In The Armchair

Dharm

Posted in Movies and Entertainment by Armchair Guy on July 1, 2008


I just watched a very interesting and thoughtful film, “Dharm”, directed by Bhavna Talwar and starring Pankaj Kapoor as an orthodox pundit in Varanasi. He is forced to re-examine his orthodoxy as a result of the incidents in the film. The movie is great – nice cinematography, great acting and direction.

I first heard of the film when Talwar filed suit against the board selecting India’s entry to the foreign film category in the Oscars, for passing over Dharm and choosing Eklavya instead. Having watched both films, one can see why. Dharm certainly had a better chance than Eklavya of winning that award. There is really no comparison: Dharm is a good film, Eklavya is an embarrassment to watch.

One thing that struck me about the character played by Pankaj Kapoor is his resemblance to the central character in the Telugu film “Shankarabharanam”. The stern visage, the absoluteness of belief and action, the act of lighting an aarti in his palm — are all echoes of J. V. Somayajulu’s role in Shankarabharanam. I wonder whether Talwar – and Pankaj Kapoor as well – was influenced by that film?

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