Rajeev Masand – movies that matter : from bollywood, hollywood and everywhere else

September 28, 2012

God complex

Filed under: Our FIlms — Rajeev @ 10:36 pm

September 28, 2012

Cast: Paresh Rawal, Akshay Kumar, Mahesh Manjrekar, Mithun Chakraborty, Govind Namdeo, Om Puri

Director: Umesh Shukla

Oh My God!, adapted from the popular Gujarati play Kanji Viruddh Kanji (itself evidently inspired by the Australian film, The Man Who Sued God), makes a compelling argument against the commercialization of religion, but the tone of the film is so shrill, the approach so preachy, you feel like you’re being tied down and forced to listen to a sermon for two-and-a-half hours.

Paresh Rawal stars as Kanjibhai Mehta, an antique-store owner in Chor Bazaar, who doesn’t believe in God, but has no qualms exploiting those who do. In an opening scene, he shrewdly manipulates a rich Rajasthani seth into parting with his expensive jewelry in exchange for a religious idol he acquired at a bargain basement price.

When his is the only shop that’s destroyed in an earthquake, Kanjibhai claims insurance for the damage, but is shooed away on the grounds that he isn’t covered against accidents caused by ‘an act of God’. Desperate and bankrupt, Kanjibhai sues both God and the insurance company, insistent that one or the other must compensate him. In court, as he goes about systematically and logically questioning the very existence of God, he’s confronted by an assorted bunch of sadhus, maulvis, priests, and holy men – including an effete swaami played by Mithun Chakraborty – who huff and puff and flare their nostrils each time he refers to them as God’s “salesmen” and to religion as their “dhanda”.

Along the way he finds an unlikely ally in his new houseguest, a perpetually smiling gentleman named Krishna Vasudev Yadav (played by Akshay Kumar), a modern day incarnation of Lord Krishna himself, who arrives from the skies on a swanky motorbike, and proceeds to guide Kanjibhai in this bizarre legal battle.

Despite its unusual, catchy premise, Oh My God!, co-written and directed by Umesh Shukla (who directed the Hindi version of the play that also starred Rawal in the lead), never exploits its full potential. While the film makes a solid case against blind faith, the excesses of religious rituals, and the self-appointed “collection agents” of God, it never sticks its neck out far enough, choosing instead to go with a cop-out ending, as if afraid to be too provocative. What’s more the film can’t shake off its stage-play feel, and suffers from some embarrassingly hammy acting from supporting players like Govind Namdeo, who plays an easily angered godman who’s at the end of his patience.

Still there’s much to enjoy here, including many of the witty dialogues, and particularly Paresh Rawal’s robust performance as the stubborn non-believer on a determined mission. Akshay Kumar, shot mostly in soft focus, a bright glow emanating from his mug, postures and preens throughout, allowing his co-star to do all the heavy lifting here.

In a sea of dumb Bollywood comedies (many starring Akshay Kumar himself), this one at least starts off a debate. For that alone, it’s not entirely a write-off. I’m going with two out of five for Oh My God!. Carry cotton for your ears to drown out all the shouting!

(This review first aired on CNN-IBN)


  1. Pls change your ratings for this one . 🙂

    Comment by Prarthana Bhatkar — October 12, 2012 @ 3:57 pm

  2. OMG is a movie beyond comparison.. The El Classico……… I am goin with 4.5 out of 5. A must watch

    Comment by Chandan Raj — October 13, 2012 @ 11:03 am

  3. Pathetic review ! This movie deserves 3 stars ATLEAST. Dude, U’ve seriously got this 1 wrong. Horribly wrong !!

    Comment by Sunil — October 13, 2012 @ 7:19 pm

  4. what a quote “Movies that matter “……According to he present condition of India or The World this movie “OMG” matters a lot… dont know why u had given 2* …..this movie deserves atleast 3.5 star…

    Comment by Ankit — October 16, 2012 @ 6:32 pm

  5. No way this gets ** stars Rajiv…
    I respect your critiques almost every time however, this time.. you are definitely wrong on this one… This must get three at least if not less!!

    Comment by Madhusudan — October 20, 2012 @ 4:09 pm

  6. I did not want to watch this movie considering you rated this so low.But the comments made me feel otherwise.You have seriously got this wrong big time. It deserves a 4.5 for sure.

    Comment by Alfred — October 20, 2012 @ 7:01 pm

  7. i dont know sir ji wat happen 2 u…omg deserve atleast 3 or 3.5 stars…m a movie freak,trailer dekh kr hi bta deta hu movie kesi hogi..aapne SOTY ko 3 star diye….wo deserve bhi nahi krti itna..

