Very rarely does one come across a film that makes the other films look so trivial in comparison. DHARM is one of those films!
In which genre does one classify / place a film like DHARM? It talks of religion. It talks of communal harmony. It also looks at the parent-child bond. Most importantly, DHARM is one of those thought-provoking films that touch the core of your heart.
Certain films are beyond box-office. It would be blasphemous to evaluate their potential on the basis of how they fare at the turnstiles. That holds true for DHARM.
An outstanding film in all respects, this one deserves the highest praise and of course, the highest award. Do yourself one favor. Watch DHARM.
DHARM is about a Hindu priest, Pandit Chaturvedi [Pankaj Kapur], who's revered in Benaras. One day, his daughter gets an infant home. The mother of this infant had disappeared and was untraceable. The priest's wife [Supriya Pathak Kapur] requests him to allow her to raise the child [Krish Parekh], instead of sending him to an orphanage. The priest hesitates initially, but agrees later. Gradually, the child wins everyone's heart, including that of the priest.
The story takes a turn when the child's mother, a Muslim, resurfaces and claims her child. The entire family is shocked...
Director Bhavna Talwar deserves kudos for not only choosing a daringly different story, but also presenting it with rare maturity and honesty. A lot of hard work and detailing has gone into this film and it's evident in each and every frame.
To pinpoint a sequence or two would be doing gross injustice to the film, but a few sequences do leave you spellbound. Take, for instance, the intermission point, when the mother of the child surfaces or the climax, which deserves an ovation.
Bhavna Talwar's direction deserves distinction marks. The writing [script: Vibha Singh; dialogues: Varun Gautam] is flawless. Only thing, the chaste Hindi is difficult to comprehend at places, but goes well with the mood of the film. Cinematography [Nalla Muthu] is superb. Sound [Dileep Subramaniam] is of international quality. Costumes [Shehnaz Vahanvati] are authentic.
The performances are award-worthy. Like always, Pankaj Kapur delivers an astounding performance. It's akin to a textbook in acting. Supriya Pathak Kapur excels. Krish Parekh is first-rate. Hrishita Bhatt is good. K.K. Raina is top class. The actor enacting the role of Raina's son, Pankaj Tripathy, is effective. Dayashanker Pandey is superb.
On the whole, DHARM is one of the finest films produced in India. A film that deserves to be seen by every lover of qualitative cinema. A film that's bound to create ripples!
Rating:- [critique] * * * *