Banners: T-Series, Legend Studios
Producers: Bhushan Kumar, Sandeep Singh, Omung Kumar
Director: Omung Kuma
Cast: Sanjay Dutt, Adit Rao Hydari, Shekhar Suman, Sharad Kelkar, Puru Chibbar, Veer Aryan, Sidhanth
Writers: Sandeep Singh (Story), Raj Shaandilya (Screenplay)
Music: Sachin-Jigar, Ismail Darbar
Regardless of era, one genre what works in Bollywood, over and again, is the revenge drama. Over the y ars, we’ e seen many films make their mark in this genre down to recent releases like Kaabil and MOM. Omung Kumar’s directorial Bhoomi is also based on the tried-and-tested storyline of revenge but this one fails miserably. The movie is set in today’s times but has all – and we mean ALL – the elements of a ’90s blockbuster hit. Sadly for the makers that formula is too outdated to work to today.
After Mary Kom and Sarbjit, which were stories based on the honest and realistic incidents, it seems Kumar wanted to immerse himself in the fantasy world of Bollywood, which made him time travel 20 years back.
Bhoomi also marks the comeback of Sanjay Dutt to the big screen. And while it does bring a smile to your face to watch the actor once again, it is disheartening to see him do such a stereotypical role in an even more stereotypical movie.
The first half of the film flies as we see the loving father-daughter relationship between single dad Arun Sachdeva (Sanjay Dutt) and his betu Bhoomi (Aditi Rao Hydari). Set in Agra, the story is about this small-town girl who is going to marry her boyfriend Neeraj (Sidhanth) soon. While preparations are underway, Bhoomi deals with Vishal (Puru Chibber), her neighbour whom she friend-zones when he proposes.
Since Vishal is related to a local thug, he complains to his cousin Dhauli (Sharad Kelkar) about being rejected by a girl. And Dhauli, true to the gangster that he is, has Bhoomi kidnapped and gang-raped the day before her wedding. The honest Bhoomi tells her would-be-groom and the baraat goes back.
When Arun and his friend Tajkumar (Shekhar Suman) approach the police, Bhoomi is picked up by the goons, once again, and threatened to keep her mouth shut. A court case ensues, where Bhoomi is called ‘characterless’ while her father delivers a speech about protecting his daughter. The two try to go on with their normal lives but this daag never leaves them. Bhoomi then encourages her father to take violent revenge for her, which very predictably defines the second half.
Bhoomi is no less than regressive as we see the same old stigma attached to rape that existed two decades ago. The movie might have a moral at the end but it takes quite a few cringe-worthy steps to get there. After Bhoomi’s rape, there is actually a song in the film, which goes Daag na choote mahiya re, which just proves our point!
Another major flaw in the movie is its shoddy script. The revenge drama genre may be old hat but when blended with intrigue, and twists and turns, it can be quite engaging. But, in Bhoomi, every single scene is predictable. The been-there, done-that plot looks straight out of the Crime Patrol or Saavdhan India book in some places.
The songs in the film are few but every single one takes away whatever focus you have on the narrative. From the first track Will you marry me? to the Trippy trippy item number by Sunny Leone, the songs are badly placed.
Performance-wise, Sanjay Dutt made sure his role in his comeback film was stronger than ever, which makes you feel that he still has the magic. Aditi Rao Hydari delivers a good performance. Shekhar Suman is excellent with his comic timing and is the perfect side-kick. Sharad Kelkar is hateful and intimidating as the bad guy, which means he’s done his job fantastically. Veer Aryan is all right. Sidhanth, playing the role of Bhoomi’s fiancée, is also decent.
Verdict: Despite the presence and return of Sanjay Dutt, the poorly written and treated film disappoints.