Actor Jayam Ravi’s new movie Bhoomi has skipped the theatrical route and directly premiered on Disney Plus Hotstar. And we have to be thankful for that as this movie definitely is not worth the risk of visiting a theatre during the pandemic.
Director-writer Lakshman seems to have some sort of a bucket list of various genres that he wants to do with Jayam Ravi. Bhoomi is his third consecutive movie with Ravi after the romantic-comedy Romeo Juilet (2015) and supernatural thriller Bogan (2017). His latest film Bhoomi intends to be a geopolitical drama about the daunting challenges faced by the agriculture sector in India. And he seems to believe that firing up linguistic and cultural nationalism among people is the best way to end the woes of the farmers. The movie was supposed to release in May 2020 but got delayed due to the outbreak of coronavirus. Even though the film is bad, the timing of its release couldn’t have been better. It has come out at a time when India is witnessing the largest ever protest by the farming community over the new reforms, which are deemed to favour the rich corporates over poor farmers. Bhoomi also has a segment about a virus outbreak.
Lakshman begins Bhoomi with Bhoominathan (Jayam Ravi), a NASA scientist who nurtures the ambition of colonising Mars through cultivation. He wants to create a new livable planet for human civilization. But, he has little idea about how humans are wreaking their home planet. And his conscience is jolted from a deep slumber when he visits his native village in Tamil Nadu, where farming is fast dying. Reason: the people’s failure to remember that India is traditionally an agricultural country. So, he gives up his ambition of creating a new world and makes it his mission to save earth from greedy corporates. And what’s his plan? He wants to promote farming as a lucrative enterprise through which individuals can achieve great financial independence.
Lakshman has some really good ideas for an educational and inspiring movie. But, it is a great shame that neither does he have the required understanding of the matter at hand nor the skillset to turn all the information and statistics into a compelling drama. He conflates linguistic nationalism with patriotism and throws in a few beliefs of Dravidian ideology in the mix. And the result is a primitive, heavy-handed, poorly made political drama.