REVIEW:REMEMBERING THE MAHATMA: ROAD TO SANGAM


REMEMBERING THE MAHATMA: ROAD TO SANGAM
Not many are aware that of the eighteen urns carrying the ashes of Mahatma Gandhi, one of the urns remained in a locker of State Bank of India in Orissa while the ashes contained in the remaining urns were consigned to the various rivers across the country. This “forgotten” urn was collected by the great grandson of the Mahatma, Tushar Gandhi, who then arranged for it to be brought to Allahabad. He organized for this urn to be carried on the same Ford truck which had carried the Mahatma’s ashes in February 1948 to consign the ashes contained in this urn to the confluence (SANGAM) of the Ganga and Jamuna at Allahabad. The original engine of the Ford Truck obviously had to be repaired to become a prime mover again and this task was assigned to a Allahabad based Muslim mechanic, Hashmatullah.
A debutant director Amit Rai picked on this bit of fact and wove a story around this theme to highlight the dilemma of a devout Muslim caught between the demands of his neighborhood and his devotion to the Father of the Nation. That is the origin of the 2010 production ROAD TO SANGAM starring Paresh Raval, Om Puri and Pavan Malhotra. I am rather surprised as to why this film hasn’t been given the publicity that it should have, considering that the theme is extremely relevant in today’s context and the message of Mahatma has been expounded in a manner hitherto not seen on the screen. True, this film has won a few awards at International Film Festivals, but I strongly feel that this should have been recommended as compulsory viewing by all Indians.
I was fortunate that my dear wife watched this and persuaded me to watch this on DVD a few days back. I felt that if because of this note appearing on the blog today, October 2nd, I could cause a few thousand to see this and watch the DVD: that would be my humble tribute to Gandhiji.
The movie is brilliant as long as the director chooses to focus on the plight of Hashmatullah, so brilliantly played by Paresh Raval, but tends to lose pace and credibility when larger issues like Talban, creation of Pakistan and Jinnah are attempted to be brought in the frame. Thankfully, such deviations account for a small portion of the movie and therefore do not dilute the basic message. Pavan Malhotra is equally outstanding in his portrayal of the Maulvi fundamentalist and Om Puri as the militant chief is good as usual. Incidentally, Hashmatullah, on whom the movie is made is still a resident of Allahabad. The shots of the ghettos in which the residents stay are vividly realistic and although the movie moves at a slow pace, the powerful message of love and non-violence makes an indelible impression.
Just watch it!
RATING: 4 out of 5

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About Vijay from Muscat

A cheerful person who loves watching and reviewing movies and indulges in random writings!
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One Response to REVIEW:REMEMBERING THE MAHATMA: ROAD TO SANGAM

  1. SSR says:

    Sir,

    You sure have a way of dragging people into your bag with those introductory notes in the mail text whether it is a commedy movie or one as serious as this one; whether it is a latest block buster with big starcast or otherwise. I first thought I will go through the review later but I couldn’t resist to click the link at the end of your interesting few lines in the mail which dragged me straight into your blog and here I am still spending a lot more time than I thought I would on your blog….

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