'Dharam Sankat Mein' review: Despite Paresh Rawal's strong performance, the film fails to create an impact

Religion and its illogical discourse in the country has been a topic of several discussion and debate in the past. Many filmmakers have also adapted this theme for their films. Umesh Shukla's 'OMG: Oh My God' and Rajkumar Hirani's 'PK' have in the recent past quite brilliantly highlighted the hypocracy that exists in the name of rituals. Director Fuwad Khan's latest film 'Dharam Sankat Mein' is based on similar lines where an individual questions whether the religion should dictate terms in one's personal relations.

The film revolves around a successful Ahmedabad businessman Dharampal Trivedi (Paresh Rawal) who is sceptic of religious god men and rituals but also like a typical middle class Hindu weary of the minority community. He is the kind who will scoff off all religious functions that his family wants him to be a part of but at the same time secretly wish that his liberal Muslim lawyer neighbor (Annu Kapoor) shifts out his pre dominant Hindu neighbourhood.

All hell breaks loose when Trivedi discovers his devout Jain parents adopted him from a Muslim family. Partly out of curiosity, Trivedi then tracks down his now ailing biological father to an old age home run by an Imam who slyly wants to convert him to Islam knowing his background. The story takes off when Trivedi tries to fit in both the religion, adhering to meaningless rituals of both the religion much to the surprise of his family.

Rawal, an effortless actor, gets into the skin of his character and delivers a commendable performance as the distressed Trivedi who tries to accept all things spiritual in hope to impress his loved ones and falters majorly as he has always ran away from it. Rawal's performance is perfect in the film and the actor's comic timing is highlighted well in scenes especially with Annu Kapoor. The two talented actors deliver a formidable performance and their onscreen chemistry is brilliant.

Sadly, inspite, of two good actors in the lead, the film fails to pick up. Sure, it delivers very relevant messages throughout the film but it lacks a high point where the viewer can feel overwhelmed or ponder over. Director Fuwad Khan tries to highlight the weakness of the both the religion- keeping the story line unbiased and neutral to a great extent but the lack of strong screenplay mars the film's narrative majorly.

Perhaps the biggest disappointment in the film is Naseeruddin Shah- who plays a slimy godman called Neelanand Baba. Shah's screentime is limited and the scenes that do have him, he completely over acts and delivers an extremely poor performance. Considering the actor's amazing talent, it is sad to see him to do something so obscure. Shah's character is sketched around Baba Ramdev and the writers borrow mannerisms of Ramdev and even certain incidents within the story to give it a realistic feel but all in all it ends up looking like bad imitation in a B grade film.

The major problem with film is that it does not say anything that we don't know already. Religious discourse, blind faith in god men, unnecessary attention to rituals has already been highlighted well in previous films and 'Dharam Sankat Mein' in the garb of comedy, harps almost the same points. It is also unfortunate to see that how actors like Shah and Kapoor are wasted in the film. The only person takes the film forward is the film's lead protagonist Rawal but with a weak script how much can he do.

It isn't clever neither is it hilariously entertaining- it is just about an average film with certain light moments.
Source - ibn live

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