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Bhoomi....80s revisited

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Bhoomi, directed by Omung Kumar, is a throwback to the 1980s era when the villain and his cohorts would rape a hero’s sister and he would take revenge against them. Except that, in Bhoomi, it is the daughter of the character of Sanjay Dutt, played by Aditi Rao Hydari, who is raped the night before her wedding and after surviving another rape and an attempt to kill her, she first breaks down completely as does her father but eventually systematically kills all the bad men.

The biggest plus point of Bhoomi is that this film marks the return of Sanjay Dutt and that too playing his age. Time has added a few wrinkles and gravitas to his personality but this is vintage Dutt, the larger-than-life hero. On the minus side is that the script offers nothing new in terms of action and reaction.

Dutt and Hydari lead a peaceful existence in Agra where Dutt has a shop that specializes in mojris and Hydari is a wedding planner cum mehndi expert. She is in love with a local doctor -- played by Sidhanth Gupta, and their wedding is due to take place in a few days when the film opens.

Another boy is also in love with her and when she spurns his advances, he and two thugs (Sharad Kelkar is one) decide to rape her. She tells her to be husband about the rape and the wedding is cancelled.

They get no justice when they file charges against the perpetrators, and are all set to try to build their lives again when their hopes come dashing down with the constant humiliation they have to face. After a point, they have no choice -- but retaliate.

Small town India is the new locale for films but, while most are quirky, Bhoomi explores its narrow-mindedness. Dutt and Hydari share a warm camaraderie and this elevates the film. But, it is needlessly violent and sometimes crude and this will make it more of a single screen film that a pan Indian one.

Dutt underplays the grieving father while Hydari tends to ham in dramatic sequences. Kelkar is a fitting successor to earlier villains. Kumar directs ably.

Though the film is just 135 minutes long, the incessant padding of scenes before it gets down to business, i.e. revenge, makes it seem longer and that drags down the film.

Bhoomi may be Dutt’s comeback film but the opening response reflects no such enthusiasm on the part of moviegoer.

Producers: Bhushan Kumar, KIshan Kumar, Omung Kumar.

Direction: Omung Kumar.

Cast: Sanjay Dutt, Aditi Rao Hydari.

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