Movie Review: 'Thank God': This Diwali Release Lacks Fireworks 
‘Thank God’: This Diwali Release Lacks Fireworks 

Thank God!(the movie is over) is the last emotion the movie leaves you with.

Director: Indra Kumar 
Writers: Aakash Kaushik and Madhur Sharma 
Cast: Ajay Devgn, Sidharth Malhotra, and Rakul Preet Singh 
Rating: 1.5/5


It is an official remake of Anders Matthesen‘s 2009 film Sorte Kugler or What Goes Around. Aayan Kapoor (Sidharth Malhotra ) is an easily-irritable, self-centered and money-minded guy with a wobbly moral compass who works in the real estate business and lives with his wife (Rakul Preet Singh ) who is a police inspector and their beautiful daughter, Pihu (Kiara Khanna). Since most of his dealings were in black money, post-demonetization he plunges into a financial crisis. One day he gets into a car accident and the story shifts gear. As he hangs between the realm of the living and the dead, he finds himself at the court of CG aka Chitragupt (Ajay Devgn), the god in charge of keeping records of the karma of humans and deciding their fate accordingly. Now it is on CG to take a call on whether Aayan gets a second chance or dies on the operation table. But CG wants to play a game with Aayan where his decisions will decide whether he should be put back on earth or sent to hell.  What happens next? Of course, there is a twist in the tale. 



Ajay Devgn is good and gives a flawless performance. His amused reaction to Siddharth’s character wanting to play a Singham-like cop will make one smile. But then, an actor of his caliber can ace this part even in his sleep. CG has certain Munnabhainess to him and it seems Sanjay Dutt could have played this part equally well, and even added some extra dose of flamboyance to it. 


Sidharth Malhotra’s stab at comedy is funny, but not in a good way. The actor looks uncomfortable on screen and his comedy seems forced, his performance stilted. He never becomes the character. He tries to pull various faces and the end result looks like a badly acted emoji reel. Comedy, especially slapstick, is definitely not his forte. The character could have been played much better by someone like Varun Dhawan—he is the right kind of over-the-top funny that could have helped in creating the breezy ride the film might have looked on paper. But Sidharth somewhat manages to redeem himself in the more intense and emotional scenes, which are few and far between, in the second half of the movie. 



After Attack, Runway 34, Cuttputlli, and Doctor G, this is Rakul Preet Singh’s 5th film of the year. The prolific actor seems to be in every other film these days. It is ironic that you remember her face but not any of her performances. It seems she is going for quantity instead of quality. Yet one has no evidence of her being a bad actor. Even for that, one needs to see her really perform. She needs to pick better roles instead of just going on a signing spree based on who her hero in the film is. Here as Ruhi Kapoor, Ayaan’s police inspector wife, she hardly gets much to do. Her character in the movie is not given an arc. She plays the pretty and chirpy heroine. As Pihu’s mother, she is not convincing. She has zero chemistry with her on-screen daughter or even her on-screen husband. Maybe it is that difficult for an outsider to get a substantial role in Bollywood, or maybe she is just a one-trick pony.  



Kanwaljit, Seema Pahwa, and Kiku Sharda all play their roles to perfection but the roles hardly do any justice to actors of their caliber. Nora Fatehi is a gorgeous dancer and does a stunning job in the Manike remake. The low-angle shots add extra oomph to her lithe body as it swerves and breaks into those smooth serpentine moves. 


There are a few genuinely funny moments, three to be precise. One is where CG accuses Amitabh Bachchan of stealing his gameshow idea and making KBC, the second is when Ayan says that his dream was to become a Sigham-like cop to Ajay Devgn the OG, and where the writers copy-paste one of the most famous Chandler (Friends) moments into the movie. There is a poignant scene where Ayan is treated the way he has been ‘worshipping’ the idol of lord Hanuman—by pouring gallons of oil on him, pasting coins on his face, and shoving ladoos into his mouth. The scene points out the preposterousness of these kinds of show of affection and senseless rituals. CG points out that while humans keep on asking god for various favors, they are not willing to do that one thing god wants them to do—that is to be kind and empathetic towards other humans. 


But Indra Kumar, the Dil-Beta-Ishk maker, who also has two sex comedy franchises, Masti and Dhamaal, to his credit, seems to have gotten stuck in a time loop. His woke is the whatsapp uncles’ version of woke. Nothing–neither the ideas, nor the jokes, nor the sets, nor the moral posturing–seems fresh. The basic premise is almost the same as that of movies like Liar Liar and Bruce Almighty. But the main problem with the movie, apart from its sporadically-witty-mostly-lazy writing, is that instead of a Jim Carrey, the movie has Sidharth Malhotra, and expressions, especially funny ones, are not his forte.  


The Verdict: 


It is a comedy that is not particularly funny. It could have been a family drama, but Nora makes sure it isn’t. It is too stretched to be a fast-paced breezy watch. The writing is banal at its best. Sidharth Malhotra looks like he is acting in an emoji reel. Even in her 5th film of the year, Rakul Preet hardly manages to make an impact. And there is no Morgan Freeman in a white suit playing God this time.  


The official adaptation of Anders Matthesen’s 2009 film, Sorte Kugler, which has been ‘upgraded’ with ’90s aesthetics and lame WhatsApp jokes, is a lackluster movie. Thank God (the movie is over) is the last emotion it leaves you with. So, brownie points to the makers for coming up with such an appropriate name.  

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