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Religion (2007)
"Dharm" (original title)

 -  Drama | History  -  8 June 2007 (India)
7.9
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Ratings: 7.9/10 from 669 users  
Reviews: 17 user | 9 critic

The movie is about a Hindu priest Pandit Chaturvedi (Pankaj Kapur) who is one of the most highly respected priests in the entire city of Varanasi. A man who lives for his religion, soaked ... See full summary »

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Title: Religion (2007)

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Cast

Credited cast:
Pankaj Kapur ...
Pandit Chaturvedi
Supriya Pathak ...
Parvati Chaturvedi (as Supriya Pathak Kapur)
Pankaj Tripathy ...
Suryaprakash (as Pankaj Tripathi)
Daya Shankar Pandey ...
Dayashankar Pandey (as Dayashankar Pandey)
...
Mani (as Hrishita Bhatt)
Anany Tripathi ...
Vedika (as Ananya Tripathi)
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Suruchi Aulakh ...
Suralya
Amar Jha ...
Gorasnath
Brajesh Jha ...
Shyam (Disciple 1)
Suhas Joshi ...
Older Priest
Shabnum Kapoor ...
Nafiaa
Amit Kumar ...
Pramod (Disciple 2)
Joel Lee ...
Paul
Gangadharan Manon ...
Ascetic (Jogi)
Krish Parekh ...
Kartikey / Mustafa
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Storyline

The movie is about a Hindu priest Pandit Chaturvedi (Pankaj Kapur) who is one of the most highly respected priests in the entire city of Varanasi. A man who lives for his religion, soaked in years of ancient traditions, values and morals. He is a strict, yet lovable man. As any real priest would, Chaturvedi believes he is a disciple of God on this earth to spread God's message and love as he goes about his rigidly ritualistic world of pooja's and teachings. One day his daughter brings home an infant (Krish Parekh) and the mother of the infant has disappeared and cannot be found nowhere. Pandit Chaturvedi is hesitant to have the child around the house at first, and when it's confirmed that the child has been abandoned, he then makes the decision that the child will be raised in the local orphanage. However the Pandit's wife Parvati (Supriya Pathak Kapur) has by now developed a soft spot for the young child and requests her husband if they can keep and raise the child if as their own. ... Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

religion | brahmin | muslim | pooja | riot | See All (14) »

Genres:

Drama | History

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Release Date:

8 June 2007 (India)  »

Also Known As:

Religion  »

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User Reviews

 
This film should be made mandatory viewing in all schools
6 August 2007 | by (India) – See all my reviews

Dharm is a film that needs to be made mandatory viewing in all schools across India if we really want to build a secular nation, whilst not giving up on our traditional heritage. More importantly, it needs to be screened – FREE public viewings – for each and every communally sensitive town, locality, and colony. Finally, it should be made compulsory viewing for some of our political leaders – and I don't take names – who have made a killing out of orchestrated communal frenzy and caste violence.

Dharm is not an ordinary film. Its power lies in the fact that it gives us a progressive interpretation of religion, straight from the head pontiff who has pursued a life of unwavering religiosity. A respected Brahmin priest, Pandit Chaturvedi (Pankaj Kapoor) has dominated the spiritual landscape of Benares with his strict adherence to the traditional tenets of practiced Hinduism. Like all conventional priests, he believes in the caste and communal differences and his world almost falls apart when he realizes he has adopted a Muslim child. The foundling who became Kartikeya for him was actually Mustafa, a child lost in the communal carnage that had ripped the city apart. When the child's mother returns, Pankaj as the devout priest; as the man who falls in love with the child; not only lets Kartikeya go, but as the torchbearer of his faith also cleanses his home, mind, body and soul by undergoing days of penance.

Is this the true essence of Dharm? No, declares the devout priest, when the city begins to rage once again in the communal cauldron and his followers brandish their sharpened swords in half-burnt colonies. Then, an enlightened Priest is the one who stands amidst the bloodbath and challenges his followers who attack with swords and fire torches. Eyes drop, swords fall to the ground, as he calls out to Kartikeya in the locality they have come to burn, and kill, and walks hand-in-hand with a Muslim child.

Set against the scenic backdrop of the Benares ghats, the film ends up equating Dharm with its true tenets: the world is one big family; any discrimination on the basis of caste, color, community and religion is anti Dharm. Pankaj Kapoor towers like a colossus amidst the dying social fabric and what could have been an instructive sermon on spirituality,turns up as an uplifting soul curry.

Brilliant photography, a very good soundtrack and top class performance from Pankaj Kapoor. I would recommend this film for every youngster. In fact, schools should put up a circular urging their students, besides facilitating them, to see this movie. Education begins at the grass roots. Let's teach the future of our nation, that religion is all about humanity. That to love one another as God loves us is the biggest act of faith.


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