STORY: The film is set in a fictional village called Tanakpur in Haryana. Arjun (Rahul Bagga), a local electrician falls in love with Maya (Hrishita Bhatt), wife of the village pradhan (Annu Kapoor). Influential member of the Khap Panchayat, pradhan, in order to maintain his prestige, falsely accuses Arjun of raping his buffalo. Instead of rubbishing this silly claim, the cops too get involved adding to the chaos.
REVIEW: Said to be based on ‘true events’, the film attempts to mock the superstitious, irrational and orthodox thinking of village folk and khap panchayats. The underlying message being – logic and reasoning take a backseat when it comes to meting out justice.
Though well-intentioned, intriguing and effective in places, this satirical tragicomedy is as sluggish as the proceedings of the very judiciary it takes a dig at. The first half is wasted showing Pradhan and his sidekick (Ravi Kishan) falling for the buffoonery of a self-proclaimed godman (Sanjay Mishra). He even claims to have a cure for Pradhan’s impotency. Arjun’s clandestine affair with Maya and their not-so-secret rendezvous too eat up a lot of time. The film gets to the point only in the second half.
As far as comedy is concerned, lines that are genuinely funny get repeated to the point that they cease to amuse you. What is hard-hitting is the tragedy of the situation (what Arjun’s family goes through) and gives some meaning to an otherwise absurd script. If that aspect was given more prominence, Tanakpur would have been a much better film.
For a satire, subtlety is what you miss. You can’t possibly harp on potty jokes, describe women’s breast sizes and crack jokes on rape to sound smart and socially responsible. Sadly, this social satire, which could have been an eye-opener on false cases and fraud witnesses, literally has more shit (pun intended) than substance.