Bhakshak Review

Rahul Desai

A Story Rooted in Facts

Bhakshak (which translates to “predator”) is designed as an underdog journalism movie. It very much speaks to the crumbling Fourth Estate of today. The chronology is understandable – and familiar.

Pednekar plays Vaishali Singh

An intrepid small-town reporter who pursues her passion against the wishes of a chauvinistic family. The result is far from perfect, but there's something to be said about the hidden convictions of the film. 

Vaishali's Inspirations

The story she chooses is inspired by the Muzaffarpur shelter-home case, where a former legislator and his aides were convicted for the sexual assault of several girls at a facility run by a state-funded non-governmental organisation (NGO).

The Strength of Bhakshak

It is that it resists easy answers. Vaishali’s frustration is that she can’t take the law into her own hands – she must temper her activism with fact-finding rigour. The film often teases with massy solutions before debunking them.

Spelling Out Subtext

Despite having the body of a journalism film, though, Bhakshak has the bleeding heart of a vigilante drama. Vaishali’s heroism is laced with impassioned speeches and PSA-level awakenings.

Bhumi Pednekar’s Unadorned Spirit

It rescues the movie from the irony of its own treatment. Watch her long enough, and Bhakshak becomes a timely nod to a nation stranded at the crossroads of mythmaking and democracy.