• Sunday, May 26, 2024

Reviews

‘Bhakshak’ review: Small-town exposé is flawed but thought-provoking

The powerful drama attempts to weave various threads of horrendous crimes, investigative media, politics, public responsibility and justice, with mixed results

BHAKSHAK

By: Anjali Mehta

THE trailer for this Netflix movie immediately drew attention to it being a difficult watch and that is confirmed by the opening.

The story based on true events revolves around the horrific abuse in a shelter home for girls and a fearless female journalist’s mission to unearth the truth.

She tries to overcome impossible odds to highlight wrongdoing by powerful people, which leads to her life potentially being in danger.

The powerful drama attempts to weave various threads of horrendous crimes, investigative media, politics, public responsibility and justice, with mixed results. While the angle of an intrepid reporter working for a small media outlet going on a crusade to uncover big crimes is compelling, Bhakshak struggles to strike a balance between the various elements.

More focus on the protagonist’s journey than the conspiracy driving the storyline renders Bhakshak more palatable to audiences, but kind of removes much of the tension. The drama moves along at a relatively slow pace towards a climax that may divide audiences.

Lead actress Bhumi Pednekar adds to her powerful roles with another character that is different from the conventional Hindi film heroine. She injects power into each scene and keeps the leaden screenplay afloat. The actress has a lot of great moments in her portrayal of an ordinary girl plunged into extraordinary circumstances, which is very much rooted in reality. The various supporting cast members are also on fine form. A better director and a stronger screenplay would have significantly elevated a movie that has its heart in the right place. The various flaws don’t stop this from being a thought-provoking film that exposes the dark underbelly of institutions that should be protecting people. It is also a nice tribute to small-town journalists, who work hard to keep power in check.

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