Bollywood Reviews, Movie Reviews

BHAKSHAK Tells A Horrifying Story In Bhumi Pednekar’s Finest Film

I’m starting to like Bhumi Pednekar more and more. While I’m not a fan of her when they try to shoehorn her into leading ‘heroine’-type roles like in Thank You For Coming. But when she does these street-level grounded and realistic films, she truly shines! Bhakshak is a similar film that is completely social issue-based and one that is devoid of any melodrama, where its subtlety is what sells the film. Bhakshak is about a corrupt politician abusing young girls in an orphanage, and how an investigative journalist uncovers the story, trying to get justice for these kids. Read on for my Bhakshak review.

Please note that the following Bhakshak review will be completely spoiler-free.

What Is Bhakshak All About?

Bhakshak review journalist.

Bhakshak review crowd.

Bhakshak tells the story of an aspiring journalist, Vaishali (Bhumi Pendekar) who struggles to get her own news network off the ground. Along with her is her trusty cameraman/sidekick, Bhaskar (Sanjay Mishra). While focusing on more street-level news stories, Vaishali also has to deal with the stigma of a married woman trying to build a career for herself. The pressures of having kids and starting a family weigh on Vaishali a lot, even at times, from her husband, Arvind (Surya Sharma).

However, things take a turn when she stumbles upon a story of young girls’ abuse in a government-funded orphanage. As she digs deeper, she finds a corrupt politician behind it all, but one who also is on to her investigation. What follows is a tense and slow-moving story as Vaishali vows to get the girls justice, even though everything is stacked against them. Pulkit directs the movie with a story by him as well, along with Jyotsana Nath.

Why Bhakshak Works, Despite Its Intense Story

Bhakshak review crowd.

Image via Netflix.

Bhakshak takes a pretty horrifying tale and can ground it with very real-world journalistic ideals, mostly from a grassroots level. Despite finding sources to corroborate the story, as well as uncovering a lot of wrongdoing at different levels of the government, Vaishali struggles to be heard. Her novice newscaster and small channel don’t get the story any traction initially, but she continues pushing forward. Risking her personal relationships, and even putting herself in danger at times.

Pulkit also decides to tell the story from different viewpoints. So on top of seeing Vaishali struggling to expose this heinous crime to the world, we also see the inner workings of the orphanage itself. And while it’s a story meant to showcase the idea of some pretty heinous acts against young girls, the movie doesn’t explicitly show the audience anything, which personally, I was thankful for. It’s the same thing that Delhi Crime Season 1 did. The story is still evocative enough that even the discussion and mention of these crimes are effective enough to elicit an emotional response from the viewer.

Bhakshak Review Praises The Quietly Wonderful Performances

Bhakshak review villain.

Bhakshak review crowd.

Bhakshak features some pretty strong performances, despite not being big or bold at face value. Pednekar really takes command of the screen. She plays Vaishali as strong and independent, but at times still has to bow her head to the system that she is railing against. Pednekar can show us how determined Vaishali is, while still displaying the vulnerability and frustration that comes with forging your own path.

Mishra is wonderful as Bhaskar, literally the only support and ally that Vaishali has in this fight. The actor known for his character roles is brilliant in a more subtle role as someone along for the ride and acting as Vaishali’s friend, confidant, and trusted partner in her quest for justice. And adding to this is also Aditya Shrivastav, the man behind it all. Definitely, a character you end up loving to hate.

Bhakshak Review Is Spoiler-Free

Bhakshak review Mishra and Pednekar

Bhakshak review crowd.

In many ways, Bhakshak is about journalistic integrity and displays the rare type of grassroots journalism that we rarely see in Bollywood. We’ve got movies about bloggers, talk show hosts and newspaper editors, but not many films have focused on journalism. At least, not as much as we would like. In that sense, Bhakshak is very rare, as it isn’t the straightforward crime thriller that follows the crime, the investigation, and ends with the bad guy in chains. Here it’s more of a crime, the cover-up and how a journalist is trying to bring it to light, following a process that doesn’t compromise due process.

Despite being a slow burn, the subject matter is something that will speak to everyone, given it involves kids. And the performances go a long way to keep audiences engaged and hooked to the story from beginning to end. And on top of everything it’s probably the best performance of Pednekar’s.

Bhakshak is now streaming on Netflix.

What did you think of Bhakshak? Let me know in the comments below, or follow me on X (Twitter) at @theshahshahid to talk more about Bollywood all the time.

BHAKSHAK Tells A Horrifying Story With Subtlety In Bhumi Pednekar’s Finest Film
  • Acting - 7.5/10
  • Cinematography/Visual Effects - 6.5/10
  • Plot/Screenplay - 8/10
  • Setting/Theme - 8/10
  • Watchability - 8/10
  • Rewatchability - 5/10
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