A rape victim has been identified. The accused is a young man and a promising prospect for his family. The victim belongs to the most influential and dominating man in the community. The police are forced to register an FIR and act responsibly in the case. The victim has to go through all the extensive grilling sessions e.g. medical examination and physical appearance in the crowded premise [in exact sense] of the court. Sounds regular and routine newspaper headline? It was before a Television Journalist decides to bring it on big screen in form of a motion picture; only twist in the tale is the rape victim here doesn’t belong to the human race and is a ‘not so helpless’ buffalo. You will learn the ‘not so helpless’ part later while watching it at your own.
MISS TANAKPUR HAAZIR HO is a dramatized version of some true but bizarre events in the outskirts of a Haryanvi speaking region. Outlined as a social satire, film marks the début of Vinod Kapri once a media professional. No wonder, he chooses the weirdest and the strangest news material to bring out the darkest side of today’s illogically insensitive society; but in a quite entertaining way. It’s silly, impractical, rarest of the rare but satirical to the core. Yes, the bland and colorless toilet humor and the coldness towards rape victims do record a serious damage to its promised picture-frame of a meaningful cinema still, it is a good effort.
The powerful ‘Pradhan’ of Tanakpur [Annu Kapoor] has a young wife [Hrishita Bhatt] half his age at home seeking love, care and compassion in a young man from the neighborhood [Rahul Bagga of MASTRAM]. Soon, his findings about the relationship turn into an ugly game of power to eliminate the man in question. The cops [Om Puri] and the law-enforcement professionals also start acting and sounding illogical within the given parameters of their job-profile. At stake is the worth of our incompetent system that hardly shows any signs of empathy and understanding. India is an ideal and a perfect setting for such ‘Tamasha’. This is a world where dresses are held responsible for rapes and not the men behind it.
Vinod Kapri scores marks at various levels. His grit and guts to weave humor possibly in every frame don’t stick to only the sharp and piercing dialogues Haryanvi is famous for or in the crude characters but also with a prominent usage of quirky sign-boards and quotes painted on walls. Film if falters intentionally or involuntarily, in handling of rape-victims. Some of the remarks made on the victim by various sections of the society are as painful as the inhuman two-finger test. The film severely and frequently tints itself as a bizarre entertainer, mostly because of the ridiculousness in the plot. After all, how often we hear, learn or read about such unimaginable cases? So, when the lead female character expresses her inactiveness and helplessness against the influential powers to the buffalo towards the climax; you too feel the intensity and relate to the proposed end.
Of the performances, Kamlesh Gill as a rough and ready vocal-tank Bua is spot-on. Veteran Sanjai Mishra looks over-enthusiastically powering in every scene even though the script has less to offer him. Restricting Ravi Kishan to what script demands from him and not throwing his weight all around is another milestone achieved [Pun intended]. Rest all including big names like Annu Kapoor and Om Puri do it in a measured mode. Hrishita and Rahul hardly impress.
MISS TANAKPUR HAAZIR HO comes from a brutal reality of a world which most would not find relatable and realistic enough, yet it manages to hit the bull’s eye with just an affirmation that all of it is based on real events. Watch it, because that’s what we do most of the times whenever something like this happens around us! [2.5/5]