STORY: Dharampal Trivedi is happy with his Hindu identity – what happens when he discovers he is actually Muslim? REVIEW: ‘Dharam Sankat Mein’ says it all – here’s a movie that reflects a dilemma. Dharampal Trivedi (Paresh) is Ahmedabad’s leading caterer, a happy Hindu with a dislike of Muslims, extending to his quarrelsome neighbour Mehmood Nazeem Ali Shah Khan Bahadur (Annu). Dharampal’s son Amit wants to marry Shraddha, fervent follower of motorcycle-riding Neelananda Baba (Naseeruddin). Amit pleads with Dharampal to become more devout and impress Baba and Shraddha’s dad – Dharampal agrees but suddenly discovers he’s adopted, his real father’s Muslim and to meet him, he’ll have to learn Muslim ways.
First things first. Of late, there has been a new genre in Bollywood which has taken birth. It’s called as ‘practically religious’ genre, under which the myths are broken and superstitions are shattered. Leading the pack are two films, viz., OMG: OH MY GOD! and PK. This week’s release DHARAM SANKAT MEIN (which is a self confessed remake of the 2010’s British comedy film THE INFIDEL) treads more or less on the similar genre, if not the same. Will this film too ‘pray’ its way to become a Box-Office hit or will it become a ‘prey’ to rejection, let’s analyze. The film starts off with the film’s Hindu protagonist Dharampal Trivedi (Paresh Rawal) irritatingly waking up to the ‘azaan’ from the nearby mosque. Despite all this, he leads a happy and content life with his two obedient children, a loving and caring wife, alongwith a ‘numero uno‘ catering business. His immediate neighbor happens to be a Muslim lawyer by the name of Nawab Mehmood Nazeem Ali Shah Khan Bahadur (Annu Kapoor). And it is because of his annoying behavior and religion, that Dharampal hates him to the core. Life goes smooth for Dharampal until his wife reminds him to open the bank locker of his dead mother. And when he opens the locker, his eyes get filled with tears to see all his childhood drawings that his mother had preserved through her life. In addition to this, he also finds a set of his mother’s gold bangles and an old affidavit. Life suddenly comes to an absolute standstill for him when he reads the affidavit which states that he was actually adopted by his parents and that he is a Muslim by birth. Fearing shame and disgrace, he hides this religious truth from his family. At the time of distress, he finds a confidante in Nawab Mehmood Nazeem Ali, who helps him trace his parents. Nawab reveals to Dharampal that while his mother is dead, his aging father is living in a Muslim sanctorum. Upon reaching the sanctorum, Dharampal gets stopped by the character played by a mullah (Murali Sharma). He imposes a ‘rule’ on Dharampal that in order to meet his Muslim father, he has to inculcate the mannerisms and behavior of a devout Muslim. That’s when Nawab Mehmood Nazeem Ali comes to the rescue again and starts training Dharampal in the same. Meanwhile, Dharampal’s son Amit, who is a ardent devotee of the ‘blue’ spiritual guru Neel Anand Baba (Naseeruddin Shah), wants his father to learn proper Hinduism in order to impress his girlfriend’s parents as her father is a staunch Hindu. All in all, Dharampal’s life becomes one royal mess when he starts learning the ‘mannerisms’ of both the religions simultaneously. During a sudden turn of events, Dharampal accidentally attracts the backlash of Muslims who come out to attack him. Having left with no other options, he reveals in front of everyone (including his family) that he is actually a Muslim by birth, which shocks and stuns everyone alike. The revelation results in his family abandoning him. When left all alone, he stumbles upon a startling truth about Neel Anand Baba, which changes the course of the film totally upside down! What was it about Neel Anand Baba that changes the course of the film completely, does Dharampal’s family ever come back to him, does he ultimately manage to meet his aging father and does Dharampal’s son get to marry the girl whom he loves… is what forms the rest of the film. In totality, the film ‘religiously’ serves as an eye opener to a handful of religious myths and facts. And for this, the full credit goes to the film’s director Fuwad Khan, who, after working as a cinematographer on many films, makes his directorial debut with DHARAM SANKAT MEIN. One has to say that he really manages to leave a mark with his debut. Despite having touched upon a very religiously sensitive topic, he has tried his level best to keep the film as simple as possible and doesn’t go overboard. There are a few moments in the film which makes the film lag, but the film’s script (David Baddiel) helps it to sail through. Because the viewers have already witnessed OMG: OH MY GOD and PK much before DHARAM SANKAT MEIN, the comparisons and the similarities are bound to be there. While the viewers are treated to a very engaging first half, the ‘abruptness’ and the ‘amateur climax’ of the second half, takes the steam out of the film.
Rating: 3/5 |