Funny, provocative and powerful, OMG2 outshines the original

OMG2 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.

OMG2 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 firmly believes that ‘masturbation is a sin’, our conservative society isn’t ready for sex education yet and lessons on private parts or sex can only harm Women’s dignity. Their contradicting views and verbal exchange in court in front of a rather delightful judge (Pavan Malhotra as Judge Purushottam Nagar) forms the story.

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, his writing doesn’t play safe as it challenges the status quo and yet upholds the sanctity of religion and India’s family values. His language is desi and voice dares to call out the flaws that have been long buried under the garb of culture.

Most importantly, it’s a courageous attempt to understand the unspoken distance between a desi parent and their child. How many of us are comfortable to watch 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 there’s no talk on 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 physical and sexual needs?

Through its 2 hours, 36 minutes runtime, nowhere does the narrative get preachy or sluggish. Akshay Kumar, who had a rather brief cameo in the first, 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. While Pankaj Tripathi is excellent and this film belongs to him, Akshay’s starry presence and hippie look makes it even better. Yami Gautam is sincere but the attempt to project her as menacing by resorting to over the shoulder camera angles don’t work. The A rating is an issue given how important this film is for families and teenagers.

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

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