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Dedh Bigha Zameen

Farhad Dalal
Farhad Dalal
3.5 Star popcorn reviewss


In a country where power rules along with greed, the only person suffering is the common man. And this win at all cost policy is really showcased well in the new Hindi film Dedh Bigha Zameen which is now streaming on Jio Cinema. There was lots to look forward to in this film – firstly the film was directed by Pulkit who was coming on the back of a successful Netflix film like Bhakshak, a story that was hard-hitting and laced with realism. Secondly, Dedh Bigha Zameen co-starred Pratik Gandhi, one of the most talented actors that are doing the rounds at the moment, and on the back of a phenomenal 2024 with his previous films being Madgaon Express and Do Aur Do Pyaar. And it was a pity that Jio Cinema chose not to promote this film because it was indeed a special film which did create a tense atmosphere surrounding a common man who stands to lose his land at every juncture of the drama, even when he chooses to stand up for himself. The drama though was also reflective of the times that we live in today where the ultimate loser is always the common man! But overall, does Dedh Bigha Zameen manage to impress, let’s find out.

Story & Screenplay

Dedh Bigha Zameen follows the story of a common man who finds himself in a precarious position after he gets to know that a local MLA has taken possession of the land that actually belongs to him. The story has a simple premise but it attributes for a searing socio-political commentary that is layered while also exploring the issue of dowry packaged in this tense drama. The screenplay standing at just under 2 hours is taut and doesn’t provide any respite in terms of its narrative that slowly deepens the issues of the protagonist with every passing minute. It is compelling leaving you with a dual feeling of being sympathetic towards the protagonist while your blood boils in the garb of the politics being played around him. 

The drama opens with the introduction of the protagonist and his family wherein the writers straight away kick start the proceedings with the injection of an important social issue related to dowry. In the scene, you see the protagonist trying to fix the marriage of his sister with a person who indirectly asks for a sum of money, all in the name of ‘keeping the bride happy when she is away’ even though he seemed to be well informed about the repercussions of asking for a dowry. Yet, this turns out to be least of the problems for the protagonist given that in trying to arrange for money, he gets to know that the land that he was planning to sell is taken over by a local MLA. And thus begins his fight against the authorities and the system but at what cost?? 

The proceedings are engaging wherein the events are almost packaged as a tense thriller with no respite. The writers offer a searing commentary on the crumbling nature of the system that refuses to aide the interests of a common man who is initially clueless on how to go about the things related to his land possession. His nemesis on the other hand is a seemingly powerful figure who would supposedly refuse to budge thereby compounding his problems of obtaining money in time for his sister’s marriage. There is an obstacle at every step even as the protagonist painstaking tries all measures within his capacity, something that would potentially anger the viewers of the film. The twists and turns in the drama might be predictable(given on how familiar you are with the politics of the land) but at its core, it is a human drama with an underlying layer of emotions that occasionally pop up even as you are invested in the journey of the protagonist. 

If I had to pick one little criticism around the film then it would be related to some of the events leading up to the finale that seemed a little episodic in nature. The natural progression was intermittently interrupted by stray events that were good, individually speaking but briefly stalling the flow of the drama. But at no point did the writers lose sight of what the intended message of the film was, be it sudden disappearance of a character or the transformation of the protagonist, all of which went well with the mood of the drama. And I wasn’t prepared for the dark end that the film had in store here, something that left me numb. I think the end was brave and almost acted as a mirror for the reality that we are staring into, summing up a screenplay that is extremely well written.

Dialogues, Music & Direction

The dialogues are conversational but the dialect of the characters(most of them) does add to the authenticity of the drama. The music is underrated and goes perfectly well with the mood of the drama. The BGM is decent but in my opinion could have been slightly more pronounced to elevate the drama at certain junctures. The cinematography coupled with the lighting forms some incredible frames that definitely contribute to the tense ambience of the drama. I liked how different filters were used at crucial moments in the narrative that added a distinct flavour to the proceedings. The editing is good for most parts of the runtime barring brief moments leading up to the finale that seemed slightly choppy in nature. Director Pulkit who had previous directed the fabulous film Bhakshak, is in top form here. And I have come to believe that the socio-political genre is his zone wherein he understands the crux of the drama and weaves a searing tale around it. Here too, he does back the narrative with events that will always engage you and sympathize with the protagonist even as he makes his way in the long tunnel of doom. The direction is pretty good here.


The performances are incredibly good by the ensemble cast here. Neetam Mohindra, Neeraj Sood and Dayashankar Pandey are excellent actors and lend able support here. Avinash Chandra as Asif is sincere and earnest, and offers a perfect foil of support for the protagonist. Mukesh Chhabra as Babloo is natural to the core and does a fine job here. Durgesh Kumar as the MLA’s assistant delivers yet another wicked performance after his antics in Panchayat that were praise worthy. He is incredibly good while ensuring that the viewers will dislike his character. Faisal Malik is such an incredible actor himself who yet again showcases his acting prowess here as Yadav. He is understated but extremely vile and leaves a lasting impression despite a limited screen time. Deepesh Sumitra as Vivek is unassuming and quite outstanding with his character that is layered and quite shrewd, I must say. 

Prasanna Bisht as Neha is nice understated and does a fine job as well. The surprise package for me was Khushali Kumar who is wonderfully restrained as Pooja, often acting as a silent support to her husband. I must say that she has improved her performance by leaps and bounds from the last time that I saw her in Dhokha Round D Corner. There is a certain amount of grace that she brings to her character that is hard not to make her affable. But the showstopper here is undoubtedly Pratik Gandhi who shines yet again as Anil. What amazed me was his dialect that sounded so authentic that you instantly could relate to the character of this setting. He delivers a heartfelt performance almost bottling up all the emotions and releasing them like slow poison. As a result, you are privy to his vulnerability in the best manner possible even as he navigates one obstacle after another in this never ending labyrinth. He was simply phenomenal to witness.


Dedh Bigha Zameen is a hard-hitting and searing socio-political drama with solid performances that makes for a wonderful watch. Available on Jio Cinema.

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