Bhoomi has to be one of the most confused movies to ever come out of Bollywood, to an extent that i would go so far as to say that it suffers from multiple genre disorder.The movie relies on a cinematic equivalent of the Stockholm Syndrome to keep the audience interested, it hijacks your common sense right from the word go, then tortures you with the most inane of dialogues and sequences that you finally end up liking the film out of pure sympathy for the actors and the makers.I was so embarrassed by the time the movie was done that i couldn’t look my fellow audiences in the eye and kept my head down till i exited the multiplex.Never judge a film by its trailer, i tell myself every single time I’ve found myself in a similar situation but buff in me it seems, has to have it the hard way.
To rant or not to rant about a film in the first week of its release is the dilemma that i experience every time I’ve been let down as a viewer and in the past i have chosen to keep my thoughts to myself but of late I’ve been tempted to give in because there’s only so much you can take, a man’s gotta vent once in a while.If you think that i am exaggerating consider this, a rape victim gets thrown off a bridge into a river and is then shot at by the perpetrators only for the film to break into an “item” song featuring a Sunny Leone slithering in mud.The experience was surreal, Nolan should take a cue from Omung Kumar, would save him a lot of hard work on script and plot when he is looking to give the audience a film to think about next time around.This bizarre shift of mood was evident early on and it shouldn’t have surprised me like it did, to give the director some credit.
The movie opened to scenes where the makers try to establish the premise of the film which basically is about a doting single father and a his daughter who is as liberated as she could be in a place that looks and feels like the hinterland of our country though its Agra where the story is set.Scenes and lines which are supposed to choke you with emotion actually gives you a tough time when you try not to burst into a guffaw.Taj Mahal pops up in random scenes apart from an eponymous tourist guide Taj played by Shekar Suman who talks as if he just walked off the sets of The Great Indian Laughter Challenge.
Sanjay Dutt is either drinking, working out ,breaking into fits of rage or just standing still with his drooped shoulders in every other frame, throughout the film.His role, i should say was cut out.I yearn for Hirani’s biopic Dutt more than ever now, just so that i can get over this movie which was supposed to be the comeback vehicle of this actor who has made more comebacks than any other actor of our times and is the sole reason why i walked into the hall the day this
movie was released.
The makers could have engaged here with a bit more responsibility and conviction, when they were dealing with a topic as sensitive and critical as this instead of reducing the film to a mediocre bollywood potboiler.If the climax was intended to be a tribute of sorts to Ketan Mehta’s Mirch Masala which dealt with a similar theme three decades back, where the likes of Smita Patil, Nasserudin Shah and Om Puri scorched the screen, the only purpose it actually serves is to remind the viewer what an honest film on women’s empowerment looks like.