Movie Review: Road To Sangam (2010)
Road To Sangam: Carries a strong message
Director: Amit Mishra
The films starts with Tushar Gandhi, grandson of Mahatma Gandhi receiving a box of Mahatma Gandhi’s ashes which have been lying at a local post office for years. He decides to immerse the ashes in the holy river ‘Sangam’ on the banks of Ganga. Then there is Hashmatullah (Paresh Rawal) a simple, god fearing, devout Muslim who is a renowned mechanic who can repair any engine. He is also respected by the local religious associations there and is a contender for the top post. His main rival is a rich man Mohammad Ali Kasuri (Om Puri) who at one time was his friend but due to some differences has become his rival. Also against Hashmat is the local maulvi Maulana Qureshi (Pawan Malhotra). Among Hashmat’s friends are Dr. Banerjee (Javed Sheilh) who though is from a different religion but always is by Hashmat’s side, like a brother. One day Hashmat has been entrusted the job of repairing an old V8 ford engine, not knowing the historic significance that it once carried the ashes of Mahatma Gandhi which were immersed in the holy river ‘Sangam’. He is caught in a complex situation after a powerful bomb explosion rocks his town leading to the arrest of innocent Muslim youths of his locality. A strike to work is called by the prominent leaders, Mohammad Ali Kasuri and Maulana Qureshi, to protest against the unjust treatment meted out to those arrested youths by the police. He supports them but as he comes to know that the engine he is repairing is needed for a procession to immerse Gandhiji’s ashes in a few days, he decides not to join the strike but continue the work on the engine. In return he faces a wrath of fury from his community members. Finally with his nice attitude he is able to convince some of his community people to let him work and they support him. He also convinces the government to change the route of the procession through his area, which is a stronghold of Muslims. Finally the engine is repaired and the procession takes place and muslims greet the procession with open hands and full respect.
Some may find the film as a glorification of Gandhism, but actually its more about ‘not having’ them rather then ‘getting’ them. And that’s the major USP of this films which doesn,t preaches the principles but simply asks whether do you really aware of such thoughts and ideas.
Debutante director Amit rai does a commendable job in making a thought provoking film and equally commendable is the way he has managed to strike brilliant performances from the actors who are anyway brilliant on their own but this film adds more shine to their acting glory where Paresh Rawal is astonishing, Pawan Malhotra as the maulvi is outstanding and Om Puri is brilliant as ever. Swati Chitnis as Paresh’s wife and Yusuf Hussain as Gaffer also provide valuable support.
Filmmaker Amit Rai has succeeded in awakening our dead souls and remind the significance of the great Mahatama Gandhi and his ideologies which are becoming more and more relevant in this age of smart phones and sleek wheels. Watch it for this soul reason.