lord above.
OMG is derived from a Gujarati play and other miscellaneous sources abroad (the ‘foreign hand’ of God) and Paresh Rawal plays Kanjilal very well, but, point made, the movie hammers away at a rusty nail.
Then Akshay Kumar turns up as Lord Krishna. He plays a flute and eats a lot of butter. It would have been nice to see him painted blue as well, but that would be called ‘method acting’, and it won’t do.
OMG is a novelty and worth a watch, but it wears off quickly.