The Film Review: Dharm

Topics: Hinduism, Supriya Pathak, Denotation Pages: 3 (1306 words) Published: August 27, 2013
The film Dharm directed by Bhavna Talwar stars Pankaj Kapoor and Supriya Pathak . Set in the ancient city of Banares, it follows the life of a learned and respected Hindu Brahmin priest Pandit Chaturvedi (Pankaj Kapoor) and hsi wife Parvati (Supriya Pathak) .An abandoned boy comes into Pandit Chaturvedi’s life and home. He adopts the child and names him Kartikey.Bringing up Kartikey as a good Brahmin fills the Pandit’s life with joy and laughter, till the day Pandit Chaturvedi is forced by religion to turn Kartikey away. The memories of the four years of Kartikey’s childhood challenge the very core of Pandit Chaturvedi’s belief in the 4000 years old way of life. According to Christian Metz, the spectator ‘continues to depend in the cinema on that permanent play of identification without which there would be no social life’ . In the movie, identification takes place with characters in eac scene. One is able to identify with Mani when she falls in love with the foreigner Paul and stays with him till the very end where he is killed due to communal riots. Identification is also done with Vedika, the panditji's daughter when she shows compassion in bringing home the infant, her protective sister instinct when she hids Karthikey so that he isn't taken away or the pain she feels when she sees him after a long time but is not allowed to meet him. The spectator is able to connect with Panditji and his wife as parents and can feel the suffering in the scene when Mustafa (Karthikey) is brought to their place by his biological mother asking for shelter from the riots but due to religious reasons he is turned away. Although one may not agree to what they did was right, the turmoil that Parvati goes through when she closes the door on her "son" is identifiable. Metz points out that not all films contain characters. Even in instances where characters are present, there cannot be total identification. The various shots of the camera are akin to the movement of the head. As...
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