And this is exactly why OMG Oh My God! starring Akshay Kumar and Paresh Rawal, is my film of the year. We’re introduced to the atheist Kanji bhai (Paresh Rawal) who ironically sells Hindu God idols for a living. His entire living is based on falsely cooking up stories to sell his goods. One day, after he is cursed by a local priest after which his store, the only one that too, is destroyed by an earthquake. When his insurance claims they cannot cover any damages as his policy doesn’t cover “acts of God”, Kanji bhai decides he needs to sue God. Naturally, he is faced by extreme opposition until he finds a friend in one Krishna Vasudev Yadav (Akshay Kumar) who is actually Lord Krishna in human form. It is through Krishna, that he finds the solution to his problem and eventually wins his case.
I’m not going to get into the performances because Paresh Rawal is incredible as the overly atheistic Kanji bhai. He gets it spot on without being over the top or overacting too. Akshay Kumar only appears midway but never has Lord Krishna been so damn cool. But it’s the message that the film gives that makes you want to applaud the writer and director, Umesh Shukla. The film isn’t anti Hinduism nor is it asking you to turn around and become a devout Hindu too. Not at all. The film is actually asking you to question blind traditions that we often deem as ‘must do rituals’. Milk over a Shivling or milk to a poor child? Additionally, we’re reminded by Lord Krishna that a) the almighty loves devotion to him, not material goods, and b) that we’ve become far too God Fearing while we should be God Loving. And for a minute if you believe that God doesn’t love his unbelievers, you couldn’t be any more wrong.
It’s rather rare for cine-goers to find a film that not only entertains, manages to fit into the comedy mold and yet holds a sound message. At many points during the film, you find yourself questioning your own beliefs. I’m a Shiv bhakt so my Monday mornings includes worshiping my Shivling. I questioned how much milk all over the world was being poured over Shivlings every Monday. I use an entire quart. There are millions of Shiv followers around the world. Can you just imagine how much milk is being ‘wasted’? Perhaps we’d be more blessed if we donated that milk to hungry children instead.
But my favorite scene has to be the climax. Krishna, who has revealed himself to Kanji as the almighty, leaving behind his peacock key chain which Kanji picks up and naturally, decides to keep just as any of us would. It is then that the Lord speaks and tells him not to stop being an atheist and to get rid of the memento which he knows Kanji would make into a taveez and wear around his neck. Everything I ever believed in stood still right there. Here I am wearing black threads for protection from a special Hanuman temple in Mumbai which happens to hold a gold Om from my Mother, thinking this is how I’ll stay close to God when in actuality, God is with me irrespective. It doesn't mean I ripped off my black thread from my neck and threw it to the ground. No. As filmy as I am, that definitely did not happen. It was with love and faith that my parents made me wear my Om and black thread. That sentiment is too strong to disrespect.
No, it’s not that I’m an atheist now. Not at all. I still have full faith in the almighty. But I definitely think I am a lot more sensible in practicing religion now. I don’t think Lord Shiva will mind too much if I donate the milk and use water on Mondays.
Any film which causes you to think while it entertains has to be a winner. OMG Oh My God! shakes you and wakes you! A complete winner and my pick for 2012.