Onto the next release of the weekend and I have managed to watch the first of the twin Hindi releases this weekend in the form of OMG 2, which is the standalone sequel to the immensely successful first part OMG. It has been almost a decade since OMG was out and it is one of the films which have played a significant role in shaping up my future. Previously, I was this guy almost begging to God for things to go my way, be it in exams or in life. This until I happened to watch OMG in my formative years that gave me a fresh perspective about the concept of God. It made me question my choices of visiting fire temples or any other worship places while still managing to keep faith in the almighty. Such was the impact of OMG that continues to remain special in my heart.
Cut to 2023, and I am this practical guy who loves to question things much to the dismay of others around me. But keeping that aside, I was quite looking forward to watching OMG 2 wherein I did have a fair idea(much before it became official) that the film dealt with s*x education(censoring the word just to beat the google algorithm). I was curious on how the concept of mythology would be amalgamated with the so called taboo subject. Unfortunately, OMG 2 just did not generate that kind of a buzz especially because the film did get stuck with the censors. And that is where my rant begins before getting to the review!
One of the most regressive boards across the globe is the Censor board of India who often let go of sleazy content in the name of entertainment but they time and again keep targeting films which are essential for public consumption. I was appalled at the 27 cuts that the film had to undergo while still receiving an A Certificate, an event which forced the makers to delay the trailer release of the film to as late as 10 days before its theatrical release. If substandard but provocative films like Adipurush and The Kerala Story can be given a free hand just because things are convenient, and later following a backlash, use one of those films as a benchmark to censor an important film, then that is honestly the death of creative freedom. And what is the point of censorship when your target audience lies in the age demographics of 9 and above with an intent to make them learn? And why was the film awarded an A Certificate that defeats the very purpose of reaching out to its target audience?
I was quite heartbroken by the cuts and it made me worry on the impact that the film would have during its theatrical run particularly with an A Certificate and an opposition in the form of Gadar 2. Much to my surprise, the theatre in which I finally saw the film was packed with youngsters as well as families who had flocked to the screen to witness this tale, making me the happiest. So then does OMG 2 manage to impress, lets find out.
Story & Screenplay
OMG 2 follows the story of a theist who soon moves to the High Court following an incident involving his son. Will he be able to bring reforms to the society? The story here is bold, amalgamating the concept of mythology and tying it with a socially relevant issue of s*x education. India is a country which continues to regard s*x as a taboo without quite being open to talk about it. In fact, I have been an endorser of teaching young boys and girls about these so called taboo topics which would allow them to broaden their horizon with respect to their thinking and judgment. And that is exactly what the story wishes to address. The screenplay here is bold and brave while trying to break the stigma around various taboos with a tinge of mythology thrown in. You need to view the film with an open mind to absorb its message.
The drama does open with the introduction of the protagonist, a theist who is in stark contrast to the protagonist in OMG who did not believe in God. It is this virtue here that classifies him as a conservative yet with an affinity to be open to various discussions. This until his son is admitted to the hospital following rigorous rounds of masturbation. This might seem like a laughing matter in a comedy film but the writers are quick to provide a perspective from the other side wherein you get an idea of the events leading to the ‘taboo-ed’ event. In a turn of events, the protagonist’s son is expelled from school and later called in for questioning by the police which results in him going into a shell. And that is when the protagonist decides to put his foot down after a little help from the ‘Messenger of God’.
The proceedings are engrossing, often willing to ask the right kind of questions while showcasing the concepts of mental health and depression. There are some humourous situations integrated particularly in the courtroom drama that makes for one hell of an argument to support its cause. The questions raised are relevant on both sides of the spectrum that made me invest in the characters and their journeys. This while the events continued to remain humourous! I had this one drawback with respect to the character of Yami Gautam. While it was a refreshing casting decision to have a female having to counter-argue the protagonist, I did feel that it required a reference from her own past to justify her actions.
Also, while I had no qualms about the designing of the character of Pankaj Tripathi as a theist, I wonder if a character cut out of the same cloth as that of Paresh Rawal from OMG would have been a better creative choice? Just as a thought, what if the religious angle ran past the main plot almost as an undercurrent to give a different flavour to the proceedings? Food for thought but I am not complaining. The portions involving the character of Akshay Kumar appearing to impart life lessons at several junctures was indeed heartfelt. The events leading up to the final act are on the similar lines as OMG while presenting a moving final act with respect to the messaging of the film that definitely did hit home! Overall, the screenplay is quite well written and puts up a brave and a bold show!
Dialogues, Music & Direction
The dialogues are well penned with traces of literature and cultural references that make for a solid impact. The music blends well with the drama that provides the much needed impetus and urgency in the plot. The BGM is pretty good as well although not quite as overwhelming as in OMG. The cinematography captures the religious vibe of the drama really well. Also frames involving Nandi bull following the messenger of God was a heartfelt sight! The editing is good as well. Director Amit Rai does a fabulous job in maintaining the dignity of the religious sentiments while addressing a very sensitive issue in the most delicate manner possible. The complexities in the drama are well brought out as well thus resulting in a great outing for the director.
The performances are spectacular here. Shreedhar Dubey as Kanti’s friend has his moments to shine. Brijendra Kala as the doctor has a subtle sense of humour to his character in a job done extremely well. Geeta Agrawal as Kanti’s wife is absolutely top notch particularly in that one hilarious courtroom scene wherein she excels and how! Anvesha Vij as Kanti’s daughter is excellent despite a limited screentime.
All of respect for Akshay Kumar has returned after his dignified act as the messenger of God. The amount of grace that he brings into his performance was simply beautiful to witness. More importantly, him backing this project for a theatrical release was an added positive. Pavan Malhotra as the High Court judge is in splendid form, underplaying in most scenes yet extracting a sense of humour through his terrific portrayal. Aarush Varma as Vivek was one of my favourite characters given the challenges that he had to face at an impressionable age. The representation of depression wasn’t easy and he pulls it off just so beautifully. You could sympathize with his character and that meant that he was outstanding in the film.
And here is when I take a pause and applaud the creative choices of Yami Gautam who has been in red hot form for quite some time now. I was the happiest that after months and months of wait, she was finally getting a theatrical release and she is absolutely brilliant here as Kamini. Her assertiveness and firmness is something that I enjoyed in yet another performance wherein she is natural to the core. The regressive mindset coupled with poise is something that was so well extracted by her through the course of the film. Also, I adored her diction and I can’t emphasize more!
The star of the show is Pankaj Tripathi who is absolutely magnificent as Kanti. His body language and mannerisms are laced with a sense of calmness and effortlessness that also makes you want to root for him. And his command over the Hindi language is showcased wonderfully well with some well pronounced words wherein I could hear him talk for hours! It was a towering act of the highest order!
OMG 2 is a bold and an intelligent take on a sensitive subject with stellar performances. Available in a theatre near you.