Bhoomi on Disney+ Hotstar: Jayam Ravi’s underwhelming drama reduces a serious issue to inept comedy

Posted on January 14, 2021

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bhoomi

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There’s a great idea, with echoes of the Swadeshi movement, that says farmers should be self-dependent. But if intentions were enough, every movie would be a masterpiece.

Spoilers ahead…

Bhoomi is Jayam Ravi’s 25th film, and it makes you think he is the nicest man in Kollywood. He just can’t seem to say no to a script! On the one hand, you see why he took on this project. The writer-director, Lakshman, has given him two hits: Romeo Juliet and Bogan. But on the other hand, you have to wonder if that’s enough. This is a painfully literal film. Jayam Ravi’s character, here, is an agriculturist: his name, therefore, is Bhoominathan. Had Lakshman made Soorarai Pottru, he’d have named the Suriya character… Akasanathan. You can keep extending this concept unto infinity. You can make a movie about the plight of the man with the cart who irons your clothes. He’s down in the dumps because evil corporate dry cleaners have taken away all his business – or at least, the work-from-home scenario has made shirts and trousers redundant. The hero swoops in to save the day. His name? Istrinathan.

These are very tragic, very real issues, and it feels terrible when they are transformed into an inept film that plays like a comedy. Bhoominathan works for NASA. He comes back to his village and discovers that farmers are in dire straits because all the water is being used up by Evil Corporates™. Meanwhile, he finds the time to pluck a strand of hair from Shakti (Nidhhi Agerwal), because they are in love. Apparently, he can analyse the DNA and find out exactly what she was feeling when that strand of hair was being plucked. I tell you, even NASA cannot think up these things.

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