Omung Kumar Time Travels To Bring Back Violent Revenge Film.
Sanjay Dutt Deserves Better
This version of avenge-your-daughter’s-rape film is so gory and violent, you wonder if they’re all living in some time warp: A pretty girl getting married to her doctor sweetheart is kidnapped and raped the day before her marriage by a lad (and his cronies) she has spurned. The father and daughter seek justice but get none, and then dad finds each one of them and kills them all. Who makes such films? And why should we watch such blood and gore?
Even the hugely popular Liam Neeson Taken that released in 2008 is over ten years old. It’s sequels turned out to be tiresome. But Bollywood has for some reason remained in the era of revenge dramas where blood was spilt easily and honor was a thing to die for. For the purpose of violent thrills, everything from sickles and flick knives, from swords to homemade guns and spears and saws have been used. And no one cares to tell the filmmakers and their cronies that this thirst for gore is no longer the cinema that people care for. Even the hugely touted Kaabil showed a lot of violence for revenge, the box office failed to ring in the cash.
Here too, the film is set in small town Agra and everything seems to be a-ok with Bhoomi’s life: her dad loves her, and she is happy, getting married in a couple of days to a chap she likes… Until the friendzoned lad turns rapist. And since she’s lying there practically unconscious, his friends also rape the girl.
The practice, according to the rapist Dhaulia (Sharad Kelkar in yet another bad guy role), the girl would not say anything about the rape because she’s about to get married and her family’s honor would be shattered if she spilled the beans. The friendzoned boy is terrified because the Bhoomi (played by the eternally doe-in-headlight Aditi Rao Hydari) calls off the wedding. The third rapist is a goon who works with Dhaulia who kidnaps the bride once again. Why? Because she should not have told everyone about the rape. This time the three brag about raping her. She runs, they chase. They then push her off the bridge into the river. Just imagine and insert the choicest of abuses, insults to womanhood and other assorted aggressive dialog.
She survives of course, and then we see Bhoomi and her dad in court being insulted again and again by a woman lawyer for the defence. Bhoomi’s dad cannot take the insults any more, he stands in the middle of the court and rants about a system that rapes the victim once again. The dad, of course is Sanjay Dutt. Still fit, still able to turn a mean dialog like he means it, in the role of the father of the bride. He asks the court to forgive him. Then her broods and broods for the next two months. Sanjay Dutt still has the menace to be Khalnayak and has eyes that melt when he sees his daughter hurting. It’s the second half of the film that has all the action. The father daughter duo then systematically get rid of the four rapists. Four did I say? Yes, the chap who calls Bhoomi ‘didi’ and picks and drops her from her workspace is the fourth one. His mother and sister discover he filmed the whole rape on his phone and also when he rapes her.
With each of the rapists being killed, Omung Kumar tries to justify the violence and gore by making Sanjay Dutt mouth dialog like, ‘In India they won’t convict a rapist if he is juvenile. I won’t kill you until your birthday which is in three days’, ‘Justice system in our country will find its hands tied about every rape, and they are too lenient. Death is the only punishment for rape’ and so on and o forth.
Sanjay Dutt manages to add menace to his walk as he slowly terrorises the rapists by finding them when they least expect it. The last fight is so brutal, you begin to avert your eyes from the screen. I wish Sanjay Dutt has been offered a better action film for a comeback. The violence in this throwback to the 90s will most likely make you throw up.
(this review appears on nowrunning dot com)