The climax of Omung Kumar‘s Bhoomi tries to make a strong statement on gender equality by making a large group of women in the scene throw away their duppatas, as the piece of cloth is often used to symbolize a woman’s ‘honour’; limiting the fairer sex to just that. While the ladies do throw away the duppatas to show solidarity with the female protagonist, they still have another set of dupattas covering their heads (yes I’ve used that word thrice now), making this gesture pretty pointless. This senselessness also sums up the entire movie.
Bhoomi is a rape revenge drama starring Sanjay Dutt as Arun Sachdeva, a shoemaker in Agra and Aditi Rao Hydari as his daughter Bhoomi, who is a wedding planner. The film is about a loving father-daughter duo which exploits a matter as sensitive as rape to such an extent that you’re just amazed at how the writers could come up with such shit. Pardon my French, but a lawyer during Bhoomi’s rape trial actually sprouts lines like “Tum wedding planning karti ho na, yeh rape planning kab se seekha?” (You work as a wedding planner don’t you? When did you learn how to plan a rape?) to the victim. That’s not the only ‘beautiful’ piece of writing you’ll hear in the film. The antagonist and one of the rapists Dhauli (which sounded like Dolly to me for the longest time), played by Sharad Kelkar, actually tells Arun, that not only will he always be around Bhoomi, he’s inside her too. In court, in front of the judge.
I honestly didn’t expect nuance in Kumar’s film, but it takes special insensitivity to show your protagonist being pushed to her death in a lake, with her body later covered in mud, and then insert a Sunny Leone item number right after. The Trippy Trippy song incidentally starts with a muddy Sunny being washed over by the background dancers. The lyrics go like this –
Saiyan ne modi hamri baiyan
Haye main to mar gayi daiya
Woh de gaye hamka
Hickey hickey hickey hickey
There’s a thin line in showing the darkness of villains and sensationalizing a trauma to make the audience feel disgust whenever the rapists come on-screen. Bhoomi‘s depiction of rape and it’s aftermath crosses the line to such an extent that by the end of the film, you just stop caring about anything and anyone.
Arun also has a best friend in Shekhar Suman who calls his wife Al Qaeda because her name is Alka, and wives are as bad as terrorists aren’t they? (Thank you, WhatsApp forwards). The two bros love to drink and Shekhar often tells Sanjay to get married. They also like to mix fruit juice with their alcohol, which I personally think is a winning combination. Anyway, the dad jokes these two crack are meant to make the audience laugh, because we can hear the ‘comedy background score’ playing. They don’t. Scenes between Bhoomi and her father are supposed to be endearing. Spoiler alert: they aren’t.
None of the departments that are supposed to work nicely to make a cohesive film work in Bhoomi. The songs make no impact, the dialogues as I’ve said before, are horrible and both Sanjay and Aditi have hammed it up. Even the supporting cast fails in every scene.
The one time (just one time), I felt any kind of emotion for a character was when Bhoomi pours water over herself after she has been gang-raped. Apart from that, the movie is just a string of random scenes strung together. The revenge scenarios orchestrated by Sanjay and Aditi are cringe-worthy to the point of being caricature-ish. The makers try really, really hard to make us empathize with the wronged family and hate the rapists. Which really isn’t such a difficult thing to do, I mean, they are rapists, no one will like them anyway! Right? Why make everything so extra?
Basically, that’s the biggest problem of this drama – it tries too hard.
In conclusion, I’d just like to say these four words – watch something else instead.