Oh My God (OMG) – Bollywood makes yet another sensible flick

I have been hearing about OMG flick for last 10 days both on & off FB and this one also made it to list of movies that I track and intended to watch.  One of my many fantasies (which I can actually afford) is to watch sensible yet entertaining movies both at home & multiplex several days in a week, with family and/or friends. But such a small fantasy is also hard to accomplish, given the race (which has a moving target) we are in, both knowingly and inadvertently and constrained by so many obligations, so many of them are so trivial, but often glorified.

I miss so many movies because it is becoming increasingly difficult to align the calendar (and interests) of my wife, growing kids, and other folks that I want to go movie along with.  Unlike in US, “just in time” planning for movie at a multiplex in Hyderabad is not really possible.  Though ticket prices skyrocketed from Rs.50 to Rs.150, all new movies and the good flicks that we would want to watch in multiplex are sold out for entire weekend (specially prime time slots), because of increased affordability and need for “going out for a movie” by gazillion folks like me in Hyderabad.

Hollywood movies do not last more than 2 weeks (except super hero movies). Small budget movies would only get a screen or two.  Mega hero movies (irrespective of popularity) take up most of the screens available, thanks to the few producers now known to own rights for 90% of the screens in AP (now called as a type of theatre mafia). All of this and limited high quality places to watch movies, makes it more difficult to find a place to watch a good movie

We pulled the plug on cable TV 8 years and we continue to resist the urge of becoming zombies once again watching programs that we know shouldn’t be, but end up doing it anyway.   So, I don’t get to watch movies on cable TV.   For reasons not known to me, Bollywood and Tollywood (I hate myself saying this cheesy word every time time) do not release DVDs of new flicks as often as Hollywood does.

I no longer watch pirated movies online or offline.  This is one of simple policies (saying it as ethics could offend some) that I have adopted this decade and continue to adhere to.  I heard this guideline few decades ago or more, “If you do not stand up for something, you will fall for anything”. I did not understand the power of this statement, until several years later.   In the race to reach our “moving target’ we are often compelled to do something which we know that we will regret later.   Hence, I feel there is a need to do stand up for few things in life

I was at my brother’s place (Ramesh, No. 3).  I am the second one in the family of 4 sons and a daughter (we fondly call her as brother number 5 sometimes).   All of 4 brothers were in a joint family setup until 2005, after I have returned to India (separate a blog to written wonderful experience of actually living the LIFE that is often portrayed in the movies produced by Rajshri).  We were about 22 folks living under one roof in a large house.  So I would use every excuse to visit my brothers and sister who all live within 1-mile radius.  I do not hesitate to call this as a luxury

Most discussions in Hyderabad (or in India) end up discussing a movie that you have watched or want to watch.  We talked about two good movies that everyone is talking English Vinglish (which I have watched with Mohan) and OMG (which Ramesh and My family haven’t watched).   We knew that these movies will be SOLD OUT, as were discussing this around Sunday noon, and we want to watch one of those movies on Sunday between 6PM to 8PM.  My brother said, “Don’t worry, I know someone who will get us the tickets”.

Every other person in Hyderabad seems to know someone (or someone who knows someone else) who can get the movie tickets for any movie any show in any theatre.  I always doubt if that someone is the same person(s), every other person is often referring to.  It wasn’t a big surprise; the “someone” whom Ramesh called easily pledged that he would get us the tickets for EV or OMG for the time and the multiplex we have asked for.

I said it’s “too good” to believe as online portal show that all seats SOLD OUT.  My brother shared me the “gyan” that some rows in all multiplexes are marked as SOLD OUT, and this “someone” has Carte blanch type of access to it.    This “someone” called after an hour told us that he could get us the 11 tickets (Ramesh + 4 from his family, Me + 3 from my family, Padma + 1).

Good news was delivered instantly.  Bad news was delivered in slow motion, “Show is at 11PM”.   Ramesh and I took a “huge leap of faith” and asked that person to GO AHEAD, as we know that our spouses will give us their “peace of mind” for a booking a movie for 11PM Show on Sunday (which means we will come home at 2AM in the morning, most of the time with some headache and possibility of kids missing school)

I called Radhika and gave her good news (as she was keen on watching a movie) in express mode and bad news in “slow motion” or “whisper mode”.   Revanth and Aniketh instantly said YES for the movie. Before Radhika could say NO, I told her that she can do one of those power naps at 8 PM, and I will wake her up at 10:30AM.    Finally 8 of the 11 folks made for the movie (as I could not get Radhika and Revanth to fully wake up from power naps)

Here is my scoop on the movie (if you still have energy to read rest of the article):

Movie is based on a popular Guajarati play and heavily inspired (read it as copied too) by Australian movie “The Man Who Sued God”.  Kanji Bhai (superbly played by Paresh Rawal) is staunch atheist and practical guy living on his terms.   After a bizarre event, an earthquake destroys his antique shop, which provides livelihood to his family.  To his dismay, insurance company declines his claim saying “Act of God” is not covered by his policy

So, Kanji Bhai decides to sue “God” (Mr. Bhagwan) and manages to find a lawyer (small but high impact role played by Om Puri) to issue subpoena to godmen of country with representation from all religions.  Rest of the movie involves exchange of wit & wisdom between these godmen (and woman) and Kanji Bhai.  Umesh Shukla (Writer & Director) uses this banter to convey his message and in the process questions one’s definition on God, Our belief system, Our fear of God, Our reasoning for going to temples, our rituals, multi faceted presentation of our Gods, our representation of what’s said in Holy books, and more.

The script is smart enough not to offend all the religious out there, though most of the ritual examples are of Hindu religion (which I believe to be most tolerant religion anyway).   I was pleased with Akshay’s acting after a long time, and it was good to see him portraying role of Lord Krishna coming in modern avatar descending from skies on a Motor Cycle.     Umesh (Directory) conveys his understanding (which I fully concurred) of God’s own definition of  “being faithful”, “being religious”, “being good” “being generous” via Akshay Kumar’s role of Krishna Vasudeva

Movie length is about 2 hours (no fights, limited to none melodrama, no redundant song sequences).  It is not easy to watch 11PM movie without yawning.  However script engaged us from the moment

Final Verdict: Go watch it, and see yourself questioning what you have been believing (or not believing) so far

I have stopped putting excessive money in Temple Hundi (donation box) or donating to temples as I have begun to believe that most of that funds we donate in the temples goes to buying expensive jewelry to decorate idols, and limited funds going to those who are suffering or starving.  Forget about any funds used for making the temple hygienic, serene & peaceful, and help make devotees get into bliss mode.   Now with Government taking over most temples, it strengthened my decision to further limit my donations.

 Now I donate directly to the organizations, which have limited overheads, and where I am sure that most of the funds go to those which the organization has pledged to taking care. Once such example I have is NICE organization.  Do check out their website http://nice-india.org and support its cause

Serving Humanity is same as Serving God

I am glad that similar message was conveyed in the movie too.

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