|Viacom 18 Motion Pictures, Grazing Goat Pictures P. Ltd., Playtime Creationn and S. Spice Studios’ Oh My God! is based on the Hindi stage-play, Kishan Vs Kanhaiya, which itself is based on the Hollywood film, The Man Who Sued God.
Kanjibhai (Paresh Rawal) is an atheist, married to Sushila (Lubna Salim) who is a God-fearing lady. Kanjibhai sells idols of Gods and makes a living out of that. One day, his shop is ravaged in an earthquake but when the insurance company refuses to compensate his losses because acts of God are not covered under any insurance policy, Kanjibhai files a case against God! Quite shockingly for the world, the court admits his case and calls the priests and Godmen to defend the case against God, as representatives of God on earth. Even as Kanjibhai’s case is admitted, hundreds of people in similar situations approach Kanjibhai to help them file cases against God. All the cases are likewise admitted in court.
As the case progresses, Kanjibhai is asked by the judge (Yusuf Hussain) to prove that it was God, in fact, who had destroyed his shop. During the course of the hearing, Kanjibhai exposes the games Godmen and priests play to befool the common man in the name of God. In the midst of his court case, Kanjibhai encounters God himself who comes to stay in his house in human form (Akshay Kumar).
What happens thereafter? Does Kanjibhai succeed in proving that the earthquake was an act of God and that his loss was caused by God? Is he able to get compensation and if so, from whom – the insurance company or God? What is the stance of the representatives of God on earth?
Bhavesh Mandalia and Umesh Shukla have adapted the stage-play and penned a screenplay which is comical at times and philosophical at others. While the first few reels are boring, the dramatic portions begin a little before interval and involve the viewers. What the audience like very much are two things – the novelty of the subject and, therefore, its unpredictability, and the exposé on the Godmen and the priests. On the other hand, the way the screenplay has been penned, the drama appears quite far-fetched and unbelievable at places, robbing the film of the plausible element. An A-list actor like Akshay Kumar playing Lord Krishna also adds to the implausible and unbelievable elements of the drama. Although the second half is quite engaging, it is a bit too lengthy and boring in parts. Had the entire film been comical and satirical rather than philosophical in parts, it would have been far more entertaining and universal in appeal. Dialogues (penned by Bhavesh Mandalia and Umesh Shukla) are excellent at many places and even clap-worthy.
Paresh Rawal plays Kanjibhai with complete conviction. He is first-rate in his portrayal of the man who sues God and argues his own case in court. Akshay Kumar is fine as Lord Krishna but his character is not easy to believe because Akshay comes with the baggage of a top star. Mithun Chakraborty is superb as Godman Leeladhar. Govind Namdeo, as Godman Siddheshwar, is also effective. Nikhil Ratnaparkhi is very good as Kanjibhai’s assistant, Mahadev. Murali Sharma performs ably as politician Laxman Mishra. Om Puri, Mahesh Manjrekar, Lubna Salim, Poonam Jhawar (as Gopi Maiyya), Yusuf Hussain and Jaineeraj Rajpurohit (as insurance officer Dinesh Gandhi) lend the desired support. Apoorva Arora (as Jigna), Azaan Rustam Shah (as Chintu), Honey Chhaya (as Jagdishbhai), Nidhi Subbaiah (as Shweta Tiwari), Puja Gupta (as Hanif’s daughter) and the rest do as required. Prabhudheva and Sonakshi Sinha shine in the ‘Govinda’ song with their graceful movements.
Umesh Shukla’s direction is quite nice. The element of comedy is lesser than needed as the drama never becomes a laugh riot. Music should’ve been much better. The ‘Govinda’ song (composed by Himesh Reshammiya) is a fast-paced entertaining number and its picturisation (choreographed by Prabhudheva) is excellent. The other songs (Himesh Reshammiya, Meet Bros.-Anjjan and Sachin-Jigar) are okay. Lyrics (Swanand Kirkire, Sameer, Shabbir Ahmed, Subrat Sinha and Kumaar) are nothing to shout about. Even the picturisations of the other songs (Chinni Prakash-Rekha Chinni Prakash and Ganesh Acharya) are just okay. Amar Mohile’s background music is fair. Varsha Jain’s sets are ordinary. Parvez-Feroz’s stunts during Kanjibhai’s escape on Lord Krishna’s motorcycle are exciting. Sethu Sriram’s camerawork is nice. Editing (Tushar Shivan and Rajesh Panchal) should’ve been sharper. Production and technical values are okay.
On the whole, Oh My God! has novelty value and offers reasonably good entertainment. The producers have made a handsome profit by selling the all-India distribution and satellite rights at very fancy prices. The all-India distributors have paid big prices for the distribution rights, and while some would make profits, others will have to remain content with average business because the start has not been great.
Released on 28-9-’12 at Eros (daily 3 shows), New Excelsior (daily 2 shows) and other cinemas of Bombay by Wave Cinemas thru Raksha Entertainment Pvt. Ltd. Publicity: very good. Opening: fair. …….Also released all over. Opening was ordinary at some places and fair at others.