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A regressive revenge drama

S Viswanath, DH News Service, Sep 24 2017, 2:35 IST

BHOOMI
Rating: Average (**)
Headline: A regressive revenge drama
Lang: Hindi (A)
Film: Bhoomi
Cast: Sanjay Dutt, Aditi Rao Hydari, Shekhar Suman, Sharad Kelkar, Sidhant Gupta
Director: Omung Kumar

Rape as voyeuristic narrative, where women suffer, and men take the mantle to justify vigilante violence with justice failing, has become the new normal in movies lately.
Some have sought to sensitive cinema viewing public on the malaise with subtlety and nuanced scripting the subject deserves to drive the larger social homily.

Others have sought to make commercial capital of the social problem, to justify retributive violence and vengeance, splashing blood and gore on cinema canvas. One such addition to this bloody bandwagon is Bhoomi.

A comeback vehicle for Sanju Baba, as Sanjay Dutt is fondly addressed by film fraternity, after years of incarceration, Dutt plays widower shoemaker Arun Sachadeva, in Agra, whose blissful world turns topsy-turvy, when, on the eve of his dotting daughter Bhoomi's wedding, she is raped by Dhauli (her spurned beau) and his threesome gang. With justice nowhere in sight, and his daughter butt of derision and wanton public disgrace by various wings of criminal justice system, it is left to the grieving dad and wronged daughter to plot their revenge.

In a woeful climb down, the maker of Mary Kom and Sarbjit, director Omung Kumar, has let himself be swayed by persona of Sanjay Dutt, his principal protagonist, rather than providing neat, engaging entertainer. He turns Bhoomi a convenient showcase for Sanjay Dutt, who playing a slurring drunkard Sachdeva, explodes in his inimitable trademark style - fiercely and aggressively taking on the perpetators delivering his dialogues with that familiar drawl and dopey gaze.

However, with age clearly showing, Sanjay goes about his task doddering and drooping, with typical swagger, doing justice to his role. Aditi as wronged woman lives her role. That said, this comeback of Sanjay leaves much to be desired as also the film itself. Sad!

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