Omung Kumar of Mary Kom fame has directed the latest release this Friday. Sanjay Dutt’s comeback film, ‘Bhoomi’. ‘Bhoomi’ is written by
BhoomiSanjay Baba delivers a captivating performance in an average film.
Omung Kumar of Mary Kom fame has directed the latest release this Friday. Sanjay Dutt’s comeback film, ‘Bhoomi’. ‘Bhoomi’ is written by Raaj Shandilya and produced by Bhushan Kumar. The film is a revenge-action-drama based on the stain of rape on our society. An issue that has recently become popular with Bollywood, and thankfully is now being portrayed with the necessary decency. Omung Kumar is known to make good wholesome cinema, a tad melodramatic yet relevant and overall appreciable. Does his formula succeed with ‘Bhoomi’? Read on.
First, let’s meet the actors:
Sanjay Dutt as the Anti-Khalnayak
Aditi Rao Hydari as the victim
Sidhant Gupta as the love interest
Sharad Kelkar as Dhauli of Dhaulpur
Shekhar Suman as the comic relief
Bhoomi starts off with visuals of a poorly lit road at night, with a girl screaming inside a moving car, struggling to escape (Yes, it cuts to the chase right away). The film then skips back into a previous, happier time. With typical Bollywood dance sequences, and a backdrop of the famous city of Agra. Aditi Rao Hydari skips about in her role which requires her to be jovial and bubbly. Sanjay Dutt as a dutiful father. Making peace with his anxiety about his daughter’s absence late into the night, by drinking whisky with his pal. It’s all fun and games (and cheesy dialogues and overacting), till Aditi Rao Hydari is violated.
Bhoomi correctly depicts the struggles of a rape victim. How she must cope with not only her own trauma, but also learn not to be weary of a society that will offer more condescension than condolence. It correctly depicts the fragility of relationships and the insidious nature of trouble that brews and bubbles in plain view and yet goes unnoticed. It tells us that justice is the only thing that makes life for the victim post-assault, bearable. (Either justice or revenge. Bollywood is yet to come to terms with the seemingly minor difference between the two)
However, these are the only good things that can be said about the film. On the whole, it is a badly written and badly directed film. The performances are stellar and manage to salvage the crumbling screenplay to some extent. Yet, they do not allow us to make peace with all the other inadequacies. The plot is the oldest one in the book. The issue is one that has been re-visited by Indian cinema time and again. The characters are stereotypical and the dialogues are murder.
Sanjay Baba delivers a captivating performance. He does not overplay or underplay his character’s emotions. His action sequences (barring one), seem age-appropriate and plausible. He brings a certain gravity to the film which isn’t an easy task for most actors. The fact that Dutt himself has a criminal record, make all the frightening action sequences, seem even more realistic. A simple stare from his beady bloodshot eyes and his unwavering gaze are enough to make anyone uneasy. Sanjay Dutt truly redeems himself (that too, without the aid of a Munna Bhai movie).
Aditi Rao Hydari is also very believable as a pained, tortured girl, trying to live her life with dignity after it has been snatched away from her. Although, given her large blank eyes and her slender figure, Bollywood is very obviously typecasting this talent as ‘the victim’. We hope she can navigate her filmography well, by making the correct choices ahead. There is a scene where she loses her calm whilst erasing a derogatory message off a wall. In that instant, you truly will feel her helplessness and her anguish. With this performance, it is safe to say that she has progressed as an actress.
The rest of the cast also act well. However, they are given the most banal and the most obvious roles to play. Obvious roles with terribly cheesy dialogues. Sharad Kelkar actually had to say, ‘Main hoon Dhaulpur ka Dhauli.’ Really? Shekhar Suman is also given the worst script possible to act out. The comic genius must have had major creative differences with the writers.
The film is two hours long. Generic and predictable. More preachy than entertaining. All the cliche’s are there. Be it the villain bashing in a washerman’s alley, or devotional songs being played to supplement the honourable killings of the demonic criminal. We’ve all seen this brand of cinema and we know the type. The film doesn’t do too much for feminism either. A father going after the rapists of his daughter to redeem her honour is pretty 20th century.
Basically, it’s a boring script with a bad screenplay. The cheesy dialogues and the cacophony of the background score make Bhoomi worse. The only reason to watch the film might be for Sanjay Dutt and Aditi Rao Hydari’s nuanced performances. Otherwise, we suggest you skip this one. There are plenty of other films opening this weekend. I give Bhoomi 2.5/5.
You will like this film if: you enjoyed Mom, Lajja, Matrbhoomi
You will dislike this film if: you cannot tolerate corny dialogues or a predictable script
Best performance: Sanjay Baba