A shoe-smith Arun Sachdeva (Sanjay) is shattered when he discovers that his daughter, Bhoomi (Aditi) has been raped by Dhauli (Sharad) and his gang of three. The father and daughter grieve for a bit before planning revenge.
There’s a scene towards the end where a person falls in a stepwell and drowns. The person is unable to bob and bring himself up because the surface of the water is covered with long pieces of cloth. It is just one of the many things that director Omung Kumar gets wrong in his third feature film, Bhoomi, a flawed revenge drama that is a collection of all revenge dramas that we have seen in Bollywood this year so far.
The first five seconds are enough to gauge what the film has in store for us, which uses a tried-and-tested formula to drive the hackneyed story ahead. In his first film post the completion of his incarceration, Sanjay Dutt tries to exonerate himself by playing, rather decently, a protecting father figure. He is Arun, a footwear dealer, who finds his world turned upside down after his daughter Bhoomi (Aditi Rao Hydari) is gang-raped on the eve of her wedding. Unable to share his sadness over her motherless daughter’s fateful plight and the anger over police apathy and insensitivity, shortcomings of the judicial system, and helplessness as an ordinary man, Arun tries to go the vengeance route and takes the law into his own hands.
It all sounds great on paper, but when Kumar, with writer Raaj Shaandilyaa, project it on screen, it does not look exactly convincing. Plagued by homegrown and narrow generality that “all men are dogs” is introduced right in the beginning. A lustful loverboy enjoys gulping down a leftover piece of food previously tasted by Bhoomi because it gives him the gratification of having touched the same item that once touched the lips of the woman that he failed to court. The expansion of this arc is what the rest of the film is about, which is all right as far as cinema is concerned. What is not right is a lack of characters that are neutral. Every man in the film is either a rapist (or a lustful guy who does not mind opening his fly in front of any woman) or Bhoomi’s relative.
There are more issues in this film than there are good bits. For starters, some of the songs are totally unnecessary and unbelievably timed. A father is crying his heart out because he couldn’t protect his daughter, and in the next scene, Sunny Leone wants me to feel trippy. Who prepared the demographic data for the makers? The police, that are inconsiderate at first, suddenly seem to be helping, or even abetting, Arun in his self-righteous deed that is later described as a universal solution (for the issue) by the same character in the epilogue. The villains look intelligent at first but then lose control of their own sanity and do dumb things. They are epitomes of banality that make the whole drama look unnecessary and a waste of time. We all know that courtroom sequences in Bollywood films are a joke, and this one here uses those same films as inspiration. The question about this film’s existence, therefore, has to definitely come up.