Free Press Journal

Movie Review: Dozakh In Search of Heaven –  An experiment in Hindu-Muslim amity gone awry


Dozakh reiview

Cast: Lalit Mohan Tiwari, Pawan Tiwari, Nazim Khan, Garrick Chaudhary, Ruby Saini

Director: Zaigham Imam

Rating: * ½

As a concept and on paper, this idea must have seemed brilliant but as a film, it just doesn’t work. And this, mainly because of an unlettered script and poor narrative skills.

Adapted from a book of the same name by author/writer-Director Zaigham Imam, this film, despite it’s much touted visits to various second rung film festivals, fails to live up to it’s promise of being something illuminating and path-breaking.

The storyline is a little too flimsy to be meaningful. The obvious attempt to connect conciliatory sentiment with regimented religious practice is not very becoming either.

Maulvi sahib(Lalit Mohan Tiwari) has a 12 year old son Jaanu(Garrick Chaudhary) whom he dotes on. He makes  concerted efforts to inculcate Islamic beliefs and practices in Jaanu but the young lad is more attracted to Hinduism and it’s practice as taught to him by the temple priest whom he sneaks off to meet everyday. When Jaanu’s mother dies from an accident, she is buried as per custom but Jaanu gets disturbed seeing his mother being relegated to a dark and shadowy grave. He wants her to be immolated and immersed in the Ganges. After his mother’s death Jaanu gets into the habit of stealing away in the middle of the night and lying besides his mother’s grave. Then one fine day he disappears altogether.

The film opens with Jaanu going missing and the ageing Maulvi frantic in his search for his young son and what he finds in the end and what he does to appease the Gods , is the crux of the story.

The book in fact doesn’t translate well into a script. There’s not enough meat in the writing or the telling. Dialogues sound repetitive, sequences are unnecessarily prolonged and the indistinctive pace and monotony make sustaining through even the short runtime of 118 mins extremely difficult. The treatment doesn’t allow for any emotional attachment either. The background score is loud and unbecoming to the storyline and narrative spiel. Even the performances are lackluster. This novel attempt to foster Hindu-Muslim amity is pretentious at best!

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