Sandesh Shandilya, Nitin Kumar Gupta, Prem Haria, Vijay Mishra
Sudhir Nema, Narsinh Mehta, Allama Iqbal, John Henry Newman, Guru Granth Sahib
Paresh Rawal, Om Puri, Javed Shaikh, Pavan Malhotra, Swati Chitnis, Masood Akhtar, Yusuf Hussain, G.P.Singh, Rajan Bhise and Tushar Gandhi
Road To Sangam Movie Review
January 27, 2010 11:57:15 AM IST By Martin D'Souza, Bollywood Trade News Network
Fiction with a tadka of reality. The concept is brilliant. The mixing of the two is smart. Imagine someone concocting a story around an urn containing the ashes of Bapu and drumming up a delectable recipe for peace. There's also mention of Jinnah and his hand in the partition. Food for thought. Sixty-three years later, the hate war still wages.
Last month, the Archdiocesan Youth Commission organised a Youth Fest where over 5000 Catholic youth from all over Mumbai gathered for a 'Peace in Pieces Out' evening.
Amit Rai, the director, belongs to this category of youth who think with their heart in place. Anger is justified but justifying your stance to be angry is what Rai is portraying on the screen with ROAD TO SANGAM. 'Peace In, Pieces Out' cries his protagonist. Mob mentality is a thing of the past, is what Rai is trying to say. Stand up for what you feel is right, even though the community may be up in arms. Most are afraid to challenge, but one man's conscience can revolutionise the peace process.
In ROAD TO SANGAM, Rai travels the oft-trodden Muslim path. But therein ends the similarity. He turns the formula on its head and has everyone shaking their head in agreement.
Hashmat Ullah (Paresh Rawal) is a sought-after mechanic in Lucknow. He is entrusted with the job of restoring an old V8 Ford Engine, unaware that it was once used to carry the ashes of Mahatma Gandhi. As he works on his new assignment, for which he is given a week to complete his task, a powerful bomb explodes in his town leading to the arrest of Muslim youth. A strike to close shops is called by prominent leaders of their community led by Ali Kasturi (Om Puri) and Maulana Qureshi (Pawan Malhotra) as a mode of protest.
Hashmat has other plans even as his friends turn their back on him. He is adamant on opening his shop, not because he learns the importance of his latest assignment but because he feels peace should be given a chance. He has a tough time convincing the others in his community about his actions. ''What if the truck was carrying the urn of some Muslim leader, would you still ask me to stop work?'' he asks those in command.
Rai explores the complexity of the issue and drives home his point. Adding weight to the story line is the real locations. Shot entirely in actual locations of Allahabad in UP, the film lends credibility to its characters and surroundings.
On the flip side, the movie is almost 30 minutes too long. Tighter editing was the need of the hour. As for the performance, Pawan Malhotra as the Maulana stands out. He modulates his voice to suit the character. No mean feat this.
In the beginning, ROAD TO SANGAM, is a little bumpy, but though the journey is a little long, it enlightens before you reach the end. It leaves you asking many questions.
I strongly recommend, that the young and old should venture on this ROAD TO SANGAM. It's a journey worth exploring.