‘OMG 2’ movie review: Akshay Kumar and Pankaj Tripathi discuss society

OMG 2 Movie Full Review

Manoj Bajpayee and Pankaj Tripathi, arch-enemies in the 2012 epic Gangs of Wasseypur, have both appeared this year in courtroom dramas that use Hinduism to correct society. Bajpayee uses a mythological plot to bring a monstrous godman to justice in Sirf Ek Bandaa Kaafi Hai (on ZEE5), a decent if self-serious picture. Tripathi’s strategies are similar in OMG 2. However, he also brings a humorous softness that is exclusive to the actor. His character cites everything with a placid grin and a pleasant voice, including the Kamasutra, Khajuraho, and Panchatantra. When he raises his decibels in court, he gets a laugh.

OMG 2 is the sequel. OMG – Oh My God!, a 2012 film starring Akshay Kumar, Paresh Rawal, and Mithun Chakraborty that satirized the charade of organized religion. Rawal and Chakraborty, both former lawmakers, have left the sequel; only Kumar and the valiant Govind Namdev remain. The new film’s goal is not religion, but sex education in schools, which explains why the filmmakers requested a UA certificate. In its wisdom, the censor board demanded a slew of adjustments and gave it a ‘A’ (Adult) grade. It also apparently changed Kumar’s character from Lord Shiva to a sort of’messenger’ of God (a different franchise with that name already exists, starring a convicted felon).

Kanti Sharan Mudgal (Pankaj Tripathi), the protagonist of OMG 2, is a dedicated shopkeeper at a Hindu Shiva temple in Ujjain. From the buntings and awnings on the temple grounds to the tilaks and marigolds exchanged in prayer, we meet him in a blaze of orange. Kanti, his wife, and their two children live in temple-allotted dwelling. It’s a simple, quiet life until his son, Vivek, is expelled from school. Kanti discovers that the youngster became obsessed with masturbation after some bullies convinced him that he has a little appendage; later, the same adolescents filmed him in the act and posted the video online.

Kanti is warned by a doctor (Brijendra Kala) that youngsters who discover masturbation suffer from crippling attacks of guilt. We see this in real time when Vivek attempts suicide and is saved by a dreadlocked stranger with a beatific smile. This is, of course, Kumar, a Shiva envoy who has buzzed in from upstairs for spiritual assistance. Kanti, who admits to being a less-than-perfect father, sues his son’s school, as well as all the charlatans and miracle workers that mislead his child, at his insistence. He also sues himself, certain that he is equally to fault. A judge (Pavan Malhotra) and a suave defense lawyer (Yami Gautam Dhar) are perplexed.

Kanti’s court arguments start out ridiculous and basic, but they frequently lead to a deeper point. He emphasizes the importance of sex and sexual well-being in Indian civilization by quoting ancient literature. To the film’s credit, even as it broadens the scope of conversation, it never feels heavy. Tripathi does a Ted Lasso impression (both in terms of cheeriness and innate irritation). The picture takes a decidedly jovial tone. Rai is OK with his audience giggling at phrases like ‘hast-maithun’ and’sex worker’; the film assumes that once they have laughed a little and the tension had lessened, a greater realization can arise.

Sex education & the classroom

The film liberally leverages Hinduism to argue for the liberalism rooted in Hindu thought. Kumar appears to enjoy his Shiva costume; a white bull follows him wherever he goes. We get a shot of a trident, a shiv lingam, or a framed image of God every 10 minutes or so. Kanti transforms the courthouse into a symbolic temple (Malhotra’s judge protests, huffs, then surrenders). Yami Gautam’s character is named Kamini, and the Sanskrit word ‘kma,’ which means sexual desire and pleasure, is repeated several times.

Nonetheless, the picture is similarly cautious. Kanti speaks proudly of an open and progressive past — “When the world was taking baby steps, our Sanatan Hindu religion was soaring,” he says — but there is no mention (even in passing) of references to homosexuality in ancient Indian writings. His’sex education is crucial’ speech infuriates orthodox people of all faiths; we see Hindu, Muslim, and Christian clerics protesting together on TV. OMG 2 is a better film than Ram Setu because it has the candour and charm of fantasy, but it also resorts to predictable Macaulay-bashing near the conclusion to explain Indian society’s problems.

The film could have been shot and edited better (the CGI is also lacking). Geeta Agarwal Sharma is hilarious as Kanti’s easily frightened wife. So, at times, is Kumar; on one occasion, he drunkenly sings ‘Udja Kale Kawan’ from Gadar, the violent and raucous series with which OMG 2 competes in theaters. Sunny Deol’s characters have a knack of making their voices heard. But let us not forget Pankaj Tripathi.

Leave a Comment