By Team Bollyy
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As off-putting as it may sound, Bollywood in recent years has been dominated by rape and revenge dramas. There was Maatr, then Mom, and now Bhoomi. We've of course had some well-made cinema on the subject, but Bhoomi is not an example of that. In one line, it is a film about a father and daughter seeking revenge for the wrong that has been done to her. It tries to be a feminist film but is confined within the walls of a traditional masala Bollywood movie, rife with melodrama, over the top dialogues, and a predictable and stereotypical plot.

Arun (Sanjay Dutt) is a widower based out of Agra. He is a shoe-maker who has single-handedly raised his daughter Bhoomi (Aditi Rao Hydari). The initial scenes with the father-daughter duo are sugary sweet and will definitely tug at your heartstrings. But this charade becomes too much to bear after a while and you start to look for something deeper in the relationship. The film, directed by Omung Kumar, quickly sets the premise of a woman gang-raped the day before a wedding and it is mostly all downhill from there.

But all is not lost. For one, Sanjay Dutt's on screen presence is terrific! It is probably the only thing that got the audience excited to an extent that there are whistles and hoots when he delivers his dialogues and even when he turns a killing machine. There are scenes, where because of the plot mostly, it looks like his performance is monotonic and devoid of emotion. But there are times, like when he fears for his daughter during one scene where she has supposedly taken her life and his eyes express genuine emotion. The actor's definitely still got swag but maybe he needs a better plot for his comeback to actually show what he's made of. Hydari's performance is also worth a mention. The transition from a happy-go-lucky girl to a traumatised rape-survivor to a woman ready to take on the world has been handled beautifully by the actress.

That, however, is just about it. Sharad Kelkar as one of the rapists and the main antagonist makes his presence felt, but is not really effective. He is too over the top, garish and takes you back to the villains of the 80s. It is this crassness that actually makes the message of the film get lost. The dialogues, especially Dutt's courtroom monologue, although befitting a typical masala-entertainer, fail to get the message across. There were of course whistles from the audience when Dutt said, "Mai tujhe ek second mei maar sakta hu, par mai tujhe roz maarunga", but it is this kind of shoddy writing that makes you believe that we still haven't figured out how to handle sensitive topics in Indian cinema.


The story is emotional but repetitive and it comes at a time when the industry is almost saturated with such plot lines. The narrative drags a lot and the first half of the film is unnecessarily stretched. But these are lows that could've been ignored if the film offered the audience a new perspective, which is where the problem truly lies. Music is another low for the film with the background score not doing justice to the plot at all. A film about women's issues, shouldn't ideally have an item number, but given the moolah that such songs rake in, producers and directors don't shy away from including them in whether the plot requires or not.

To conclude, Bhoomi is watchable for Dutt's performance and his chemistry with Aditi Rao Hydari. It is a decent, one-time watch. Although, the verdict is still out for how it will perform at the box office given it is competing with two other releases this week: Haseena Parkar and Newton, for me, Bhoomi is 3/5

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