By Taran Adarsh Bollywood Hungama News Network
One look at the promos of ROAD TO SANGAM and you realize that this isn't one of those films you watch every week. ROAD TO SANGAM, in fact, pricks your conscience and mirrors a reality.
Wars have been fought and are still being fought in the name of religion. ROAD TO SANGAM tries to seek answers to the burning issue and in the process, also talks of partition and the Muslims in present-day India.
Made with honest intentions, this one's targeted at connoisseurs of cinema.
ROAD TO SANGAM tells the story of a God-fearing, devout Muslim mechanic named Hashmat Ullah [Paresh Rawal], who has been entrusted the job of repairing an old Ford engine, not knowing its historic significance.
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 [played by Om Puri and Pawan Malhotra] of his community to protest against the unjust treatment meted out to those arrested youths by the police.
Will he support the protest and abandon the repair of the engine or go against the wishes of his community?
A simple, thought-provoking story, ROAD TO SANGAM has some brilliant moments and also some sequences that you carry home. But what could've been told in a concise format seems stretched after a point. Also, besides moving at a snail's pace, there's also sermonising at times, which wasn't really required.
Writer-director Amit Rai explains his point of view, but the screenplay could've been firm for a stronger impact. Otherwise, the director has succeeded in extracting wonderful performances from the principal cast.
Paresh Rawal excels in this film. This is amongst his finest works. Om Puri is equally competent, although the length of his role is limited. Pawan Malhotra is efficient, as always. Javed Sheikh is good. The remaining actors enact their parts very well.
On the whole, ROAD TO SANGAM is mainly for connoisseurs of cinema and also for the festival circuit.
Rating:- [critique] * * *.