An elderly Muslim cleric’s (Lalit Mohan Tiwari) simple life is disrupted when his 12-year-old son Janu (Garrick Chaudhary) goes missing. The story then goes into a flashback to reveal the events that occurred before this unfortunate incident and what triggered the disappearance.
Fondly called Chacha, the anxious cleric goes from pillar to post looking for his loved one. During the search, he remembers Janu’s fascination for Hindu mythology and Hanuman. He forbids Janu from watching the local Ram Leela, let alone participate as Hanuman in it. But Janu strikes up an unlikely friendship with a Hindu priest, who fondly feeds him prashad. Janu gorges on it. Chacha is ashamed to see his son taking to Hinduism. He wants him to respect his religion first and read the Quran instead. An obedient Janu obliges, but continues to secretly believe in the Hindu teachings – especially the Hindu funeral rites. Janu’s mother plays the peacemaker between the two. However, after she gets killed in an accident, the two are forced to face their fears, simmering tension and difference in their ideals.
While the film wanders aimlessly along with its elderly protagonist initially, it takes a drastic turn in the second half. This is where the suspense surrounding Janu ends, leaving a lump in your throat. If you forgive the technical flaw – poor sound (mainly stemming from low-budget issues) and an unhurried beginning, the film manages to move you with its heartrending story and effective performances. It could have probably worked better as a short film, owing to the nature of the plot.
Also, while religion is an integral part of the story, it’s the sense of loss and regret that lies at the heart of it.
Zaigham Imam’s story is much stronger than his amateur execution. Nonetheless it deserves to be seen for its sheer thought, which is brilliant. Love transcends religion.
The film is a poignant tale of love, loss and religion.
The Times of India