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4 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

Mixed Opinions

Author: Chrysanthepop from Fraggle Rock
22 January 2008

I bought the DVD as it was on sale and it starred Bajpai and Kulkarni (whose works I have liked). 'Hanan' is one film of which I have mixed opinions. I cannot say I regret buying the DVD (yet) nor can I say I'm proud to have it (yet). I think it's brave of Deshpande to make a film on the current concept of religion vs atheism vs humanity. However, the idea seems lost at places. For example, why does Deshpande decide to show the protagonists, Pagla and Pagli, in the city? What was he trying to say? Was he trying to show how corrupt life in the city is? Why? Perhaps things will be a lot clearer if I rewatch 'Hanan'. Technically the film is adequate. I liked the village setting. The canal seems to play an important part (and is presented in a very subtle way). The songs do hinder the pace of the film and some could have easily been left out. The 'Pal Pal' song which is set in the movie theatre featuring numerous backup dancers seems out of place. The performances are mostly adequate. Manoj Bajpai is dependable as always. Sonali Kulkarni does well. The two actors share a sweet chemistry that stresses the purity and innocence of Pagla and Pagli's bond. Sayaji Shinde is the same as in his other films. Suhasini Mulay is good and Seema Biswas is brilliant. I think it's a brave and sincere effort of the director and perhaps a movie that can be discussed among friends.

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Gold in the off-beaten track.

10/10
Author: gunsha from India :-) ... -na :-(, USA
20 June 2007

This film is worth years of searching the off-beaten track at the sidelines of Bollywood hits. Here is a piece of pure Gold in the bargain bin. Pain of Faith: Hanan - An Assault on Faith. This is the ultimate film. The redeemer of Devaki, the avenger of Saanvri, the answer to Pratha, yes even the son of Phoolan Devi herself. Paagal hai! Genial bhi hai! The drum plays and the powers of heaven come down to make a film you just have to watch -- if you've got the true spirit, that is.

This film is about a man lovingly stigmatized as "Pagla" (Manoj Bajpai). He lives at Sri Bhagwati Devi Mandir in the village. He plays the drum, like Bagha in Lagaan. He can speak though, just is retarded, or is he? The film begins with Seema Biswas, the "contractors" abused wife accusing the goddess for not looking after the women. She curses the goddess, who shall find no peace in her world until she makes a good husband. And with these words the woman drowns herself in the river. To atone for this curse the contractor offers a Girl to the temple (wow, what an excellent idea, that ought to work!) Uska naam kya hai? Bhagwati, ha! (Sonali Kulkarni). Also lovingly called "Pagli". So begins quite a cute story of Pagla and Pagli who in their madness seem the only true human beings. They marry themselves, as Pagal knows to recite all the necessary mantras himself. But the people of the village won't let them be. And so, a journey begins which is just lovely and hilarious and exciting and too precious to give away in a summary.

Things come full circle at the end and you will see the clash of atheism and religion, evil and good, death and life, all in these two human beings and their world around. Will religion win or humanity? Both? None? Gotta watch! Picture is very nice, music is nice, what a beat! Rural, rustic, down to earth, heavens themselves bump down into earth here. There are some really nice memorable songs on it. Dhol Dhol Dhol has that rustic beat of Pagla's drum around the village temple, Pal Pal Ko Sajana Hai (part 1 and 2) is a beautiful love song, and to think of Pagla and Pagli having fun in it -- their way -- makes it extra special to hear. Haat Baje To is wonderfully recited piece in a religious festival, and the final Dil Ki Dua makes a strikingly soft contrast to a highly dramatic development of the film.

This film is a special treat, it can leave some viewers quite puzzled, but it is very unique and memorable. Do yourself the favor and watch this one. It is a wonderful story and won't let you down. I gave it a straight 10/10.

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A novel concept horribly wasted

2/10
Author: itsvivek4u from United States
19 October 2005

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

When i first started watching the movie, I had high hopes with the movie. First time director with sensible actors like Manoj Bajpai, Sonali Kulkarni, Suhasini Mulay, Seema Biswas: how could this movie go wrong? A wife who is abused by her husband commits suicide but before that she curses the durga maa that unless she makes someone a god husband, even she wont be able to rest to peace. Because of this the husband offers a girl(Sonali Kulkarni) to the temple. Here is where the whole problem starts. Firts thing is that its difficult to understand whether Sonali is being tried to portray as someone mad, childlike or possessed. What was the director actually trying to portray by her character. All throughout the movie she had this look on her face where she seemed like mentally unstable. Thankfully to balance it out, we had Manoj Bajpai giving a convincing performance of 'pagla', his character name. You knew exactly what his state of mind is. The film goes on from village to city where people try to make money from the fact that Bhagvati is possessed by devi maa.

The story is very confusing. Now what should I say about music. One would have expected some soothing may be devotional music in this film but Anu Malik comes up with most of the bizarre songs. he lyrics are awful, orchestration is all modern and don't even ask about the picturization. Like typical Hindi movies, all of a sudden you have extras come behind main leads and dancing like crazy in gaudy clothes to some really bad music.

So don't get swayed by the title, even if you love watching offbeat films (Beleive me i like different movies and loved movies like morning raaga, mitr etc but I wont suggest this to anyone). Only if Makrand Deshpande knew better what he was making and Sonali Kulkarni didn't blindly have faith in her director boyfriend, we could have had a better product with the same story idea.

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