Oomung is out at the box office with his latest take on rape. Before this is perceived as a trivialising rape, let me hasten to add that our cinema has been perhaps doing that always.
The trauma around rape is being portrayed with the same regularity as the ‘lost brothers’ in Manmohan Desai’s era. The word ‘rape’ surely stuns us, but the way it is depicted in films makes people insentitive. While the theme is exclusively the prerogative of the maker, its reiteration is invariably seen in a context.
The storyline is linear as is the treatment. Stripped of any layers, it deals with a alcoholic father, Arun (Sanjay Dutt – in his comeback vehicle- oh! artists hate the expression come back. They rather see ‘comeback’ as an accusation) dotes on his daughter Bhoomi (Aditi Hydari Rao). everything was going fine between them until their neighbour Vishal proposes to Bhoomi just before her marriage to Neeraj (Sidhant Gupta, a graceful dancer).
Her refusal of the offer leads to her being drugged and gangraped with the assistance of local goon Dhauli (Sharad Kelkar). The law only increases the trauma with evidence being painstakingly loaded against the victim. With the guilty out in the open, the father and daughter embark on the path of vendetta.
The manner in which they avenge the rapists and torture the viewer with their bizarre third degree approach is what makes the script.
Kabil, Mom, Mitr… there is a list of endless films that deal with rape and parental support to the victim. While the audience lap up the heroics of victims avenging the accused, it raises serious issues on how we have been tackling the challenge on hand. We seem to have an entire chapter of our cinema which seems to advocate the cause of anarchy and the method of the victim deciding to take law into his/her hands (specially, if they are muscular).
This preaching of anarchy and disbelief in the legal system perhaps has a context, but is it a conscious statement or is it one of convenience. The film is also marred by the fact that Sanjay cannot get his act together nor can Aditi. Both are contrived to a fault and just do not get enough empathy. I also have a serious issue with the manner in which we deal so callously with serious issues including juvenile justice.