‘OMG 2’: Funny & Thought-provoking, OMG 2 Outshines the Original

By Renuka Vyavahare

OMG 2 Story: A diehard bhakt of Lord Shiva, Kanti Sharan Mudgal (Pankaj Tripathi) is forced to question his own thoughts and societal norms on morality, religion and sex after his son gets expelled from school on grounds of obscenity.

OMG 2 Review: A video by an anonymous person captures Kanti’s troubled teen son Vivek, masturbating (‘selfie’ as a slang) in the school washroom.

Once the video goes viral, the school expels Vivek (a brilliant Aarush Varma) to salvage its image and reputation. Ashamed of his son’s vulgar act and fearing the public outrage, Kanti decides to flee with his family to an undisclosed location. His son’s suicide attempts and declining mental health owing to humiliation and bullying, compel him to open his eyes and question his own understanding of being a parent and an adult.

Religious and God-fearing Kanti decides to sue the school for the mental harassment caused to his son. He holds the elite educational institution accountable for being negligent towards their student’s need for sex education and right to information. The school appoints English speaking Kamini Maheshwari (Yami Gautam) as their defence lawyer. The latter argues that ‘masturbation is a sin’, our conservative society isn’t ready for sex education yet and there’s a reason why private parts are called private. Their contradicting views and verbal exchange in court in front of a rather delightful judge (Pavan Malhotra as Judge Purushottam Nagar) forms the story. The film does take a few liberties in depiction of the court proceedings. You can even tell who’s winning the legal battle fought on moral grounds but it’s still quite interesting.

It’s rare for sequels to outshine the original and writer-director Amit Rai’s clever and crisp courtroom comedy fulfils this mammoth task. A spiritual sequel to Umesh Shukla’s OMG – Oh My God! (2012), OMG 2 hits the nail on the head while addressing a rather sensitive topic. Funny, fearless and entertaining, Rai doesn’t play safe. His writing challenges the status quo and yet upholds the sanctity of religion, dignity and India’s family values. His language is desi and voice, progressive. The social dramedy dares to begin a dialogue and conversation perceived as awkward. It calls out the parental flaws that have been long buried under the garb of culture.

Most importantly, it’s a courageous attempt to understand the unspoken distance between desi parents and their children. How many of us are comfortable watching a lovemaking scene in a movie in front of our parents? Why are vagina and penis given names and not addressed as vagina and penis! Why is there no talk on the menstrual cycle in schools? Porn is accessible freely on the internet but sex education is a taboo. Women can perhaps be safer in the country if men know more about their sexual needs and boundaries?

The first half is more gripping but through its 2 hours, 36 minutes runtime, the narrative doesn’t get preachy or sluggish. Akshay Kumar, who had a cameo in the previous film, gets a larger part to play here as the messenger of God (altered from playing God to his messenger after the CBFC modification). There are at least 27 modifications made for Indian viewing so expect weird dubbing in parts. The A rating is an issue given how important this film is for families and teenagers.

OMG 2 boasts of a talented ensemble cast. Pankaj Tripathi is excellent as a father torn between guilt and anger. Akshay’s starry presence and hippie look make an impression. He humming ‘Udd jaa Kaale Kaava’ of Gadar is a chef’s kiss, since the two films (Gadar 2 and OMG 2) clash at the box office. Yami Gautam is sincere but the attempt to project her as a menacing lawyer by resorting to over the shoulder camera angles don’t work.

OMG2 shows you how a film can be entertaining, socially relevant and informative. You don’t need to leave your brain behind to have a good laugh. Take your family along to watch this interesting blend of social commentary and humour. — Times of India