Review: Mere Desh Ki Dharti

A well-meaning, inspirational film about the dilemmas of contemporary Indian youth, writes TROY RIBEIRO

Reading Time: 3 minutes


With its title derived from the song of the 1967 released Upkar, the well-meaning, inspirational, and unpretentious Mere Desh Ki Dharti is meant to stir a patriotic urge among its audience, which it does to a certain extent.

A conceptual film designed to revolutionise the youth, the narrative mirrors the society of contemporary India. It reflects the angst amongst the youth of the country and the rural-urban divide. It also offers a solution for a better tomorrow.

Film: Mere Desh Ki Dharti (Theatre release)

Duration: 145 minutes

Starring: Divyendu Sharma, Anupriya Goenka, Anant Vidhaat, Inaamulhaq, Rutuja Shinde, Rajesh Sharma, Brijendra Kala, Atul Srivastava, Farrukh Jaffar, Annu Kapoor

Director: Faraz Haider

Rating: **1/2

Perfunctorily and formulaically mounted with a by-the-numbers plot, the narrative follows the journey of young engineers Ajay (Divyendu Sharma) and his friend Sameer (Anant Vidhaat) from being abject urban failures, to icons of rural India.

Bogged down with a university loan, lack of opportunity to earn a reasonable living, and no finance for a start-up, Ajay and Sameer are driven to abject misery and attempt suicide.

But after a failed attempt of jumping on the tracks, under a moving train, they decide to board a train and find an idyllic spot and moment, to give up their lives, but fate has other plans for them.

The second act takes place in Salamatpur in Madhya Pradesh. Our heroes land up there by happenstance, where they are exposed to the great Indian reserve and kindness that bridge the culture of the vast Indian sub-continental landscape.

Source: IMDb

Here they meet a garishly dressed Pappan Khan (Inamul Haq), a good soul who mistakes them for someone else and takes them to his village and home, where they meet farmers who are driven to poverty and harassed by loan sharks. How the duo becomes the messiah of the villagers forms the crux of this narrative.

The final act with Annu Kapoor at the helm seems like a rushed job to end the film on a patriotic note.

The film is Divyendu Sharma and Anant Vidhaat’s canvas. As Ajay and Sameer, they are both sincere and natural in their performances.

Anupriya Goenka as Ajay’s love interest Jumki and Rutuja Shinde as Sameer’s love interest Shilpa, they have a minor part in the broad framework of the narrative, and they deliver their chops with all earnestness.

In Salamatpur, the minutely observed characters, mostly non-professional actors, are endearing, honest, and fascinating. The old wrinkled faces in the film are among its treasures. It reveals to us the undying spirit in the aging body. The discomfort of some of the actors in smaller roles which is obvious, adds to the film’s overall charm.

Farrukh Jaffar as Pappan’s grandmother is amusing. Her character is painstakingly crafted, and she effortlessly delivers her lines like the plaintive bleating of sheep. She gives a phenomenally realistic and warm performance.

On the technical front, staged on a moderate scale with great production values, each scene is well-crafted and painstakingly executed. While some scenes are overly dramatic, the film buoys on a high-pitched note feeling unnatural and staged at times. Also, the frames in the title song appear forced to create an artistic impression.

The songs propel the narrative forward, especially the spunky and volatile lyrics of Jallad Zindagi.

Overall, Mere Desh Ki Dharti is engaging despite appearing like a story of a bygone era. You empathise with its makers but in the end, the film does not stir you emotionally.

READ ALSO: What’s on our screens this May

- Advertisement -

Related Articles


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

- Advertisement -
- Advertisement -


Let’s Talk Boosters: Indian Link podcast

  In LET'S TALK BOOSTERS, a new podcast series by Indian Link, host Ekta Sharma quizzes Dr Kritman Dhamoon of Blacktown Hospital Sydney about booster...
Frontline worker Parita Patel (inset). Image supplied

‘Serving the community’: COVID testing in remote NSW

  The past two years have been a rollercoaster of COVID-19 related turmoil; from isolating lockdowns, closed borders, to trying to help Indians in the...

Ep 9: What do young Indians want from love?

  Growing up in Indian culture, most of us know that love has never been as popular as marriage. Even in the movies, the main...
- Advertisement -

Latest News

Review: Dhaakad

  Director Razneesh Ghai's Dhaakad is an action-packed, stylishly mounted but twisted thriller that has the feel of a graphic novel. Designed as an espionage thriller,...
scott morrison playing cricket

Seeing the 2022 Federal Elections through the eyes of a cricket...

  On ABC Sydney radio this week (Journos’ Forum with Richard Glover on the Drive show), Indian Link’s Pawan Luthra looked at the 2022 Federal...
gaganyaan discovery +

Review: Gaganyaan – Bharat Ki Antariksh Udaan (Discovery+)

  Gaganyaan, a 47-minute documentary streaming on discovery+, showcases India's ambitious odyssey of sending Indian astronauts into space in an Indian spacecraft by 2023. The film...
heavy metal

Ask Auntyji: Heavy metal vs. my boys arguing

  Dear Auntyji I am an Australian, married to a lady of Indian descent. I occasionally read your columns and need an online dictionary to understand...

Feel in awe at Vivid Sydney

  There are plenty of awesome activities in Sydney all year around. Nearly every month sees a fiesta, embracing themes ranging from art, culture, theatre,...