Bollywood Film Review “Bhoomi”

  

WATCH THE TRAILER HERE

First, the Recap:

When we hear the ever so popular phrase “Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned”, there is immediate acknowledgement things are about to get broke. However, might there be a variant to this that also rings just as true and potent–“Hell hath no fury like a father whose daughter has been harmed”? The dynamic between a certain daughter named Bhoomi (Aditi Rao Hydari) and her father Arun (Sanjay Dutt) is typical of the parent/child relationship, filled with ups and downs, but always founded on mutual love and respect. With a successful business running smoothly and his beloved little girl about to get married to a doctor, Neeraj (Sidhant Gupta), Arun sees bright futures ahead.

However, Bhoomi has other admirers, one in particular named Vishal (Puru Chibber), whose held unrequited love for her, but has likewise been jilted. In a drastic move, Vishal calls upon an unscrupulous thug named Dhauli (Sharad Kelkar) and his right hand man Ghulam (Veer Aryan) to assist him in obtaining what he wants. The horrific aftermath lays shame on both Bhoomi and Arun, even as they desperately seek justice, followed by an ultimately vain attempt to put it all behind them and move on with their lives. But, ghosts of the incident and the scars left behind continue to haunt them both, and when another brutal occurrence takes place against Bhoomi, there is but one choice left for Arun–vengeance.

Next, my Mind:

In delivering his third major Bollywood outing in the lead chair after the successes that were “Mary Kom” and “Sarbjit“, director/producer Omung Kumar’s 136-minute drama/action effort carries itself with a slow-burn, gradually building, grounded intensity while allowing the focus to be more on character-driven execution that leads to the more action-oriented moments while also infusing multiple unapologetic, bluntly unsettling sequences that reinforce the narrative’s overall premise. Presenting such a heart-wrenching portrait of Bhoomi’s plight and the ramifications it has on her and her father is no easy feat in that the themes explored are never ones we desire to ingest, much less acknowledge are an actual issue in real life, not just in India, but worldwide. Now, there were times during the film where this reviewer felt a lag or level of impatience with the pacing and accompanying expectations of just wanting to get to the action. Yet, in looking back, action wasn’t the true intention here. It’s really a straight up exploration of the father-daughter bond, the harsh catalysts that affect it, and the results of which spur the reactions we witness.

Dutt returns to the big screen in good fashion as Arun, a hard-working, now single father whose ultimate concern is for his precious gem of a daughter and her happiness, all while still finding time to allow a bit of imbibing to sneak in, much to Bhoomi’s frustration at times. Watching as Arun makes every effort to make her life the best it can be, despite their disputes here and there, is genuine and heartfelt, which only makes the moments of revelation when he finds out about the savagery against her that much more impactful.  His efforts to get justice and put it all behind them fails, and soon, it’s up to him to extract it himself. Dutt embodies this character well, believable as loving father and vehicle of revenge, solid in both dramatic and action scenes.

Hydari likewise shines as Bhoomi, a beautiful, independent, idealistic young woman whose future is set in preparing for marriage to her doctor beau. A mix of fun-loving when it comes to friends but more serious in demeanor when it comes to the depth of love for her father, Bhoomi’s entire state of being gets brutally altered in two specific events that radically shift her entire mental and emotional state of being. Watching as Bhoomi desperately attempts to navigate these events and come out the other side with any sense of self-worth and hope is stirring and affecting, making her own involvement in the subsequent retribution she joins her father for more necessary and potent. Throughout, through all these states of existence the character has, Hydari is wonderful.

Primary supporting turns are many and come from Gupta as Bhoomi’s beau Neeraj, who has to watch his fiancé fall into melancholy and disarray, wondering if they’ll ever have their chance at life together in its wake, Kelkar as the totally immoral yet frighteningly charismatic thug Dhauli, the ultimate architect of Bhoomi’s suffering who learns that acting as such has consequences even he might not overcome, Chibber as Vishal, a man whose desire for that which he cannot have leads down a dark road of bad choices and a bleak future, and Aryan as Ghulam, who like Dhauli is a totally warped-minded individual and primary participant in Bhoomi’s misery. Additionally, Riddhi Sen appears as Jeetu, one of Bhoomi’s good friends whose loyalties may not be so innocent, Shekhar Suman plays a pivotal role as Arun’s best pal Taj, who’s own life might be in jeopardy standing up for his compatriot, along with Sakshi Dwivedi and yet another alluring song/dance performance cameo from Sunny Leone.

In total, while there are some points of contention with the overall pacing offered here, “Bhoomi” still stands as another solid example of Bollywood drama/action fare that isn’t afraid to delve into the character-centric aspect of its narrative plus sobering and impacting themes and the weight they carry while still providing enough of the hard-hitting moments of Dutt-lead justice we all desired to see. Sometimes, you just have to be willing to wait for it.

As always, this is all for your consideration and comment.  Until next time, thank you for reading!

 

 

 

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