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'Miss Tanakpur Haazir Ho' Review: Absolute torture!

'Miss Tanakpur Haazir Ho' Review: Absolute torture!

Source: General

By: Sonia Chopra

Critic's Rating: 3/5

Saturday 27 June 2015

Movie Title

'Miss Tanakpur Haazir Ho' Review: Absolute torture!

Director

Vinod Kapri

Star Cast

Rahul Bagga, Annu Kapoor, Om Puri, Hrishitaa Bhatt, Sanjay Mishra

The film, set in a Northern village, trails the life of Arjun (Rahul Bagga) who has a soft spot for the village pradhan's (village chief) wife. When the Pradhan (Annu Kapoor) finds out, he has his men beat him up mercilessly.

Conscious of the upcoming elections and his MLA ticket, Pradhan cooks up a plan and covers up by accusing Arjun (Rahul Bagga) of raping his buffalo. Absurd as it sounds, the Pradhan does this to hide the fact that his wife (Hrishitaa Bhatt) favours the young boy.

One thing leads to another with the police, lawyers and the court getting involved. But the final straw happens when the village Khap Panchayat gives the order that as per local law, he will have to marry the buffalo.

The film tries to bring out the everyday eccentricities of mofussil India that often takes a gruesome turn (like the existence of a Khap Panchayat and acceptance of feudal ways).

The film is full of rape jokes and distasteful innuendos. There is one particularly horrifying dialogue where the cop at the other end of the phone conversation is asking whether the victim (he doesn’t know it’s a buffalo) is clothed or not, and what she’s doing at the moment. You can imagine the rest of the conversation.

Then there is the dialogue, which if I heard correctly, says that nowadays women reach India Gate with a candle for just anything. This is not the only time the film pokes fun at protestors, showing such people as irrational fools, as they pour out on the street demanding justice for the victim buffalo. The cop (Om Puri) says the victim is "tramutised" again showing trauma as an elitist thing that village folk don't get. Sigh.

When not trivializing the crime of rape, the film thinks it's a jolly good idea to compare buffaloes with women. So our victim buffalo is named Miss Tanakpur for winning a local competition and is compared to a Miss India (when questioned why the rapist would leave his own buffaloes to rape this particular one). Again, you can imagine the rest of the crass exchange of words.

The film comes alive very briefly when it deviates from the story to show the everyday sights and sounds of mofussil India complete with quirky signboards, earthy homes, folksy wedding songs and so on. The caricature-ish villainous team of Annu Kapoor, Om Puri and Sanjay Mishra is a fair bit of fun, with their goofing around and silly antics. The other bright spark in the movie is the cast--a wonderful ensemble, especially the feisty actor playing the granny— let down by the movie. Incidentally, one of the other films releasing this week (Uvaa) also features Om Puri and Sanjay Mishra.

Journalist-turned director Vinod Kapri ends the film with newspaper clippings of more such cases. But despite the film based on true events, it's barely engaging.

It's indeed sad that the story, which had potential for absurdist humour and real satire, was instead crammed with the most unpalatable of "jokes". Most of the humour is a sad attempt at being funny at the cost of being insensitive. Much like this movie. Steer clear!

Rating: Half a Star

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