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Business News/ Money / Personal Finance/  Akshay Kumar’s OMG2 and Rajnikanth’s Jailer: These 2 movies teach us great money lessons

Akshay Kumar’s OMG2 and Rajnikanth’s Jailer: These 2 movies teach us great money lessons

The two movies OMG2 and Jailer teach us about the importance of faith, staying calm, being informed, not poking the bear, listening to advice, and investing wisely.

Akshay Kumar and Pankaj Tripathi starrer OMG2 (
Akshay Kumar and Pankaj Tripathi starrer OMG2 (

Cinegoers are feasting on movies this August, and I am happy to share lessons small and big from these two movies who are ruling the box office right now. Akshay Kumar and Pankaj Tripathi starrer OMG2 and Jailer starring Rajnikanth.

First the stories. Set in Ujjain, the city that draws thousands of pilgrims to the Mahakaleshwar temple, OMG2 is a satire that follows in the footsteps of the super successful OMG (where Akshay Kumar played Krishna who turns a non-believer into a believer). This time, we see Pankaj Tripathi playing Kanti Sharan Mudgal – a devout believer in Shiva and a shopkeeper in the temple premises – shaken out of complacency when his family life is turned upside down by a video. How he fights to reclaim the honour of his son by challenging the school (with lots of divine help) is the story.

In Jailer, we see the original ‘Thalaivar’, super star Rajnikanth play a gentle, even cowardly elderly man, a grandfather, forced to come out of retirement and decimate a gang led by a cruel, unrepentant smuggler of ancient statues from temples across South India. Of course, he has help from baddies he has reformed down the years. How he saves his family from the thugs and killers is the story.

Keep the faith. No matter what

In OMG 2, Kanti Sharan Mudgal’s faith is challenged at every turn when he realises that the public-shaming his family faces, thanks to a viral video of his son ‘doing the unthinkable’ in the school restroom. He decides to do what most of us would, take his family away from the city to his wife’s hometown. Shiva shows up and offers a little advice: If the video is viral on the Internet, why do you think running away is going to solve the problem? Won’t people in the hometown have access to the video as well?

Stunned by the logic, Kanti takes his family back home and decides to face the problem.

We are like Kantibhai in our financial lives, isn’t it? Whenever we are stumped by setbacks in investments, our first instinct is to take our losses and run. It takes courage and self-belief to stand firm. The markets are an erratic beast. If you don’t understand the nature of the beast, you won’t be able to handle the downs. People will advise you to cash in and run. But a smart investor will dig in and take the lows, because the highs are worth the trouble.

ALSO READ: 6 money lessons you can learn from ‘Made In Heaven’ Season 2

There’s power in laying low

In the film Jailer, Rajnikanth is an elderly grandfather Muthu Pandian, who lives a very ordinary life. Getting admonished by his wife for asking for chutney, getting chided by his grandson for not knowing how social media works, and he faces rude behaviour from the neighbourhood taxi driver (funnyman Yogi Babu) who holds a grudge. When the taxi driver asks, ‘You asked me to not park in front of your house, and now you’re scared of getting run over by me! You’re just a cowardly old man!’ Muthu answers, ‘Parking in front of the gate to my family home was wrong, so I spoke up. But these insults from you don’t bother me or make me angry.’

Most people brag about having invested in this or that stock, knowing better than you where to bank, and what financial instruments are the best. You should be like Muthu. Listen to all the bragging, and take quiet notes. Understand what is of value to you and your investments and stay cool.

Information is vital. Asking questions is important

When Kantibhai decides to sue the school for not teaching sex education, and the three other men who have hurt his son by spreading misinformation, everyone discourages him. At first, he even slaps his son, because he too considers his son’s ridiculous attempts at manhood wrong. It’s only when he educates himself is when he realises the truth, had his son been offered the right information, he would not have tried to take refuge in fake medicines, or tried strange methods to prove that he has become a man. Kantibhai realises that ancient texts too had information about puberty and that his son is not morally corrupt. He asks the judge, Why is polite society allowed to judge his son without taking any responsibility for the misinformation that is spread because of their behaviour?

