Director: Pankaj Parashar
Cast: Raj Babbar, Dimple Kapadia, Urmila Matondkar, Ashmit Patel, Akash Khurana
Music: Himesh Reshammiya
The film is about relationship of humans with God and the relationship of great men like Buddha, Kabir, Tulsi and Shankaracharya with Banaras. With this as the core subject, the film delves into the relationship of a loving young daughter, with her parents.
Shethambari (Urmila Mantondakar) daughter of rich brahmin parents (Dimple Kapadia and Raj Babbar) studies science at the local university in Banaras and falls in love with a low cast, mystic, musician Sohum (Ashmit Patel) and a protege of Babaji (Naseeruddin Shah). When the conservative and orthodox forces come to know of their love, hell breaks loose in Banaras - the city Shethambari love and adores. Her powerful parents try to ignore the social strictures for the happiness of their daughter; the dark forces and destiny take complete control.
When she looses her beloved, shattered and disillusioned Shwetambari decides to abandon the city and in despair she turns inwards to look for answers. In the task of knowing the inner soul, the mystical preacher (Naseerudin Shah) helps her transcends her own attachments and she discovers the ultimate freedom. 17 years later, Shwetambari, now a world teacher in philosophy and religion, is confronted with a final choice.
Whether to return to Banaras to meet her dying father or to continue to deny all attachments? Will she decide to go back to Banaras? What if, her return would awake the sleeping demons and surface the deep dark secrets lying underneath? Will they erupt like a volcano and destroy her for ever?
The film might seem to you as a love story but it is not. There is more to the film than the love story of an upper caste girl and a lower caste boy. The film is rich in emotions, pure in its execution and very mature in its presentation. Irrespective of how this film fares, director Pankuj Parashar will earn a lot of respect for his handling of the material. However the film will lack the mass audience due to the slow pace. Himesh Reshammiya's music is okay. Cinematography is excellent.
Urmila is great and once again proves that she is an excellent actress. Ashmit Patel is a revelation. He has given a brilliant performance. Raj Babbar and Dimple Kapadia excel yet again. Naseeruddin Shah is first-rate. Rest of the cast lend able support. Overall this film might not appeal to the masses but its a film worth a watch for those who love and admire meaningful films.