Bhoomi movie review: Strong performances weighed down by messy execution

Directed By: Omung Kumar
Produced By: Omung Kumar, Bhushan Kumar
Cast: Sanjay Dutt, Aditi Rao Hydari, Sharad Kelkar
Duration: 2 hours 15 minutes
Bollywood Bubble Rating: 1.5/5

No pretence. Omung Kumar’s ‘Bhoomi’ joins the bandwagon of disappointments in 2017. A regular revenge drama with potentials of a nice watch, turns out to be a chaotic mess.

It is even difficult to sum up what went wrong. As we’re introduced to Tarun Sachdeva (Sanjay Dutt) a middle-aged man who runs a shoe shop in Agra and his daughter Bhoomi Sachdeva, we immediately smell the incomparable as well as incomprehensible love they share. In one of early sequences, Tarun chants Ganesh Mantra as he murmurs, ‘Banjh ko putr de..’, and Bhoomi asks with wide eyes, ‘Putr kyun de? Putri kyun nahin’? That’s a subtle pretext of the tragedy that follows. A day before her wedding, Bhoomi is kidnapped by Vishal, a man whose romantic proposal she once turned down. Familiar much?

Next, she is taken to a local theatre owned by Dhauli (Sharad Kelkar), a man with a criminal’s mind, who is also aiding the kidnap.  An unconscious Bhoomi is gang-raped by Vishal, Dhauli and another companion of them. As she gains consciousness and somehow walks back home on the eve of her marriage, Bhoomi narrates everything to Neeraj (Siddhant Gupta), her fiancé. Neeraj’s character is that of a weak and spineless man who nods in obedience when his mother orders him to leave, and refuses to marry a woman whose dignity was taken away last night. But why am I not surprised with such a cliché character sketch?

The foreseen aftermath follows. In what we call a courtroom session, Bhoomi is humiliated with the most absurd questions. Finally, it is her father who realises that the judiciary is failing her. He takes charge and sets out for revenge.

There’s no surprise in the entire film. Especially if you’ve watched one ‘Maatr’ or one ‘MOM’, you’re not likely to be very shaken either. But what’s unpleasantly astonishing is, how insensitively ‘Bhoomi’ deals with something as inflamed as a gang rape. Through a series of rape sequences wherein the brats unzip their bottoms and blatantly lie down on an unconscious Aditi, it is not the horror of the situation that shows. They are the director’s desperate attempt of spoon-feeding us on how gruesome it is on the victim. They’re neither effective nor necessary.

Further, what could turn out the most powerful portion, is toned down with truckloads of drama. The courtroom sequences are an effort to follow the flavour of ‘PINK’.  What it intended to do was to uncover how women and their dignity, both are thoroughly post-mortemed as they’re quizzed and made to recall what all ‘happened’ in a rape. Here, we have a female lawyer who screams at the top of her voice, interrogating Bhoomi whether she remember where all was she touched during the rape. Enough said.

This is by far Omung Kumar’s weakest film. He weaves a heavily done film with bad treatments to his characters, around a not-so-new but potential story. Further, it is flawed down with a screenplay which is long and over-dramatised. We sat through, thanks to Sanjay Dutt and Aditi Rao Hydari. Dutt nails his act brilliantly. As a loving father and also as an enraged protector, he is a true delight to be relished. In a role of his own age, Dutt doesn’t hesitate to bring the best of his daring self.  Aditi mesmerises as the devastated daughter who transforms from a mourning, devastated soul to a woman who is seeking revenge for herself. She is the best part of this film, adding just the right quotient of emotions. Sadly, their performances are failed by poor execution.

Adding an item number doesn’t save your film always. ‘Bhoomi’ is proof. It is difficult to recall as to when was the last time that a beautiful lady like Sunny Leone looked this weird. She did.

Barring strong performances (Shekhar Suman isn’t included. He was just okay) and aesthetically apt art direction, ‘Bhoomi’ is largely melodramatic, dragged, weighed down and ununique. Not suggested!