Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Dharm-The Review

Whenever I venture out to watch a movie by Pankaj Kapoor I have very high expectations off it. Dharm does not disappoint in any way. In fact far from disappointing it grips you and turns out to be the BEST bollywood product released so far in 2007. It’s the kind of movie that touches you, moves you, probably even makes you drop a tear or two and none of these are forced through melodrama or the standard emotional blackmail ritual that most directors and script writers resort to.

Dharm is a movie about this Hindu high priest Pandit Chaturvedi(Pankaj Kapoor) who is one of the most respected priests of Benares. He lives with his wife (Supriya Pathak) and daughter. One day his daughter brings back an infant home whose mother having asked her to take care of her child never returned. Pandit though unwilling to adopt him and willing to send him to an orphanage finally gives in to his wife and daughter’s undying love for the kid and hesitantly agrees to adopt him.

Slowly and steadily he too grows fond of the child and the kid(named Karthik) become the cynosure of all eyes in the family. One fine morning however their lives are torn apart when biological mother of the kid returns to claim her child. The cause for concern though is that the childs mother is a Muslim. Panditji and her wife are shocked out of their wits and hence he retreats into a shell considering the fact that having not only touched, but also brought up a Muslim infant in his family was the worst possible sin a pious Brahmin could ever commit and tries to cleanse himself. However the shouts and whispers and calls of ‘Babuji’ keep reverberating in his ears.


Dharm smoothly deals with many aspects and blends it all with aplomb to form this brilliant masterpiece. It initially talks about the just, pious, religious and yet caste conscious Brahmin priest who staunchly and almost blindly follows the age old traditions, values and ethics of his religion. It hence talks about the much talked about father-son bonding. Somehow I felt this was depicted in a very subtle and uncharacteristically simple and humane manner. You may actually relate a real life character to this very easily. Especially since it doesn’t involve grey cell crunching monologues professing undying love for one’s son or father. Lastly and most crucially the movie deals with the priest’s realization of his ‘grave’ sin and his attempt to purge himself. Hence it dawns on him that maybe.. just maybe religion is not only following the age old values and scriptures, but it also involves ‘Karma’. If a person is exposed to the evils of the society on the pretext of maintaining religious sanctity, there has definitely been a misinterpretation somewhere. This forms the core of the climax of the movie and it leaves you nothing less than spellbound.

Debutante director Bhavna Talwar and writer Vibha Singh deserve the highest possible applause and recognition for rising above the rest with a film of this stature. Supriya Pathak gives a gem of a performance in her role and Krishh Parekh is lovable in his rendition of Panditji’s son. Mr. Pankaj Kapoor, I have just two words for your genius: “Hats OFF”.




Dharm is a movie that I’ll recommend to each and every one of you. If you miss this, you will have missed if not ‘the best’ at least one of the top three movies of 2007 in terms of critical acclaim. Move over ‘Gandhi my father’ and ‘Chak De’.

My rating: 9.5/10

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19 Comments:

At Wed Aug 29, 04:31:00 PM, Blogger Amit said...

I second your opinion Abhi ...It is indeed the best I have watched this year and probably the finest works of bollywood cinema ever. It touches many social issues brilliantly and the production team has aptly chosen "karamchand" who has left an impression in almost all his brilliant performances like in Maqbool.

Each and every indian should watch this movie....

 
At Wed Aug 29, 04:50:00 PM, Blogger Nasal Crooner said...

Exactly my sentiments...
Instead of classifying this as one of those 'art films' and ignoring it each and every follower of bollywood should see this movie.
Pure Brilliance!

Karamchand aka Abbaji aka Jamavaar[Dus] aka the common man of Office Office surely never fails to surprise!

 
At Wed Sep 05, 01:52:00 AM, Anonymous kautilya said...

blog rule # 897 - you may not post a "comment" with a link to your blog post, solely in order to generate clicks for your below average blog.

 
At Wed Sep 05, 11:39:00 AM, Blogger Nasal Crooner said...

tht was meant for ArnabDa..
neway thanks for the constructive criticism...
I'll let the comment stay :)

 
At Wed Sep 05, 11:40:00 AM, Blogger Nasal Crooner said...

and u cud've atleast given the link to ur blog... long time since I've read some good 'above average' blogs :P :P

 
At Sat Sep 29, 01:23:00 AM, Blogger Vinni said...

hey i dont remember this being released here man. would love to watch it. you did paint a nice picture of the movie!

 
At Thu Oct 18, 08:56:00 AM, Anonymous Thejesh GN said...

Thanks for that review. I havent watched it yet. I will ...

 
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