Holy mess

Paresh Rawal’s Gujarati play Kanji Virrudh Kanji has had a successful run for many years. OMG Oh My God!, the film adapted from the play, is, however, completely lost in translation. There is nothing cinematic in this comedy about an Everyman who sues God because he loses all his life’s savings to an earthquake and his insurance company refuses to pay because it does not account for “an act of God" (which they consider the earthquake to be) in its contract.

The premise has enough for an irreverent comedy. But the script is a wishy-washy meditation on the hypocrisy of institutionalized religion. It is a loud, unequivocal exposé of godmen and temples, but while being so, it is not cinematic. The most crucial points in the story take place in a courtroom. Long-winding arguments, made with chest-thumping fervour, don’t have much wit to sustain them. Umesh Shukla, who has co-written and directed the film, does an almost literal adaptation from the original, because the film feels like a play throughout. Even the argument that religion in most forms is divisive and driven by greed, falls flat because, ultimately, the film champions the believer.

Lacking wit:The second half of the film drags to a shoddy climax.

The second half drags to a shoddy climax facilitated by the benign Krishna, who tells Kanjibhai that he indeed hates money and organized worship.

OMG Oh My God! could have been a taut, edgy take on organized religion. But it stops short, almost scared to really question religion, and turns into a verbose and silly film.

OMG Oh My God! released in theatres on Friday.

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