He cooks bhindi and aloo paratha for his daughter who is affectionately called ‘betu‘ by his father. He combs her hair and even eats the lice picked from her daughter’s hair (eek… but the gesture is sweet). Sanjay Dutt urf baba for the industry is back to his ‘karmbhoomi‘ (work place, business) in Omung Kumar’s BHOOMI.
Sanjay Dutt returns in a role that suits his age in which the actor puts his all in the role of a shoe-smith Arun Sachdeva who gets the shock of his life when his affectionate daughter Bhoomi (Aditi Rao Hydari), an independent, working girl in Agra is raped by a group led by Dhauli (Sharad Kelkar). After drowning in grief and sorrow, the doting father-daughter get even with the culprits of this horrendous crime.
Raveena Tandon’s MAATR, Sridevi’s MOM, and those Bollywood masalas on rape and revenge, Omung Kumar’s BHOOMI adds nothing new to the basic premise.
Things that hold and make BHOOMI shift from the other movies on the same premise are the scenes depicting the emotional bonding between the father and daughter. Sanjay Dutt and Aditi Rao Hydari team up perfectly and in sync of their characters. A couple of scenes makes an impact like the one when Dutt is praying chanting ‘andhan ko aankh deth, kodin ko kaya, bhanjan ko putra deth’ (rough translation: lord gives eyes to the blind, new skin to those suffering from leprosy and son to mothers who are infertile), Bhoomi asks why son and why not daughter? The statement is a befitting comment and is aptly used. But the whole movie fails to maintain that impact though Sanjay Dutt carries the film on his experienced shoulders.
Call it eagerness or the pressure to make a befitting statement on womanhood, the director Omung along with his writer Raaj Shaandilyaa find themselves jumbled in the examples set by PINK, MOM and the deja vu becomes unavoidable. The courtroom scene lacks impact that starts gives warning signals.
Anyhow, the movie thanks to the presence and performance of Sanjay Dutt who doesn’t go wrong and comes as a seasoned warrior well supported by Aditi Rao Hydari especially in those pleasantly captured bonding scenes saves the movie.
Rest, it has all the ingredients of the genre like insensitive cops, lame defense lawyer, the same ‘kaha chua, kidhar chua’ getting repeated without much impact.
Sharad Kelkar fails to make the seething impact of his villainy amongst the audience. Omung Kumar should have given some more footage to Aditi during the vengeance.
Technically sound with Artur Zurawski’s camera work doing some talk, Jayesh Shikarkhane’s editing and Sachin-Jigar’s music serving the purpose on screen and production values are first rate. The supporting cast fails to make an impact only Shekhar Suman manages to have his moments.
All said and done, BHOOMI brings back Sanjay Dutt to his karmbhoomi, like a seasoned warrior Dutt lovingly called ‘baba’ makes an impact and his screen presence is charismatic as ever. Watch it for Sanju Baba.