Bhakshak: A Hard-Hitting Saga That Makes Pertinent Points On The Power Of Real Journalism

‘Bhakshak’ is not everyone’s cup of tea but it is a must-watch for those who like gritty dramas based on real-life incidents.
  • Main Cast: Bhumi Pednekar, Sanjay Mishra, Sai Tamhankar, Aditya Srivastava, and Surya Sharma
  • Director: Pulkit
  • Producer: Gauri Khan and Gaurav Verma
  • Music Director: Anurag Saikia and Anuj Garg
  • Cinematography: Kumar Sourabh
  • Rating: 3.5
  • Published in: Southfirst

Directed by Pulkit and written by Jyotsana Nath Pulkit, Bhakshak is based on the horrific incidents reported in a shelter home in Muzaffarpur, Bihar.

Several girls were sexually abused in the shelter home run by a politician.

Real-life incidents always make for a gripping cinema, provided they are well-directed. Thankfully, the director along with the writer, has done a brilliant job of keeping the viewers engaged.

The film does meander at places, and there was no real need for the songs. But still, all said and done, Bhakshak is a must-watch.

Synopsis

Bhumi Pednekar in a still from ‘Bhakshak’. (X)

Vaishali Singh (Bhumi Pednekar ) is a small-time independent journalist who runs a news channel called “Koshish“. In simple terms, the movie is about her attempts to bring forth the reality of Munnawarpur shelter home.

The man running this shelter home is also a journalist named Bansi Sahu (Aditya Srivastava). Bansi Sahu has strong political connections and has zero remorse about his activities.

So, it becomes an uphill task for Vaishali and her colleague Baskar Sinha (Sanjay Mishra) to expose the truth.

Authentic sans melodrama

‘Bhakshak’ is a thriller that revolves around child sexual abuse. (X)

Director Pulkit does not waste any time in setting up the plot.

Bhakshak starts on a disturbing note that sets the base for the drama to follow.

A strong aspect of the film is how the director shows the struggle of Vaishali in digging for the truth. She faces challenges in both her professional and personal life.

We see Vaishali constantly going out for long hours and this results in problems with her husband (Surya Sharma), who is shown to be frustrated with the erratic timings of his wife.

Additionally, the in-laws feel that Vaishali should soon become a mother.

There are showdowns between the husband and wife. Many working women would relate to Vaishali’s struggles.

The sexual exploitation done in the shelter home has also been portrayed with the required sensitivity. A section of viewers are sure to feel highly emotional.

The director also deserves credit for not taking the melodramatic route and exaggerating scenes for the cause of the effect because the nature of crime is disturbing in itself.

Director Pulkit also deserves credit for how he has portrayed journalism and Journalists.

There is not a single scene of journalists screaming in front of the cinema in a filmy manner. He keeps it authentic.

Pulkit also takes digs at the section of people who unquestioningly believe in WhatsApp forwards.

However, at certain places, the film loses grip with some repetitive writing. The songs are not needed. For example, the song towards the climax.

Mesmerising performances

Aditya Srivastava in ‘Bhakshak’. (X)

Apart from the strong writing. Bhakshak also scores big on the performance front.

Bhumi Pednekar aces her part of a fearless journalist. She does a perfect job of showcasing the mannerisms, and her dialect is also praiseworthy.

Sanjay Mishra is wonderful. He brings in the much-required humour in certain situations. His rapport with Bhumi’s Vaishali is a delight to watch.

Aditya Srivastava makes for a truly despicable villain. The actor makes the viewers hate Bansi Sahu with just his facial expressions. Sai Tamhankar, as SSP Jasmeet Kaut, plays an important role. She brings in a certain gravitas.

Verdict

Bhakshak is the perfect example of how to make a hard-hitting drama. Do take time for it. The film is streaming on Netflix.

(Views expressed here personal.)

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