Faith and religion are often subjects of countless discussions and celebrations in India. With close to 330 million Gods and close 1.5 Billion in population there’s at least 50 % chance of people discussing these subjects at any given time. But more often than not, these discussions are often underlined with a sense of blind faith and religious tensions amongst communities.
Few weeks back I saw a delightful play called Krishna Vs Kanahiya starring Paresh Rawal. The story was simple, the production quality average, but its prime assets were the lead actor and the brilliantly scripted dialogues. The idea and the prose garnered applause from the audience every 5 minutes and a standing ovation at the end. The play takes a satirical view on the above mentioned topics. It manages to tread a fine line between being too preachy and being practical. And for most part it does manage to be practical.
The best part about the play is that the situations and events it portrays are all what we know of, nothing new or surprising. But we still tend to disbelieve or turn a blind eye towards them. It tends to be an eye opener about some of the many things we let go of ever so often.
Now you must be wondering why am talking about the play, when the title suggests that it’s about a movie called “Oh My God“. Well the fact is that, the movie is exactly similar to the play. Although it does have a few tweaks here and there. Especially at the end, but the basic premise and the punch lines are all same.
The story is loosely based on 2001’s Australian movie called “The Man who Sued God“. It’s about an atheist Kanji Bhai. He owns an antique shop in Chor Bazaar Mumbai, where he buys old statues of God and sells them to people at a higher price calling them antique and holy. He has no regret whatsoever, much to the disregard of his wife who is a staunch follower of religion. Everything is fine until, an earthquake destroys only Kanji Bhai’s shop. He has insured the shop but the insurance company rejects his claim on the pretext that the shop was destroyed by an Act of God and that legally it is not liable to pay for the damages.
He finds himself helpless, and decides to sue God. He sends legal notices to various high priests and heads of religious sects. The court hearings and how Kanji bhai manages to prove his point and find justice forms the crux of the movie.
The thought of suing God is preposterous to say the least! But Paresh Rawal and the director Umesh Shukla make it look not only believable but inspiring.
On the technical front, the movie is largely childish! The cinematography, art design, music and editing are plain methodical and elementary. There’s not an ounce of effort shown by the team.
Apart from Paresh Rawal and Akshay Kumar, the rest of the cast is over the top and not a single character stands out. Mahesh Manjrekars character from the play was much more hilarious than in the movie. Don’t know why they cut that down to size.
The whole movie basically stands tall on only two aspects. Firstly the Dialogues. They are apt, witty, drive home the point and as mentioned above, not preachy.
The second being Paresh Rawal. He shines in the role of Kaanji Bhai. Much like in the play. You can’t imagine anybody else reprising that role. His comic timing immaculate. He breathes life into the character and makes it look so easy. Clearly one of the very best in the industry.
It’s surprising though how the director missed out on an opportunity to widen the scope of his idea. In a play, one has to work with the stage and get the best out of the closed environment. But in a movie, your imagination is free to conjure any thought and ideas! But somehow the director just botches it up! There’s no thought being put out into making the movie a more slicker or a smarter package. It’s like being overly confident of the fact that adding Akshay Kumar to play an extended cameo and having Paresh Rawal in the lead would get the cash registers ringing! Not saying it didn’t work, but i hate the attitude.
All in all a fun yet hard hitting movie about a very sensitive topic. If you haven’t seen the play yet, you better watch it soon. As for the movie, if you aren’t much of a play person, then do watch this movie.
Acting : 4
Direction : 2.5
Story : 4
Dialogues : 5
CGI : 2
Music : 1
Total : 3
IMDB Link : http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2283748/
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