Do you believe in God? Have you seen God? Why do you worship God? These questions have crossed our minds many a times, but rarely has the pursuit for the Lord led to a substantial proof of his existence. In Akshay Kumar’s forthcoming film ‘Oh My God’, the makers try to unravel the mystery which has puzzled millions since ages. Starring Bollywood’s finest comedian, the super talented Paresh Rawal as the protagonist, the film would also see veteran actor Mithun Chakraborty playing a pivotal role and Akshay Kumar in the role of Lord Krishna!
Out in town to promote ‘Oh My God’, actors Paresh Rawal, Mithun Chakraborty and director of the film Umesh Shukla spoke to Bikas Bhagat of Zee News discussing at length the idea behind making OMG and their expectations from the film.
Q. You have made us laugh with a number of movies in the past. This time round, what is new in ‘Oh My God’?
Paresh: With ‘Oh My God’, one moment you will laugh, the next moment you would be forced to think about the way we go about in life and the ‘actual’ significance of things and rituals that we follow every day. This is a fight between a man called Kanjibhai and the ‘professionals’ of God. Akshay has played the role of God perfectly and we hope the audience like this film.
Q. Fans of Mithun Chakraborty are dying to know the kind of character he plays in the film.
Mithun Da: In the film, I do not play God but a representative of Him. I sermonize the self-interest notion of universal allusion of God, following which people can benefit and find themselves close to the Almighty. That, in most cases doesn’t happen but my bank balance keeps on increasing. I am a Godman who travels by a BMW and if not challenged by this Kanjibhai in the film, will own a Rolls Royce soon! My character basically teaches people to not love God but fear him.
Q. Paresh, can we get a sneak preview of Kanjibhai?
A. Well, Kanjibhai is an atheist who believes God and religion are nothing more than a business proposition. In the film, he is particularly upset with God because he has been a little too unkind to him. This film is about how Kanji goes about setting things straight with God.
Q. Any similarity between Kanjibhai and the real Paresh Rawal?
Paresh: In real life I believe in God. But I have learnt lot on this subject while shooting for this film. The way we worship God is certainly not the way one should pray to God, that is what the movie taught me. I am against the rituals not against our worships of God.
Q. The film is said to have been inspired by a Gujarati play. How much of it has been retained in the film?
Umesh: We have changed lot from the original script of the Gujarati play. Almost 60% to 70% of it has been transformed with an idea to entertain and relate to a wider audience. The film is not against religion or God, but it sheds light on the misconceptions, superstitions and meaningless rituals that we follow to get rid of our woes or a sustained prosperous life. In the film we talk about the age old traditions and orthodox practices that go on to do more good to the professors of God than to the real devotee. The play was a just small version of the epic that people would witness in the film. The film’s definitely spicier than the play.
Q. Paresh, you have been a Gujarati theatre veteran and also were part of the play version of the film. Gujarati theatre is very popular among masses, so do you think that would attract more people to watch this film?
Paresh: It’s not about a Gujarati theatre or a Marathi play….in fact, people come to watch the film only because it has good story. And here, in this film we have weaved an interesting story around the universal entity called God. Several questions have cropped in our minds about that one fundamental force which keeps us in existence. This film would try to answer a few of those questions. And the success of the film certainly does not depend on the source the film has been inspired from. It’s about creating characters, situations and stories that maximum people can relate to and get entertained. Moreover, a film is loved by the audience if it carries a strong message. This film is my first home production and we have thought of incorporating all the ingredients to make it a wonderfully entertaining film.
Q. Sonakshi Sinha has done an item number in the film. How important was that for a film like this?
Mithun Da: I would say everything is important for a film to work in the present time. Like Paresh said, it’s not about why but why not? We are in the business to entertain people and time and again we adopt several ways to give joy to our audience. In this film you would find everything. Paresh has done wonderful acting. I did this film because it tried to focus on the demarcation that exists between the ideologies of a God fearing person and God loving person. Akshay Kumar plays God in the film, but what type of God he is…one should see that in this film.
Lastly, I would like to add that for us entertainment matters the most. It is a big thing. And in OMG, people would get that in full doses.
Q. Akshay Kumar is playing the role of Lord Krishna. His image is that of a khiladi who is known more for his stunts and action film. Do you think audience would like him in a God like avatar?
Umesh: The audience would simply love him in this new avatar. Akshay has done a brilliant job in the film. Imbibing the qualities of Lord Krishna, Akki portrays the role with perfection yet is subtle. Akshay has a kind of personality that fits just perfectly for the magnanimous and colourful character of Lord Krishna. He is lovable, he is witty, he is intelligent…he is almost God like.
‘Oh My God’, featuring Paresh Rawal, Mithun Chakraborty and Akshay Kumar, releases on September 28.