Om Bheem Bush Review: An Absurd, Partly-Hilarious Comedy That Pushes Its Silliness A Bit Too Far

Weirdness is both the USP and deterrent of the Sree Vishnu-starrer
Om Bheem Bush review
Om Bheem Bush review

Director: Harsha Konuganti

Writers: Manohar Bollam, Harsha Konuganti

Cast: Sree Vishnu, Priyadarshi, Rahul Ramakrishna, Preity Mukundhan, Ayesha Khan, Srikanth Iyengar, Aditya Menon, Racha Ravi

Duration: 150 minutes

Available in: Theatres

When the tagline ‘No logic, only magic’ pops up right below the film’s title minutes after the film opens, it is not just a hint but a fundamental rule ordering you not to nitpick logic while watching it. Perhaps the only sensible creative choice in Om Bheem Bush (OBB) is spelling out its absurdity. It is a weird film, one that wears its bizarreness on its sleeve. The film is so self-aware that it takes itself as seriously as Boyapati does physics or Atlee, originality.

Pop culture and social media-inspired references galore, right from Prabhas’ fandom to Priyadarshi being called Mr Balagam and Sree Vishnu being mocked as Gaali Sampath — a film that I’m sure even the actor has forgotten. Naturally, it’s impossible to take this film seriously and you can see through the film’s spoof-level playfulness that it wants to accomplish nothing but make us laugh, and it succeeds in numerous instances. The means it chooses to do that can be criticised but it’s a fact that OBB houses numerous crackers of scenes and one-liners that had me laughing out loud. Again, let me remember the tagline, ‘No logic, only magic.’

A still from the film
A still from the film

Krish (Sree Vishnu), Vinay (Priyadarshi), and Madhav (Rahul Ramakrishna) make up one playful trio of goofballs with Vinay being the only one who exercises sense occasionally. The trio, dubbed as Bang Bros, lands at Bhairavapuram to make a living out of people’s problems — ranging from solving gynecology-related issues to treasure hunts to busting ghosts. But the village has a resident ghost named Sampangi, living in the dreaded Sampangi Mahal, which some believe houses loads of treasure. See, without giving away much, all I can say is that unbelievable things keep happening in the film, but it’s the mad trio that keeps things constantly fun.

There are countless dialogues added in dubbing, and it feels like that film doesn’t give you even a minute to breathe because the jokes keep coming at you without respite. “Whistle-worthy moment,” says Krish when Ratthalu (Ayesha Khan) violently warns a man in a panchayat, for instance. This way, the film keeps commenting on itself and there are countless such instances. Once again, let me remember the tagline.

Om Bheem Bush
Om Bheem Bush

While I reiterate that the jokes work because of how unabashedly silly they are, regardless of how much leeway you extend, the writing keeps pushing the limits of silliness, which works both in its favour and against it. A significant part of the humour is derived from popular media and some of these references feel out of place and extremely forced. At one point, even one of the film’s production houses, UV Creations, is referred and you're left wondering why.

Moreover, I’m not sure if we can call OBB a ‘clean’ comedy, considering the ‘liberal’ dosage of double entendres throughout the film, with gags existing to pander to the youth. But do we still believe that sly sexual innuendoes — a woman warning a man that she’ll cut his prawn and fry it, to name one — qualify as humour? Or perhaps this disappointment emerges from my expectation mismatch because OBB is Sree Vishnu’s follow-up to Samajavaragamana, which was a much cleaner family comedy, lending the ‘family hero’ tag to the actor.

Although Sree Harsha Konuganti’s previous two films were heavily targeted at youth, there is a clash between this ‘clean family-friendly’ humour and randy comedy aimed at young adults in OBB. As a result, it’s hard to put OBB’s humour in one box — there are plenty of raunchy jokes while there is also the wordplay/slapstick kind. While I wouldn’t necessarily call the humour distasteful, some of them are a bit crude. On a horror level, though, the film works just fine with the second half housing some hilarious sequences bringing these two facets together. There are two particular sequences, each featuring Priyadarshi and Rahul Ramakrishna, that are a riot.

A still from the film
A still from the film

While the film operates on a playful, spoof-level zone for 90% of the time, it takes a rather surprising turn towards the end. When the film tries to be meaningful, regardless of how progressive it is trying to be, the nature of the jokes we had absorbed up until that point makes you wonder if the film is really as profound as it’s trying to be. Logics aside, it’s inconsistent and unconvincing. A lot of bizarre supernatural stuff happens in the film and I’m fine with it all but this change in characters only makes its tagline look like a reverse-engineered defense mechanism to make up for its flaws. 

Weird is the word I would use to describe the film. This weirdness is both its USP and deterrent. The gags are a hit-and-miss. And when you are laughing, you don’t really care about the logic. Its absence becomes apparent only when the gags fail, which thankfully, doesn’t happen much. But when the gags, coupled with the hilarious lead performances, work, OBB is not just ridiculously funny but features some of the funniest moments in recent times.

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