Thank God (2022) Review!!

Synopsis – An egoistic real estate broker in huge debts, meets with an accident.God appears in front of him and informs him that he will have to play a “GAME OF LIFE”. If he win, he will be sent back to earth and if not, he will be sent to hell.

My Take – Though director Indra Kumar ruled the 90s with a bunch of bona fide family entertainer success stories, the past two decades has seen him mainly stick to comedies with a wide range of mostly misses (Pyaare Mohan, Double Dhamaal, Grand Masti, Super Nani, Great Grand Masti, Total Dhamaal) than hits (Masti, Dhamaal).

However, his latest sees him return to a simpler time with a simpler story that aims to make one introspect and look within. Never known for striking a subtle note or creating layered narratives, here, director Kumar conjures up an old-school family melodrama to address the vulnerabilities of cold-blooded urban existence.

Though heavily flawed, the film, inspired by the 2009 Norwegian feature Sorte Kugler, is backed by enough comic situations and emotional moments to eventually draw one into the narrative and hit a raw nerve.

Sure, the story is stuck in the 90s and oversimplified yet makes for an easy watch and will find favor with audiences looking for a clean entertainer, as the film has a message or two about moving on about life’s tribulations, being humane and the importance of one’s family.

The story follows Ayaan Kapoor (Sidharth Malhotra), a broke real estate agent, who due demonization is facing huge debts forcing him to sell off his beloved bungalow. As he struggles to crack the deal, Ayaan often ends up taking out his stress on his cop wife, Ruhi Kapoor (Rakul Preet Singh).

However, in his rush to meet a prospective client on his daughter’s birthday, Ayaan ends up in a car accident. Hanging between life and death, Ayaan wakes up to find himself greeted by Hindu deity Chitragupta aka CG (Ajay Devgn), the gatekeeper of heaven, who informs him that Ayaan will be participating in the ‘Game of Life’ that will decide whether he goes back to Earth or banished to Hell, depending on his deeds.

The tasks that Ayaan must complete in order to save himself are a spin-off of the seven deadly sins – anger, greed, jealousy, delusion, pride, envy and lust. CG puts Ayaan in various real-life situations, and how he reacts in these circumstances will determine his future.

By setting out to deliver an entertainer with a message about karma, he stays the course without making the narrative too heavy or dark. If you ever wonder why Chitragupt is in a sexy tuxedo and has a waxed hairdo, well, director Indra Kumar gives an explanation behind these sartorial choices because it’s the age of Amazon Prime, not Doordarshan which is actually quite hilarious. Even the sequences where Ayaan takes prospective buyers on a tour around the house are rib-tickling.

The comedy is situational, like most of director Indra Kumar‘s earlier works. While the first half packs a few funny moments, the second half really takes off, brimming with one emotional gut punch after other sans ever going overboard, the sentimentality smartly offset by easy, laidback charm and subtle humor. In a feel-good vein, the film reminds the audience of the value of family in one’s life.

The film talks about the good and bad in human beings and how we take others for granted. The film shows what happens when we are over focused on materialistic needs in life that we forget the very existence of us as human beings. Some moments like between Ayaan and his mother, then with his father and sister, and finally the climax leave you on an emotional high while also compelling you to introspect with some beautiful yet non-preachy life lessons.

Sure, while most will find the approach in the vein of a 90s Bollywood potboiler with gimmicky VFX, as the simplistic story leaves little to the imagination, and the audience can foretell how things will go, however one can’t deny how the film perfectly showcases the mirror of the mindset of current generation of how they take their families and personal live for granted.

Performance wise, Ajay Devgn plays a larger-than-life character with conviction. As C.G, Devgn lends his starry charisma to the character without underlining it too much. Sidharth Malhotra provides him with good company, making the game show of life and death, a fun watch. Coming from Shershaah, which was the biggest hit of his career, Sidharth performs earnestly and surely shows his versatility in a quirky role.

The gorgeous Rakul Preet Singh does not have a lot of screen time, but is earnest in her role. In smaller roles, Kanwaljeet Singh and Seema Pahwa do justice to their parts. On the whole, ‘Thank God’ is a light-hearted entertainer with right dosage of comedy and heartwarming moments.

Directed – 

Starring – Ajay Devgn, Sidharth Malhotra, Rakul Preet Singh

Rated – PG13

Run Time – 121 minutes

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