YA RAB

The film Ya Rab has Ajaz Khan, Akhilendra Mishra in the lead is directed by Hasnain Hyderabadwala. This is an interesting movie with an intelligent, intense and important message but poor presentation. This melodramatic film puts across with a deafening gusto and a blinding sincerity. The movie highlights the fact that Islam is not about terrorism and how it has been used as a tool to brainwash the ‘mob’ by fanatics who have no ideologies apart from wreaking havoc and snuffing out innocent lives. The treatment of the theme of anti-terrorism harks back to the Bollywood potboilers of the 1970s, there is clearly an abundance of passionate integrity in the depiction of the Good Religion and Bad Religion. YA RAB Had the story-telling been on the lines of A WEDNESDAY or AAMIR, this film, I dare say, would have been an absolute stunner.

There is something to be said about a film that speaks out loudly against the religion of intolerance and the culture of violence. And eye for an eye may be fine for an era gone-by. In today‚Äôs day and age, just chill, and curb the rage. We have here self-proclaimed watchdogs of the religion who will go to any lengths to educate the ”uneducated Muslims”, (as the Maulana refers to those who fall for his ploy) to get even with their enemies. However, on the other hand, we are also shown Muslim clerics who are not too happy with the way Maulana Jilani (Akhilendra Mishra) is going about the business of preaching his religion and inciting mobs. They quote verses from the Quran about how Islam teaches that, ”If any one saved a life, it would be as if he saved the life of the whole people.” So how can you go on a self-destructive mode? This and many other references are made to the Quran where respecting human lives is highlighted

The plot is a playground of heightened passion. Boutique-purchased costumes, beards and caps play pivotal characters along with the melee of actors who crowd the canvas. Every sequence ends with an italicized exclamation mark. The grammar of storytelling is exceedingly elemental. But the heart is in the right place.
Somewhere in the first-quarter of the crowded hectic storytelling, the veteran theatre and film actor S.M. Zaheer shows up to deliver an impassioned and effective monologue against the religion of intolerance. Zaheer makes you listen. The rest of the cast is purely hammy, as per the need of the hour. The performances of most are below the mark, while a few go over-the-top in their enthusiasm. In short, this is a hotchpotch plot with below average direction. Intense scenes are more of a caricature, while after a serious scene (or during one), we are taken to nonsensical flashbacks.

The storytelling accommodates dozens of characters , good and bad, all screaming for attentions in accessorized conspicuousness. There is something for every taste here, from a cute little boy who knows his holy scriptures in and out, to a speech-impaired teenager who suddenly discovers his tongue and becomes a human bomb in a terror attack staged in shopping mall.

The ending too where an operation is performed in a moving ambulance escaping from a mob out to burn them, is hilarious. The entire screenplay defies logic. I can understand if this has happened in a blockbuster film with the big stars where they expect you to keep your brains behind. But not in YA RAB where the intention is to educate with a calming message rather than entertain.

The two stars are basically for the honest intention.