    Comment by vikram — October 21, 2012 @ 9:48 am

  8. do some justice to the movie mate, in present day india it depicts actual commercialization of religion. it deserves at least 4 stars if not 5

    Comment by harpreet singh — October 21, 2012 @ 11:47 pm

  9. This is no fair Rajeev. This film deserves 3.5. Very disappointing review 🙁

    Comment by Ravi — October 26, 2012 @ 6:15 am

  10. Actually not fair. The movie deserves a 3.5 at least, at it earns those effortlessly. Its a new concept movie, its got a story unlike many others releasing these days. I just feel u are not being yourself these days. Nonetheless, i still wait for your reviews every single friday.

    Comment by Nitin — November 2, 2012 @ 1:30 pm

  11. This movie deserved atleast 3.5 but you gave it 2 and i did nt go for it, but today when i saw it on DVD it just blew me away . You took away a chance to watch a good movie in theatre because of your review

    Comment by Ravi — November 3, 2012 @ 12:31 am

  12. The movie is extremely good.. Your 2 stars rating is very disappointing.. It deserves 4 stars. 🙂

    Comment by Rahul J Parekh — November 3, 2012 @ 9:33 am

  13. I think Mr Masand. you have rated this film miserly….I think 3.5 out of 5 would have been optimum…..look forward to some of your good review with realistic ratings and not disappointing like this one…

    Comment by Dr Arijit Bhattacharjee — November 5, 2012 @ 6:46 pm

  14. one of the biggest hit on the year !!!!

    it was really very nice movie, i think you are not agree with the topic of movie that s why you gave only two. but every one except the movie…. its super hit movie its not jock !!!

    Comment by khush — November 6, 2012 @ 1:25 am

  15. ..not a good review ….its far better film than the reviews given

    Comment by yash — November 7, 2012 @ 8:45 pm

  16. Not a good review!! 🙁 It deserves 4 out of 5. Certainly one of the best movie of this year. Its a must watch.

    Comment by Ravi — November 16, 2012 @ 11:50 pm

  17. rating the films is the problem.reviewing is jus enough

    Comment by saikumar — November 17, 2012 @ 8:20 pm

  18. i agree with the all the folks,i have been following your reviews for many years now,this film realy deserve better ratings.

    Comment by retish p — November 19, 2012 @ 11:17 pm

  19. how cud u seriously 2 STARS….even ETT got 2.5…missed the film because of these ratings. 🙁

    Comment by arpit — November 20, 2012 @ 3:54 am

  20. Plzzz change ur review.. it deserves atleast 4 star…

    Comment by mehtas — November 30, 2012 @ 11:37 pm

  21. this movie rating must be 4/5. seriously its superb movie!!!

    i think you are the person who is not going temple on daily basis and not know about the indian mentality because your accent is totally american or british. rajeev bhai. please change this.. its good one entertainment.

    Comment by rohit — December 31, 2012 @ 2:37 pm

  22. This Movie indeed should be rated not less than 3 atleast. This movie illustrates the negative side of therotical devotion and spiritualism. Performances were justified by all the characters in the movie. Most importanttly the negative characters like, Mithun Da etc… Its an eye-opener for the ones who are preaching the wrong side of spiritualism thereby encashing the devotees money indirectly.

    I loved the movie the way it was narrated and the message which should spread in this generation especially.

    Comment by Kishore Ram — December 31, 2012 @ 5:47 pm

  23. Rajeev ji,we look at you as the unbiased, crapless and realistic critique among the lot where many make pampering, ridiculous or star-based reviews. Many a times we decide to watch a movie solely depending upon your review. It shows the level of respect and trust we had on you.

    OMG! should definitely be among the best 10 movies of the year. Especially for the director’s successful attempt in mixing commercialism and content with good narration like how Aamir movies are generally, this movie has to be appreciated.

    Please don’t let us miss the good movies. Even that is what your motive is. To tell us abt d “movies that matter”.

    Comment by hari prasad — January 5, 2013 @ 11:14 am

  24. Hopeless review!!!Deserves at least 4

    Comment by Mohit — January 15, 2013 @ 1:28 am

  25. why do you always criticise Akshay’s films only when Salman Khan’s films are also quite similar to his movies

    Comment by Akshaye — January 17, 2013 @ 10:05 am

  26. This clearly sums up the irony. Even if Akshay Kumar makes a seriously good film you will not give him more than 2 stars. And uou will give same treatment to Special Chabbis

    Comment by Akshaye — January 17, 2013 @ 10:07 am

  27. I totally agree with your review Rajeev. You mentioned all the flaws of the movie very well there. There is a movie called “Yahi hai Zindagi” made in the late 70’s and starring Sanjeev kumar in the lead which treats the subject matter in a better way.

    Comment by Sreejith — May 2, 2013 @ 6:10 pm

  28. This film has raised a very apt issue… It definitely deserve at least 4*s… Rajeev’s rating is OMG – Oh mY GoSh…

    Comment by Viswaprasad — May 7, 2013 @ 1:49 pm

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