It took me three days to watch the 2020 film titled “Miss India” which had been trending on Netflix for a while. I don’t even know why I bothered, probably to write a review by the end of it.
Directed by Narendra Nath,”Miss India” is about a spunky girl called Manasa Samyukta who wants to be a businesswoman when she grows up. Her mom & dad however are of the view that business is not for women and that she must aim at getting married once she is an adult. What follows is a predictable story that is served with one cliche after the other, making it a painful movie watching experience.
Keerthi Suresh who plays Samyukta is earnest in her role, but the problem is the silly script-writing. Let me give you an example – Samyukta pursues MBA in America and talks about SWOT analysis to her clueless peers. SWOT analysis is taught to us in school, so it’s ridiculous to see a bunch of MBA students discussing what it is.
It’s evident in the first ten minutes that little Samyukta will grow up and set up a tea business somewhere. But it takes one hour twenty minutes for “Miss India” to finally show up in the film. It comes in the form of the lead character’s business name. Too much time is wasted on irritating things. Almost everyone in Samyukta’s life is a non-supportive asshole; be it her mom who just wants her to marry and settle down, her bossy brother who is a prick, her friends who do not believe in her business idea, her boyfriend who just wants a ‘simple girl’. Then there is a caricature like villain, who is supposed to be a rival business-owner, but is characterized as if he is some mafia boss. Ugh.
Maybe the director had his heart in the right place, he wanted to show how a strong independent woman battles rampant sexism to prove naysayers wrongs and become a brand name to reckon with. That however doesn’t mean every other person around her needs to be either sexist or simply unrealistic. Right at the beginning, there is a scene where Samyukta’s older sister who is about to start practicing law, shows up at their front door, after getting married to a stranger without their knowledge. She ties the knot with a boyfriend whose existence wasn’t even known to the family and at a time when they are going through a financial crisis. It just makes no sense. The sister story serves little to further the plot, except establish the fact that the lead has shitty siblings.
I actually fast-forwarded a lot of the film and even then it took me three days to finish it. Just couldn’t gulp this tea in one go. There is no character growth, no nuanced storytelling, no originality, just bland boring drama. Even the logo of Samyukta’s tea chain is not original – it’s a cup with a crown above it; remind anybody of a brand called Starbucks? Sigh.
I can wrap the film in one sentence – little girl wants to be businesswoman, but everyone tells her she cannot do so, but little girls grows up and proves them wrong. Finish.