Dharam Sankat Mein - Review

wogma rating: Watch when on TV (?)
quick review:

A premise that could've been interesting is made long and preachy.

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A non-believer is made to try on religion for size due to social and emotional pressures. Off late we've seen a couple of films that go on to rebuke blind faith and they've done a decent job too. In fact, both PK and OMG have been referenced to in Dharam Sankat Mein. I was bracing up for yet another film along the same lines. While Dharam Sankat Mein is different in the way in which the religious dilemma presents itself, it turns out long-winded, rather instructional and most importantly underwhelming.

I am all for subtlety and am not looking for melodrama, but with a premise as this, Dharam Sankat Mein ought to have had a crescendo which is lacking. Our protagonist, Dharam (pun intended and works at multiple levels) is not so much of an atheist as he is a person who doesn't identify with blind faith. He doesn't care too much for the religion he belongs to.

Yet, the writer subtly slides in the nature of our society by having him make nasty remarks about another religion. True to his nature, Dharam does become neutral as the situation demands. And I loved how his precarious situation plays out, where agnostic Dharam ends up having to understand more than one religions.

Beyond this basic smartness in the writing though, the film falls limp very soon. The stage is set early on and you are waiting for something to happen, which doesn't. The two opposing directions that Dharam gets pulled into are not convincing enough for a man who is pretty comfortable with who he is. Somehow you can't visualise a person like Dharam submitting to anything meekly. The item numbers and shabby climax don't help either.

Also, the film becomes preachy all too often. This indirectly breaks the fourth wall and jolts you from a common middle class man's uncommon story into the film you are watching. This is despite yet another perfect common man portrayal by Paresh Rawal. Yet another film that he carries broadly on his shoulder.

Even so, I appreciate the fact that despite the preachy nature of the film, a different approach was endeavoured. More power to such trials even if not many of us are taken in by them.

- meeta, a part of the audience

Parental Guidance:

  • Violence: None
  • Language: Clean. Communal differences highlighted.
  • Nudity & Sexual content: None. A couple of conversations involving sexual orientation
  • Concept: All roads lead to one God

Detailed Ratings (out of 5):

  • Direction: 2
  • Story: 2
  • Lead Actors: 3
  • Character Artists: 2.5
  • Dialogues: 2.5
  • Screenplay: 1.5
  • Music Director: 1.5
  • Lyrics: 1

Dharam Sankat Mein - Movie Details

Dharam Sankat Mein - Trailer

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Comments (5)

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Alok Singhal:

Those are pretty dismal ratings, i don't think i need to look at this one.
Good review!

meetu:

Thank you @Alok

saurabh mangal:

another great review as usual... But where was the reference to PK? also where did they break the fourth wall? I think all people who believe in God should see the movie... to understand that we have created God and not the other way around...

meetu:

@saurabh, sorry, my memory is foggy now but once a character tells another "PK aaye ho kya?" or something to that effect. I thought it was a reference to the film.

Fourth wall - again, I remember Paresh Rawal doing that a couple of times. Not very in the face, and not for too long. Don't remember the exact scene in which it happens though. Sorry.

Fan:

This one was on my to-watch list since some time now. So I did finally take the time to watch it. In fact preferred to watch this over Piku, simply because of Paresh Rawal and his previous track record on OMG.

Personally I was disappointed with the film. If nothing then at least the film had huge comic potential with the guy getting confused on his identity whilst being in between people of another faith. I.e. behaving like Muslim whilst among Hindus, and the other way round. It was used a bit but not with strong writing to generate enough guffaws.

Also: as is the trend, I found the film once again an attempt at Hindu and Hinduism bashing; and appeasement at all costs of minorities - maybe to please the pseudo seculars and people who consider themselves liberal and intellectual. Although all credit to Paresh Rawal that the bashing was done in a dignified manner, without making a mockery of beliefs as did Raju. Beliefs cannot and should not be made fun of. Also, since the Hindu bashing and Muslim appeasement comes from a Gujarati Hindu, it has some credibility - unlike attempts by the Khans to do that which always give the uncomfortable feeling that a Muslim is preaching to be nice to other Muslims.

Overall: watch it if you are a Paresh Rawal fan, he is the show stealer yet once more. Annu Kapoor does justify his role, Naseeruddin is loud unlike real-life babas who are the exact opposite. Message is simple, but lacks strong writing to support the 100 odd minutes of the film.

PS: @Meetu, reading the above remarks, yes I also thought immediately that an oblique reference was made to PK when somebody from the crowd shouted that peekay aaya hai kya?

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