Bhakshak options distinctive performances from Bhumi Pednekar and Aditya Srivastava however doesn’t absolutely do justice to its subject material.
Solid: Bhumi Pednekar, Aditya Srivastava, Sanjay Mishra, Sai Tamhankar
The place to look at: Netflix
Ranking: 2.5 stars
The brand new Netflix social drama Bhakshak has the whole lot – scathing political commentary, memorable performances, hard-hitting dialogue, and a real-world setting. And but, the tip end result doesn’t justify the elements director Pulkit had at his disposal. Bhakshak is a robust movie little doubt, a however a deeply flawed one which gives the look of a missed alternative, someway made watchable by the folks in entrance of the digital camera.
Loosely primarily based on the Muzaffarpur shelter case from 2020, Bhakshak is about within the fictitious Bihar city of Munawwarpur, the place small-time journalist Vaishali (Bhumi Pednekar) is making an attempt to uncover the reality behind the sexual abuse and torture of dozens of minor ladies at a shelter dwelling within the metropolis. Making her work tough is the truth that the house is run by native strongman Bansi Sahu (Aditya Srivastava in a menacing flip). How Vaishali and her man Friday Bhaskar (Sanja Mishra) struggle the systemic rut to get justice for the ladies is the story of Bhakshak.
Bhakshak has its coronary heart in the correct place. It showcases the abuse confronted by the ladies on the shelter dwelling in stunning trend however by no means goes overboard with that depiction. The ladies are offered as people and never merely caricatures, which suggests the viewers begins to look after them. The perpetrators’ perversions and the banality of their evil are on full show. The arrange is high notch. However what follows this doesn’t fairly match as much as the expectations created by the movie.
Bhumi Pednekar brings again her A-game as Vaishali Singh, the small-town reporter who should struggle each a corrupt system and a patriarchal household to get what she desires. Her twin battles at work and at dwelling are relatable however nothing new, nothing we haven’t already seen within the Dahaads of the streaming world of late. But, Bhumi breathes life into the character effortlessly. No matter clichés are there, she makes positive her pure efficiency masks them.
The true star of the present, nonetheless, is Aditya Srivastava. As the ladies’ tormentor in chief Bansi Sahu, he’s menacing, evil, methodical, and bone-chillingly calm. The actor exhibits why he has been the go-to alternative for a number of Bollywoo auteurs for years. Many keep in mind him from CID however to these of us, for whom he’s Gulaal’s Karan and Black Friday’s Badshah Khan, this can be a reminder of the actor’ calibre and sophistication. The 12 months is simply starting however Srivastava has already set the benchmark for unfavourable efficiency this 12 months. Sanjay Mishra and Sai Tamhankar are good additions to the forged with each bringing their expertise to fairly unidimensional roles however have little or no to do.
What undoes Bhakshak is its sermonising tone. The movie wanted to be hard-hitting however fairly often, it veers into the preachy class. The dialogue Vaishali is given usually reduces her toa neta giving bhaashan to the viewers. Jyotsana Nath and Pulkit’s writing wanted to be a bit extra crisp to present this movie the justice it wanted when it comes to pacing of the narrative.
However other than performing, Clinton Cerejo and Bianca Gomes’ background rating is one other redeeming issue for Bhakshak. That, coupled with Kumar Sourabh’s eerie cinematography transports the viewers to this gloomy, pitiless world. The atmosphere stays with you, making Bhakshak a tough watch advert rightly so.
Bhakshak is just not a foul movie however it’s one which wanted to be so significantly better. For now, watch it for the difficulty it raises, the real-life case it highlights, in addition to two masterful performances from Bhumi Pednekar and Aditya Srivastava.