When it comes to investments, aren’t we all responsible to get ourselves educated about say, the mutual funds we invest in, or the banks we put our savings in? Just as banks process your loan application after examining all the documents, shouldn’t we do our due diligence into the builder and the project that offers you a dream home? Being informed is the first step towards becoming a better investor.

Don’t poke the bear. Unless you’re ready for that fight

The minute that Varman the smuggler (played wonderfully by Vinayakan) kills Muthu’s son who’s a cop chasing after all of Varman’s misdeeds. Varman even sends in goons to kill Muthu’s grandson and in a phone call, threatens Muthu’s wife and daughter-in-law as well. Corrupt cops try to cover up the son’s murder as suicide. Inadvertently, Varman as well as the cops have poked the bear. A bear called Jailer.

Varman does not know his opponent at all. Muthu is a retired Jailer of one of the most notorious prisons and has made connections with powerful baddies all over the country. And they will aid Muthu with whatever arsenal they have to offer. And Muthu is more powerful than Varman can ever dream about. Muthu begins to demolish the house of corruption that Varman has built and fans of Super Star Rajni get to see the action that they came to watch!

Muthu’s power comes from having made connections at work that come in handy when he needs them. Varman’s mistakes compound when he does not know how powerful Muthu’s connections make him. As an investor, you ought to make trustworthy connections with financial websites, magazines, newspapers and yes, your planner in order to protect your investments better. You can’t step into investing by being as uninformed as Varman.

Advice is not always direct. Keep your eyes and ears open

Kantibhai takes a liking to the philosopher tramp avatar of Shiva (Akshay Kumar plays Shiva in dreadlocks), and even tells him, ‘I don’t understand half the things you are saying!’ Shiva smiles and responds, ‘I speak the truth, and yes, it is hard to understand. But look at it simply, and you will know where I’m trying to take you.’

In your avatar of an investor, you too have to filter out the truth from all the advice you will get. The truths about stocks can sometimes be obfuscated by the publicity that surrounds them, sometimes players are being paid to push certain stocks. You have to trust your financial advisor, but also read the papers and websites that will offer you advice. And just as Kanti realises the value of the advice he gets from the tramp you too will come to trust people and news sources.

Penny stocks and blue chip stocks

Both OMG2 and Jailer are stories about the system that underestimates the common man. In OMG2, Kantibhai takes on a very successful lawyer who represents the school, the quack sex doctor, the snake oil peddler as well as the chemist who sold a Viagra-like tablet to a child. Kanti finds himself entangled in the legalese and moral arguments the opposition makes, but wins big because people across the country believe his single argument that his son would know right from wrong had he been educated better, and that the school bears responsibility.

Yami Gautam plays Kamna, the lawyer who represents the school and the three other defendants. She underestimates the value of Kantibhai’s arguments at court. Most people underestimate penny stocks as well, not realising that you could make a fortune following just one thing you see in them: growth. Kantibhai’s arguments that are shaky in the beginning gain ground and logic which results in growing support and an eventual win.

Kantibhai wins because he learns to value his son and then fights to set things right for him. In the market, many stocks are valued high, but see no growth (with debts accumulated over time, company specific issues and other internal and external factors). You have to treat any short-term setback as an opportunity and then you succeed.

In Jailer, Muthu fights for the son who he believes to be as righteous as he has been. When the son turns out to be a traitor, Muthu is hurt, asks his son again and again if there was anything he wanted to tell his father. The son, oblivious that his father knows of the betrayal, does not confess. It is a poignant moment in the film where a father has to confront his son who has chosen the wrong path.

Muthu has treated his son like a blue-chip stock. Trusting that investing in his son would reap great dividends. After all, the grandson is a wonderful addition to their happy family. But sometimes, as an investor, you have to choose the ethics of a blue-chip company over any perceived gains. If you invested in a multinational company that made beverages and they were damaging the environment with their practices, you would need to make that very important decision, do you kill that stock just as Muthu kills his traitorous son?

Manisha Lakhe is a poet, film critic, traveller, founder of Caferati — an online writer’s forum, hosts Mumbai’s oldest open mic, and teaches advertising, films and communication. She can be reached on Twitter at @manishalakhe.


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Published: 19 Aug 2023, 02:04 PM IST
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