Bhumi Pednekar Shines As A Fearless Journalist In A Hard Hitting Film Based On True Events
Bhakshak is a 2024 crime thriller film directed by Pulkit and produced by Red Chillies Entertainment. The film stars Bhumi Pednekar as Vaishali Singh, a fearless journalist who uncovers a shocking case of sexual abuse at a shelter home for young girls. The film is inspired by real-life incidents and exposes the corruption and apathy of the system that fails to protect the vulnerable.
The film begins with Vaishali receiving a tip from a source about a possible story involving a shelter home run by a powerful newspaper owner, Bansi Sahu (Aditya Srivastava). She decides to investigate the matter and finds out that the girls at the shelter home are being subjected to horrific. She also learns that he has connections with the police, the politicians, and the judiciary, and that he is trying to silence anyone who tries to expose him.
Vaishali teams up with her cameraman, Bhaskar (Sanjay Mishra). Together, they gather evidence, face threats and attacks from his goons. Vaishali is determined to bring Bansi to justice and to give a voice to the voiceless.
Bhumi Pednekar delivers a stellar performance as Vaishali, a strong and courageous woman who fights for the truth. She portrays the character with conviction and authenticity, and brings out the emotions and the struggles of a journalist who risks her life for a cause. She also nails the Bihari accent and the body language of a small-town reporter.
Sanjay Mishra is brilliant as Bhaskar. He shares a great chemistry with Bhumi and their scenes together are a delight to watch.
Aditya Srivastava is menacing as Bansi Sahu, a ruthless and influential villain who thinks he is above the law. He plays the role with subtlety and intensity, and makes the audience hate him with his evil deeds. He is a worthy adversary for Vaishali and her team.
Sai Tamhankar is impressive as DSP. The supporting cast, including the actors who play the girls at the shelter home, the police officers, the lawyers, and the judges, are also commendable and realistic.
Bhakshak is a film that raises important questions about the role of journalism and the state of justice in our society. The film also depicts the plight of the girls who are abused and exploited by the people who are supposed to protect them. It shows the trauma and the pain that they endure, and the courage and the resilience that they display.
It’s a dark, disturbing and distressing film from the first go. The film is well-written and well-directed, with a tight and engaging screenplay that keeps the audience hooked. The dialogues are sharp and impactful, and the scenes are well-shot and well-edited. The film has a realistic and gritty tone, and does not resort to melodrama or sensationalism. The film also has a good balance of drama, suspense, and action, and does not lose its focus or its pace.
The film has a strong message and a social relevance, and does not shy away from showing the harsh realities of the world. It also has a hopeful and inspiring ending, and leaves the audience with a sense of satisfaction and admiration.
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What doesn’t work primarily is the length of the film, it could have been much crispier. The film loses its pace at a lot of points. The film at times also falls prey to certain clichés that come with this genre. The system, politicians, cops, powerplay, bureaucracy and corruption tropes get a bit repetitive, and lack any novelty at writing level.
Bhakshak overall is way too bland for a hard-hitting story. The film does not break any new ground nor create a sense of urgent message that would’ve taken the film to next level.
Having said that, Bhakshak is a film that deserves to be watched for its sincere messaging. This film might be Bhumi’s best performance till date. Last 15-20 mins are the best part of the film and Bhumi’s closing monologue is too impactful to ignore. It is an important story and a thought-provoking one which says all the right things and forces you to think and feel despite its flaws.
Critic Rating: 3/5
Watch trailer here:
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