For some inexplicable reason, Hindi cinema has cautiously steered away from exploring the Muslim milieu. The few films that have done so in the recent past have only reinforced stereotypes. As a result, Islamophobia has only gained momentum.
Ya Rab then, despite all its technical flaws, takes a fresh look at this subject. The first half sees more action — set in a linear format — than one can handle, whereas the second half delivers a knockout punch.
Set in a world where religion and terrorism freely mingle with each other thanks to leaders with vested interests, the protagonists highlight the issues of faith and ignorance. The battle between a bunch of good guys and a deceitful religious head seems straightforward at first but it’s not so. The film establishes that it is essentially about a fight against propaganda fuelled by misinformation.
Predictably, the story is riddled with elements such as an orthodox family, an acclaimed neurosurgeon and a dedicated supercop. But the characters are believable and Pakistani actor Manzar Sehbai deserves a special mention. Unlike his stint on the show Bigg Boss, Ajaz Khan doesn’t overact here. Playing the antagonist, Akhilendra Mishra does a decent job as well.
The execution of some early sequences lacks finesse and some of the dialogues don’t make much sense. Also, the film — aimed at educating the masses and busting myths revolving around a particular religion — could have been tighter and less gimmicky.
Overall, this film may have low production values but it tackles a sensitive subject head-on and sends a clear message.