Ohh that ‘M’ word. You know…what teenagers do in the bathroom. Bolne bhi sharm aati hai...Lekin karne mein nahin.
At one point in this audacious unconventional mystical satirical and tragic exposition on auto-eroticism, Pankaj Tripathi fighting his own case in a court of law where his teenaged son is accused of obscenity, turns around to ask, “Why is it okay to talk about various body parts and not the penis and vagina?”
Go ahead, and gasp. OMG 2 is all about the penis and less about the vagina. But I am sure we will get there soon. Maybe in OMG 3.
OMG 2 gives us a lot to feel positive about. In a society that still giggles on seeing a romantic kiss on screen, here is a film talking about masturbation and why it is time to normalize it after years of demonizing the handshake.
The best part of this illuminative exercise is its eschewal of self-congratulation. The tone is never patronizing. It’s not like a converted preacher telling us to get woke. It’s more the tone of collective bewilderment at the ignorance that drives young men to feel guilty every time they extend a hand of empathy for their own satisfaction and pleasure.
Miraculously the ‘M’ word for self-pleasure is allowed to be used even in the courtroom.
This brings me to Pavan Malhotra. Does he ever let a film down even if it lets him down? This time as the judge presiding over a very unusual case where the defendant and the accused are one and the shame, Malhotra is on solid ground. So are all the other actors.
The ever-dependable Pankaj Tripathi shoulders the film with an ease and sensitivity that are very reassuring at a time when hamming is considered great acting. But clearly, the film’s central attraction is Akshay Kumar’s Lord Shiva act. He belches out gyan as though it were going out of fashion. He is the guiding light that shows his skill to kill a scene effortlessly. It takes guts to play God with such temerity confidence and cool.
Some films are much larger than the immediate story that’s being told. This is one of them. The story of a boy caught masturbating in his school toilet, acquires a far wider spectrum as the writing on the wall becomes a mirror of societal hypocrisy.
To bring into the open the issue of sex education in our schools, writer-director Amrit Rai uses tools as varied as crude sex talk and references to the Kamasutra. The commodious plot holds together well for most of the way except when the frauds selling sex potions, lotion and commotions are lined up for ridicule very crudely.
What stays with us is the boy Vivek’s anguish as he is treated like a criminal for masturbating in a society where two- year old girls get raped.
Just when we think irony can go no further, OMG 2 comes along to remind us that the cultural contradictions of a society such as ours are susceptible to endless flux and some thoughtful cinematic interpretation.
Thank God, a film like this gets made. It gives us hope that cinema is indeed a tool for change.
Rating: *** ½