Bhakshak Movie Review: Bhumi Pednekar’s social drama has an important message but falls prey to monotony



    An investigative journalist Vaishali Singh (Bhumi Pednekar) is on a quest to expose sexual abuse against minor girls at a shelter home. She has to face numerous obstacles during the same as she locks horns with some powerful people in the process.

    Director :
    • Pulkit
    Cast :
    • Bhumi Pednekar,
    • Sanjay Mishra,
    • Aditya Srivastav,
    • Sai Tamhankar,
    • Surya Sharma
    Genre :
    • crime/social drama
    Language :
    • Hindi
    Platform :
    • Netflix
    Bhakshak Movie Review: Bhumi Pednekar’s social drama has an important message but falls prey to monotony
    Updated : February 09, 2024 12:39 PM IST

    ‘Kya Aap Apni Ginto Insano Main Karte Ho Ya Ek Bhakshak Ban Chuke Ho?’ The Pulkit directorial Bhakshak aims to hit home an important message. Bhumi Pednekar plays the main lead, an investigative journalist Vaishali Singh who relentlessly tries to expose minor girls being sexually abused and exploited at a girl’s shelter home. However, while the message is truly riveting and absorbing, the film falls prey to monotony and predictability.

    The plot revolves around Vaishali Singh (Bhumi Pednekar) who plays a journalist struggling to establish her news channel Koshish News which hardly garners any traction and is not taken seriously. She only has her cameraman Bhaskar Sinha (Sanjay Mishra) as an associate and together the two leave no stone unturned to deliver the news that matters. One night she receives a report of sexual abuse and exploitation of minor girls at Munawwarpur’s girl shelter home by an agent Guptaji (Durgesh Kumar). She immediately begins to start an extensive investigation even if it means locking horns with Bansi Sahu (Aditya Srivastav) who is the owner of the shelter home and a ruthless and dangerous man. This also brushes off her husband Arvind (Surya Sharma) in the wrong way. Will Vaishali be able to give justice to those minor girls who are undergoing unfathomable torture and abuse?

    Bhakshak as a social commentary has its heart in the right place. But with better execution and screenplay, the movie might have commanded even more attention. As the investigation begins, it labouriously becomes monotonous and predictable. You can easily figure out the actions of the characters which is a stark black and white. There are no major twists nor do we get a more intimate peek into the characters. The female protagonist looks morose, stressed, tormented, and preachy while the antagonists almost caricaturish look downright evil. However, the positive aspect of the movie is the realism with which the unimaginable pain and torture the minors go through is showcased. It is gut-wrenching and makes you angry. Apart from that, the performances manage to do the maximum of the heavy lifting from the weak execution.

    Bhumi Pednekar is intense, vulnerable, and an absolute treat to watch. Her unwavering zeal to unravel the truth despite intimidation is stellar to behold. Watch out for a monologue which she says to an eyewitness wherein she explains the need to feel empathy for other’s sorrows. Her character also has to deal with the pressure of her family to become a mother and prioritize her personal life over her struggling professional career. The actress is simply brilliant and also authentically gets the Bihari accent. Other standout performances include Sudhir Mishra who is endearing to behold and shares a beautiful camaraderie with Pednekar. The other one is Aditya Srivastav who is menacing and does full justice to his character even though it is written in a stereotypical villainish manner. Sai Tahmankar though a strong performer remains underutilized. Surya Sharma, Chittaranjan Tripathi, Satyakam Anand, Durgesh Kumar, and Gulista Alija also give powerful performances.

    Kumar Saurabh’s cinematography captures the macabre tone of the crime occurring in the shelter home and also the town of Patna in an intricate manner. Prashant Bidkar’s production design also stands out. Bhakshak could have been a stand-out movie with a sharper screenplay and execution but this one turns out to be forgettable in the seas of many crime thrillers on Netflix.