Miss Tanakpur Haazir Hoby Niharika Puri June 27 2015, 3:14 pm Estimated Reading Time: 2 mins, 30 secs
Critic’s Rating : 1.5 Stars
Cast: Annu Kapoor, Om Puri, Ravi Kishan, Rahul Bagga, Hrishita Bhatt
Direction: Vinod Kapri
Produced: Crossword Films
Written: Vinod Kapri/Abhishek Sharma
Duration: 134 Mins
Being based on facts and ludicrous actual incidents is no assurance of a riveting satire. Miss Tanakpur Haazir Ho may have courted its share of controversy from the Muzaffarnagar khap panchayat in Uttar Pradesh with a bounty placed on the director’s head, but the members need not have worried. The film does their work for them.
Arjun (Rahul Bagga) is a local Tanakpur lad with aspirations for joining the police force whilst having a quiet romance with Maya (Hrishita Bhatt), the village pradhan Sualal’s (Annu Kapoor) wife. These contrarian conducts are set to get him in trouble.
When caught by the cuckolded husband, the aggrieved pradhan and his cronies (Ravi Kishen, Sanjai Mishra) come up with an inventive punishment. In order to prevent his household’s dishonour, Sualal frames Arjun in a rape case. The victim? Sualal’s prize buffalo, Miss Tanakpur. According to Thanedaar Matang Singh (Om Puri) she is “temotised”.
What follows are a series of needlessly elongated gags leading to a lacklustre climax, which is meant to be a satisfying conclusion. Miss Tanakpur Haazir Ho relies heavily on the banter between a talented but disinterested cast with long-drawn conversations that are neither insightful nor amusing.
Too much emphasis is given on the purported satire in the film. What could have sufficed with a wink to the audience is instead narrated on film with the physical equivalent of loud gestures and billboards to convey the same point. This is evident from the opening scene, replete with unsuccessful attempts at humour like women shopping for bras (Not. Subtle.), Sualal’s clandestine visit to a hakeem and a dull mockery of blind religious faith.
The makers seem fixated on scatology as a source of humour, strewing the film with dreadfully boring scenes added only for that purpose. Therefore, when a serious climax emerges, the tonal whiplash seems out of place. The overall treatment of the film is not one befitting either the genre or the subject.
This is the second satirical outing in a row starring Annu Kapor and Om Puri after Jai Ho! Democracy. The script does neither the star cast nor logic any favours. Why else would Arjun abandon his sister’s wedding ceremony to have a tryst with Maya? Why are his priorities not sorted? Why would the village assemble the khap to decide Arjun’s fate after already taking the matter to court? There are many more instances which dilute the impact of the film. Too often the writing meanders, making you wonder where the story is going, if it is indeed going anywhere or intends to reach there soon enough.
Miss Tanakpur may be haazir in court but that is not enough reason for the audience to present themselves at theatres to endure this. Avoid at all costs.