Thank God is like a feel-good fable

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Sidharth Malhotra faces soul-testing times in Thank God. Photo: Universal Communications

We also know the Panchatantra and Aesop’s Fables, stories that were interestingly varied, but had one common point: a moral message in the end. Thank God is just like that, except that in this case, the stories all pertain to one person, a one-time successful young man, Ayaan Kapoor (Sidharth Malhotra), who now must sell the very house he lives in. It is also about his wife Ruhi (Rakul Preet Singh) and daughter Pihu (Kiara Khanna).

And thereby hangs a tale—in fact, many tales, beginning from his childhood. Involved in Ayaan’s life’s story are his mother (Seema Pahwa), father (Kanwaljeet Singh), sister (Urmila Kothare), brother-in-law (Pratik Dixit), wife and daughter. Ayaan is a quick-tempered man, headstrong and minus scruples, covering up his kinks and failures adroitly to the point of self-deceit.

One day, he meets with an accident, and while his body is being operated upon, his soul reaches that point where CG a.k.a. Chitragupta, who maintains accounts of everyone’s sins and good deeds in Heaven, tells him that he will be asked to play the Game of Life. If he wins, he will survive the accident, if not, he will be given a ticket to hell.

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CG and YD (Yamdoot or messenger of the God of Death) and the others in limbo-land are all ultra-sophisticated, with state-of-the-art technology at their disposal. One by one, Ayaan comes to realize that he was anything but an ideal person, son, father, husband and even professional. Uncomfortable questions and unpleasant memories come back as Ayaan realizes how much he loves his wife and daughter and wants to return to earth. But not before some startling revelations about him come to the fore.

The film uses humor to tell the story, complete with references even to Amitabh Bachchan’s near-fatal accident (this is superbly done). The best part of the story, (which thrives on some major coincidences that do not really seem unlikely) is the way everything falls into place. But the post-climax could have avoided the maudlin elements, however, which pull down the caliber of this breezy family entertainer with a message.

Indra Kumar, 32 years young as a film director, asserts his skills excellently as someone still relevant to current times. Aided by a deft script that is coherent in its narration, with many lovely lines and episodes thrown in that are takeaways for so many of us, the film provides wholesome fare and maintains an even mood. Except, as I mentioned, in the parts where the script goes needlessly morbid.

Ajay Devgn and Sidharth Malhotra carry the film brilliantly, especially the latter who gets maximum footage—Sidharth walks the tightrope between white and gray with consummate skill, and the poker-faced Ajay is a master at humor. Rakul Preet Singh once again shows that a good actress does not need a long role to shine.

The rest of the cast, as well as the technical aspects are upbeat. From the songs, however, it is only the re-created Dil de diya hai from Indra Kumar’s and Ashok Thakeria’s 2004 Masti (another comedy with a message, also starring Ajay Devgn) that lingers.

Thank God is a lighthearted fun film for the festive season. The film deserves a watch, not just for its entertainment quotient but for the points it makes to us all about the ‘Game of Life’.

Rating: ***1/2

T-Series, Anand Pandit Motion Pictures, Maruti Internationals & Soham Rockstar Entertainment presents Thank God Produced by: Ashok Thakeria, Indra Kumar, Bhushan Kumar, Krishan Kumar, Sunir Kheterpal, Deepak Mukut, Anand Pandit & Markand Adhikari Directed by: Indra Kumar  Written by: Anders Matthesen, Aakash Kaushik & Madhur Sharma  Music: Anand Raaj Anand, Tanishk Bagchi, Rochak Kohli & Chamath Sangeet  Starring: Ajay Devgn, Sidharth Malhotra, Rakul Preet Singh, Mahesh Balraaj, Urmila Kanitkar Kothare, Kiara Khanna, Kiku Sharda, Seema Pahwa, Kanwaljeet Singh, Sumit Gulati, Soundarya Sharma, Vikram Kochhar, Saanand Verma, Anjali Schmuck, Rushali Yadav, Sunita Shirole, Dhanay Sheth, Gyanendra Tripathi, Sp. App. : Nora Fatehi & others

 

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