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Dharm (2007)

 -  Drama | History  -  8 June 2007 (India)
7.9
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Ratings: 7.9/10 from 661 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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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
Edit

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

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Plot Keywords:

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

Genres:

Drama | History

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Release Date:

8 June 2007 (India)  »

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User Reviews

 
A wonderful film about what religion should be all about....just be sure you have some Kleenex handy as you watch.
19 March 2014 | by (Bradenton, Florida) – See all my reviews

In Dharm, Pandit Chaturvedi (Pankaj Kapur) is a Brahmin priest in India. As a Brahmin and Hindu scholar, he's greatly respected by the Hindu masses, as the Brahmins are the highest of the castes (a social class to which you are born and cannot change). Members of this caste have been considered by many to be next to God--just one or two reincarnations away from reaching Nirvana (perfect enlightenment). In this position as a scholar, he obeys all the structure and rules of Hinduism--and dedicates himself to being holy--like God's own agent on Earth. However, while obeying the letter of Hindu scriptures and being a shining example to his followers, he is a cold and rigid man--with little understanding of the spirit of religion. For him, it is all rules, regulations and ritual.

Into the VERY ordered house of Chaturvedi comes a big surprise. His daughter is asked by a stranger in town to keep watch over her baby just for a moment--and the mother never returns to get the boy. Chaturvedi is initially angry--this child cries a lot and disrupts his meditations and rituals—and his life revolves around these things. However, he soon grows to like the child and agrees to let his wife keep it. And, due to the young boys' influence, over time Chaturvedi begins to loosen up and smile and see his religion in such a rigid manner.

While the home seems quite ideal with the boy, there is a HUGE surprise is in store. Although Pandit Chaturvedi was told the child was, like him, from the Brahmin caste (and that is why he agreed to adopt it), his mother eventually returns. This isn't the only surprise, as he is shocked to learn that she is a Muslim! Considering how strict, dogmatic and unsympathetic he has been, this really throws this holy man for a loop! Now he must cleans his home, his temple and himself, pray for forgiveness and go on a strict fast to get the gods to forgive him for having an 'unclean child in his home'!

Although Chatuvedi is able to complete all these tasks to purify himself, he is still very uneasy. While as a Hindu and Brahmin he SHOULD care nothing about the boy, he cannot help but remember him now that he's been removed from the household. And, with religious riots breaking out in his town, he begins to worry about the child's safety, as many 'good Hindus' are on a rampage to rid their town of the hated unbelievers. What is Charuvedi to do?

This is a wonderful film for anyone—whether they are Hindu, Muslim, Christian, Atheist or whatever. It has a wonderful universal message— one that is taught without being preachy or heavy-handed. It also gives the viewer wonderful insights into Indian society today, as it wasn't that long ago when perhaps a million or more people were murdered after the partition of India into India and East and West Pakistan (now known as Bangladesh and Pakistan respectively) in 1947. Religious intolerance and anger simmer beneath the surface there—just like in some other parts of the world.

In addition to the great message, the film has excellent production values—with nice acting, music (it takes a little getting used to—but it is fitting) and cinematography. It's well worth seeing and would be especially good viewing if you watch it with your teens. Give this one a try. And, fortunately, it is available now through Netflix!


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A truly great movie. lord_terabyte
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