Oct 5, 2012

'Oh My God'- The Best Satire!

It had been quite a long time since I had watched a Hindi movie, and that too in a cinema hall. After coming to Guwahati after exactly a year, I had movie tickets waiting for me- in the best seats in Cinemax- something which is a bit hard to turn down. Although I was skeptical about the movie, I decided to turn up anyways (considering each ticket cost three hundred bucks). Little did I know what I was about to witness!

The film has is a satirical comedy, in fact one of the best I have seen in a long time. With a pretty famous cast to boast of, consisting of Paresh Rawal, Akshay Kumar and Mithun Chakraborty, the heart of the movie is its concept. A minor earthquake produces just a single event- it takes away the shop of Kanji Bhai (Paresh Rawal), who is a hard core atheist! When the insurance company refuses to accept his claim on the ground of the earthquake being an 'Act of God', he decides to sue God himself(reminds me of the not-so-popular movie- Suing the Devil). The notice is send to the insurance company as well as certain spiritual leaders, who have supposedly achieved Moksha.

What happens in the movie is irrelevant. It contains the usual comedy a Paresh Rawal flick has, but it is pretty impressive for a completely different reason; and that is what makes it better than movies like Hera Pheri. The questions that the movie raised is what concerns me. Although a disclaimer says that it's not meant to hurt the sentiments of the people of any religion, the movie is highly successful in exposing exactly what is wrong with religions today.

The question of whether God exists can not be answered. You can neither prove nor disprove the existence of God. However, there is something wrong with the way religion has been converted into an industry.

Go to any prominent religious place, nowhere has it been made a secret that the ones with money get preferential treatment. Isn't everyone equal in the eyes of God? Why, on earth, are the poor beggars sitting outside the temples not allowed entry even during storms?

If you assume that God exists, why then should priests preach that the more you "donate", the happier you would be? Why are you threatened not only about what would happen in this life, but also in your afterlife? Why is a child labelled a manglik, even before it takes its first breath! Is it necessary to go to temples to show your belief? Will starving yourself make God happy? After all, we are all God's children, at least that's what the scriptures say! After all, aren't they just like terrorists- preaching the fear of God rather than the fear of bullets? Wouldn't God be happy if you give away the same money, milk, food, clothes to someone who is in need of 'em?

Also, the spiritual leaders are not really model citizens. The scandals they are involved in are certainly not any less seriously than the 2G or the CWG ones! Unfortunately, to hide these, they involve the money 'earned' in this manner in stuff like charities and trusts. Utterly disappointing, but true nonetheless.

The movie sends out a clear message (much like Lage Raho Munnabhai regarding Mahatma Gandhi). You need to believe in God rather than fear Him. Treat Him as a friend and NOT a father. Trust him and love him from your heart. Do not search for him in those idols, but every other possible place- in nature, in the wind, in your fellow human beings. After creating such a beautiful Earth, wouldn't God want to be in better places than just the places of worship? A follower is incomplete without a God, but more importantly, a God is complete without His followers!

A spoiler though, Akshay Kumar plays God. I understand that Bollywood doesn't have a Morgan Freeman to play the role, atleast someone who is more of a father figure would have done better as God(remember Bruce Almighty?). But the fact that God is shown as a friend might have led to Akshay being chosen for the role. A good one, nonetheless.

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