In the opening scenes of Bhoomi, Sanjay Dutt, who plays a single doting dad in the revenge drama, begs for forgiveness from his daughter with folded hands. He looks mortified.
His crime? The okra that he made for dinner from scratch that night for his daughter was spicy.
His apology was to underline his love and the deep bond that he shared for his waif-like daughter, played by Aditi Rao Hydari.
Was it over-dramatic and ridiculous?
These adjectives can also be applied to this revenge drama that suffers from clunky twists.
Ideally, the actor and its director Omung Kumar should beg their viewers for forgiveness for subjecting them to a film that delves into a grim subject like gang rape and reducing it into a pulpy, masala-filled mindless entertainer.
It made for an exhausting watch.
Sample this: a woman is brutally gang-raped and pushed over a bridge; the next scene we have former adult actress, Sunny Leone, writhing sensually in mud and doing hip thrusts to a suggestive item number called Trippy Trippy. The titillating song was meant to highlight the rapists’ moral bankruptcy, but it just felt like a contrived attempt at banking on Leone’s sensuality.
We have Hydari, who plays the angelic Bhoomi. She’s a wedding planner in Agra who’s about to get married to her sweetheart, a doctor (Sidhant Gupta).
But the villain in the utopian tableau is a young man from her neighbourhood who proposes to Bhoomi, but is rejected.
The spurned lover decides to teach her a lesson and subjects her to a sexual assault, along with his brutish cousin, Dhauli, played well by Sharad Kelkar.
While Kelkar does a decent job of playing a nasty rapist and the leader of the rapists’ pack, he is let down by dialogues such as “let’s now play a game called hide and shriek and not hide and seek”, as he stands at the edge of a cliff.
Below, his henchmen are indulging in an erotic game where a woman is pursued, caught and taken into a cave.
Dutt, who makes a comeback with this violent drama, looks perennially pained and rusty with his acting skills.
Hydari does her part of playing a rape survivor with grace, but she doesn’t have much to do other than support her father, a shoemaker, who goes on a bloody rampage after he doesn’t get justice for his daughter legally. Their methods of revenge are silly and their sudden transformation from being underdogs to a revenge-crazed duo defies belief. The second half is filled with scenes directed at showcasing Dutt’s machismo and strength. The climax — where an army of women in colourful dupattas point fingers at the rapist — looks staged. And Dutt’s transformation as an intimidating, imposing father who will avenge his daughter’s rape, reeks of patriarchy. Even the method used to exact revenge is uninspiring.
It’s might over mind. There’s nothing remotely redeeming about this film. Watch this at your own risk.
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Director: Omung Kumar
Cast: Sanjay Dutt, Aditi Rao Hydari and Sharad Kelkar.
Stars: 1.5 out of 5