Star Cast: Paresh Rawal, Annu Kapoor, Naseeruddin Shah
Director: Fuwad Khan
What’s Good: The quirky fillers that come every now and then to save you from the otherwise predictable plot. Dharampal’s learning lessons to become a Muslim are the only portions that will make you laugh and not ironically!
What’s Bad: The fact that this film is not named OMG 2. It’s tiring to watch social satires which target the same damn thing. Also, it seems Paresh Rawal has now become the face of such films, it won’t be long before audiences term him to be the ‘religious satire baba’!
Loo break: Second half is a good time!
Watch or Not?: Dharam Sankat Mein is passable. With a highly predictable plot, this film lets you down with its repetitive content. It fails to tickle your funny bone and also at serving you with meaningful content.
Dharampal Trivedi is a 50 something famed caterer in Ahmadabad. All is hunky dory in his life until he lands up with his adoption papers that his late mother left for him. What’s the surprise you ask? Well, Dharampal who has been brought up as a Hindu Brahmin learns that he is biologically a Muslim. Certainly, he takes time to come to terms with this reality and decides to search for his biological father. During this self-discovery journey of his, he befriends his neighbour Annu Kapoor who is a Muslim lawyer, who has been on bitter terms with him previously but helps him after learning about his new found problem. As Annu Kapoor helps Paresh’s character find his father, on the condition to meet him, a Maulavi asks him to embrace Muslim etiquette and preaching.
On one hand dealing with this personal conflict, the other side is even more challenging as Dharampal’s son is in love with a Hindu girl whose family is a follower of Neelanand Baba and in order for them to get married, Dharampal must convince them of being a staunch Hindu follower of the Baba.
Well, that would definitely sum it up for the title ‘Dharam Sankat Mein‘. Amidst this conflict, will Dharam embrace a new religion or follow the one he has been brought up with as?
Dharam Sankat Mein Review: Script Analysis
Recently a string of films such as Oh My God, Bakrapur, PK have dealt with issues on the same lines. Yes, India is a country that is driven by religion but films preaching the side effects of following religious beliefs have now become too repetitive. Dharam Sankat Mein also does the same but it takes a route that is slightly different. Even though the makers tried to package it as a social commentary that is comedy, it does a job of neither of the two.
The script is not exactly funny but it quirks you up in bits and parts. Unfortunately, even as the director tries to take a dig at a famous ‘Rock star’ Saint while creating the character of Neeelanand Baba, he fails to give him much screen space or content that is satirical enough. The script loses its grip even more in the second half and especially Paresh Rawal’s family disowning him after learning that he is a Muslim takes you back to Oh My God when the lead character’s family abandons him due to the case.
Also I fail to understand why a scene of Paresh Rawal burning a Muslim cap had to be included in the film? It is a dangerous portrayal and could hurt a few religious sentiments. One more problem with the script is, Paresh Rawal quoting shloks from the Bhagvat Geeta and Quran and this time rather than being a court, it is Neelanand Baba’s mela.
In other words, Dharam Sankat Mein tries to break the shackles and myths related to religion but they are not enough to hold the film strong.
Dharam Sankat Mein Review: Star Performances
Clearly, this film has only one hero and that is Paresh Rawal. He is as usual confident enough to play the role of Dharam. He has the skills to give the right punches at the right time and well this story revolves all around him. While his choice of films seemed to have become overtly ‘janta-oriented’ these days, I wonder if playing these characters is going to help him in his political stint.
It is sad to see, talent like Naseeruddin Shah getting wasted in this film. As Neelanand baba, he has a minimal role and I would have certainly enjoyed if he was given more screen time. I’d say if they had cut down on the lame skype conversations between Dharam’s son and his lady love, Neelanand Baba could have entertained us more.
Annu Kapoor as the Muslim lawyer who has a five fold name does another Vicky Donor with this film. Even though he goes a little overboard with the act, he is definitely a fit for his role and the camaraderie with Paresh Rawal works well for the film. The only problem is that, the script stressing on his five fold name over and over again makes his character a unfunny one.
The supporting cast includes Murli Sharma as the Maulavi and he sticks to his role well.
Dharam Sankat Mein Review: Direction, Editing and Screenplay
Fuwad Khan makes his directorial debut with Dharam Sankat Mein and according to me, with this film he puts us ‘sankat mein’. Why? The director leaves us confused between his satire and comedy. The film seems more of an irony rather than being funny. Also with a topic that is being hammered in our heads with recent films, stretching it for over two hours makes it implausible to have any effect.
With Ahmadabad as the location, Fuwad does not play much to include the city’s flavor, other than the liquor ban present there. The film gets to you only in portions and towards the end it turns into a big yawn. What works for it is the dialogues and of course the protagonist Paresh Rawal’s act but what fails it is a botched up plot. The background score is another disappointment here. None of the songs make an effort to connect with you or the plot well. If only, Fuwad had kept the film more tighter and minus any references to the other films in the same genre, this could have been enjoyable.
Dharam Sankat Mein Review: The Last Word
Dharam Sankat Mein is once again an all talk, no play movie. It is funny in parts but overall the preachy type film that addresses the same issues of religion and Godmen. I am going with a 2/5 for this film.
Dharam Sankat Mein Trailer
Dharam Sankat Mein releases on 10th April, 2015.
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