#HGStreams: Dug Dug Is A Biting Satire Of Religion & Idol Worship

#HGStreams: Dug Dug Is A Biting Satire Of Religion & Idol Worship

In a society where even the news sometimes feels like a big joke is being played on us, satire functions in the best way possible. While making us laugh, it brings into sharp focus the harsh realities that confront us.

Particularly over the last century, the institutionalization and commercialization of religion and faith have shone a light on the human tendency to blindly follow things that may seem other-worldly even if they escape all logic. Expanding on this thought is filmmaker Ritwik Pareek whose 107-minute film Dug Dug is a striking and infectious satire that revolves around an unexplainable and freakish motorcycle incident that ends up sowing the seeds of a newfound religion.

Inspired by the esoteric temples that the filmmaker (who is also the writer-director of the film) Ritwik Pareek frequented in Rajasthan with his grandmother, the film explores religious commercialization and idolatry nature of people and the contagious power of faith and religion in society.

Featuring Altaf Khan, Gaurav Soni, Yogendra Singh and Durgalal Saini, the film follows a freakish motorcycle accident on a rural road where a 40-year old alcoholic, Thakur, loses his life. The motorcycle he was riding (of the Dug-Dug brand) is recovered by the police and locked up in a nearby police station. Things start to take an unexpected and strange turn when the following morning the bike is found back at the crash site with its locks broken, in a rather inexplicable way.

Removed once more, it keeps showing up again and again at the place of Thakur’s death. The bizarre nature of the manifestation of the bike at the location of the owner’s death leads to rumours being spread about Thakur’s spirit inhabiting the vehicle, thus leading to claims of divinity.

Soon enough, a sense of bike reverence starts pervading the region when some locals start offering alcohol (Thakur’s favourite) to the bike and attributing their good fortune to Thakur’s providence. Before you know it a new religion has been formed out of a completely bizarre occurrence.

The wit with which the film unfolds is a testament to Pareek’s clarity of thought. It begs introspection and takes on some important questions without getting lost in the workings of its own plot. In a way, I believe that only satire could do justice to the plot and theme that the film wishes to capture. To understand it best, you have to experience it for yourself – the cinematography, the mood of the film and how it holds up a mirror towards society, thus leaving us to reflect.

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