Typical Bollywood depiction ‘Bhoomi’ more about parent-turned-vigilante, not about rape victim

(Photo: Reuters)


This is the year of the rape-revenge drama. After Raveena Tandon’s “Maatr” and Sridevi’s “Mom”, it is now the turn of the father to exact vengeance. In his first film after spending four years in jail for firearms offences, Sanjay Dutt takes the law into his own hands in “Bhoomi” to punish the men who raped his daughter.

Just like the earlier Bollywood films in the same genre this year, “Bhoomi” functions on the premise that rape victims are “tainted” forever and killing the perpetrators of the crime is the only way to find closure. And once again, the film focuses on the parent of the rape victim.

It is telling that when “Bhoomi” breaks for interval, the image on the screen is of Sanjay Dutt curled up on the floor in foetal position, as he berates himself for not protecting his daughter. The film is all about him.

The film establishes early on the close relationship between widowed Arun Sachdeva (Sanjay Dutt) and his daughter Bhoomi (Aditi Rao Hydari). They tease each other, back each other up and are the perfect two-unit family. But their world comes crashing down when Bhoomi is raped a day before her marriage by three men, including a rejected suitor.

Bhoomi’s groom calls off the wedding and Arun’s shoe business suffers because no one wants to do business with the father of a rape victim, it would seem. This turns the father-daughter duo into revenge-seekers, and they proceed to eliminate everyone connected to the crime one by one.

As revenge-dramas go, this one is middling, with neither emotions nor actions quite hitting the mark. Director Omung Kumar makes sure there is some style though – even murder scenes have flying dupattas and top shots. Dutt fits the bill as the affectionate father-turned-vigilante, and Hydari brings the adequate degree of vulnerability to her character. The trouble is, we’ve seen this all before, and more than enough this year.




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