Bhoomi Tamil Movie Review
In Bhoomi, Jayam Ravi plays a NASA scientist who discovers that human life is possible on MARS, plus an agriculturalist who preaches the values of agriculture for 2 hours. The movie begins with a news clipping where the anchor explains how the scientist Bhoominathan regards the Mars inhabitation as a possible event. At the same time, Bhoominathan himself explains the same thing to the audience at a convention. When one of those audience members asks Bhoominathan who his inspiration is, he says the name of a farmer in his native Tirunelveli.
When he returns to the place to stay there for some days before a NASA mission, he discovers that all is not well with his farmer natives. Corporates control the government, the people and the whole shebang. They decide who stays in power and who gets which administrative seats. Farmers are deprived of precious water, and they are provided with fake products that damage their crops. Soon, Bhoominathan finds himself in the middle of a conspiracy situation involving farmers and corporate industry players.
Bhoomi is the sort of film that revels in explanations and idiosyncrasies. It is easily explained away from start to finish. It loves to explain everything from NASA-level science to corporate politics and corporate shenanigans to the water level in Tamil Nadu to even the history of temples in TN. Thankfully, the writing is so straightforward that it simplifies memorizing a heck of a lot of information. So, you will never lose track of the plot or what the characters are up to at any point.
I am the kind of person who usually struggles to memorize much information in a movie, but it never happened when watching Bhoomi. I could even recite the explanations of Jayam Ravi's character from my sleep. Joking apart, this approach to filmmaking makes Bhoomi seem more of a public awareness exercise or PR exercise than a movie.
Jayam Ravi is earnest, and he picks the kinds of roles where he does sincere things. It helps with the character somewhat, but Ravi's tendency to slip into a mass hero mode never quite bears fruit. It is the kind of avatar that better suits the big masala movie heroes of Tamil cinema.
The makers give Ravi a NASA track as a way to transition his character into the main portions back home. He could have been a radio jockey, and it would have made no difference to the plot of the movie. Some of the scenes in NASA are ridiculous. There is an early track involving Nidhhi Agerwal's Shakti, Bhoominathan's love interest. Agerwal has around 10 to 15 minutes of screen time before her character disappears from the script.
Lakshman does not technically direct the movie; instead, he lets it run on an automatic pilot mode. That explains the chest-thumping patriotism here that reduces love for the country to chants of Vande Mataram. The main issue here is the character of Ronit Roy, especially his dubbing. Roy is a superb actor from Hindi cinema, who has proven his skills with that once-in-a-lifetime role from Udaan. But here he is saddled with a caricature of a role, with ludicrous dialogues. I could not believe it when Roy delivers one of Rajnikanth's popular punchlines from Shivaji. For all of its flaws, it is perhaps the film's biggest sin.