Producer: Viacom 18 Motion Pictures, Sajjad Chunawala & Shariq Patel
Director: Fuwad Khan
Cast: Paresh Rawal, Naseeruddin Shah, Annu Kapoor, Gippy Grewal, Auritra Ghosh, Sharat Sonu, Alka Kaushal, Murli Sharma, Mukesh, Rushita Pandey, Sophie Choudry, Hazel Keech, Suresh Venkataraman, Jagdish Rajpurohit, Jahangir Karkaria, Alka Mehta, Gagan Gupta et al
Music: Meet Bros Anjjan, Sachin Gupta, Jatinder Shah & D J Kiran
Pro: Raindrop Media
Fuwad Khan, an ace cinematographer turned débutante director, has tackled the varied myths & facts concerning the 2 most talked about religions namely Hinduism & Islam. But was it necessary for him to get blatantly inspired by a situational Brit comedy named ‘The Infidel’ based on the same subject of 2 diverse religions criss crossing each other albeit in hilariously comic way.
Dharampal Trivedi’s (Paresh Raval) Dharam (Read religious beliefs) gets really shaken the day he opens his departed mother’s bank locker. His entire world turns upside down and he faces an identity crises dilemma. He finds an affidavit in the locker which states his origin as being born to a Muslim father. He wants to meet his long lost father who is on his death bed in a Muslim sanitarium, but the Maulana (Murli Sharma) of the Sanitarium bars the twain to meet unless Dharampal becomes a devout Muslim. Whereas his own biological son Amit wants him to be a devout Hindu and a disciple of Swami Neela Anand Baba (Naseeruddin Shah) simply to impress his son’s prospective father – in – law. Dharam is now totally confused in a dilamatic state. So he takes the help of his friend, his immediate neighbor, to learn to be a devout Muslim, who happens to be a Muslim lawyer by the name of Nawab Mehmood Nazeem Ali Shah Khan Bahadur (Annu Kapoor). And his son Amit brings in a pandit to help Dharam to be a devout Hindu. So Dharam seeing no escape starts learning the ‘mannerisms’ of both the religions simultaneously.
Débutante director Fawud Khan has tried his best to balance the sentiments of the 2 concerned religions but his appropriate directorial skills seriously lacks finesse. So the resultant effect is neither here nor there, rather than being tackled on a serious note or treated in an amusingly comic way it becomes way too preachy. In fact the entire episodic issue of Swami Neela Anand Baba was totally uncalled for.
And the sole brownie point goes to the one liner dialogues of Alpesh Dixit, Sanjay Sharma & Vijay Desai.
Performance wise Paresh Rawal is a winner all the way and as the film rests heavily on his shoulders he has really, really delivered an absolutely honest, sincere & dedicated act. The next in line star performer is no doubt Annu Kapoor who has really left an impact with his brilliant performance. Whereas a veteran actor like Naseeruddin Shah disappoints totally. He is a total misfit in the entire mileu and his obnoxious geteup, coupled with his put off mannerisms, is an eyesore. While the rest of the actors like Gippy Grewal, Auritra Ghosh, Sharat Sonu, Alka Kaushal, Murli Sharma, Mukesh, Rushita Pandey, Sophie Choudry, Hazel Keech, Suresh Venkataraman, Jagdish Rajpurohit, Jahangir Karkaria, Alka Mehta, Gagan Gupta et al have proved to be an adequate support system just to carry the film forward.
Tail piece: If you have watched films like ‘OMG: Oh! My God’ & ‘PK’ based on similar themes, then taking a trip to a movie hall for watching ‘Dharam Sanket Mein’ will be a sheer waste of time.