Director Narendra Nath’s Miss India, starring Keerthy Suresh, is a tale of a female entrepreneur who works her way up to set up a business in the US. The rags-to-riches story of Manasa Samyuktha (Keerthy Suresh) aims to aspire women to beat all odds to emerge victorious in a man’s world.
Manasa Samyuktha and she aims to start a business after she finishes her MBA. This, she decides, is her goal in life when her father refuses to acknowledge her grades in school because she does not have a goal. Perhaps, the girl is not even ten years old at this point. The pressure is immense, but not atypical. By the time she is in her early 20s, even after moving to San Francisco, she still tells people her name is Manasa Samyuktha (not Manasa or Samyuktha), and that she wants to start a business soon. Now, everyone around her reminds her that she is a woman and that business is not her cup of tea. But Manasa Samyuktha makes her stand clear — “Coffee is not her cup of tea.” ‘
The story is built around a core idea, where a female entrepreneur faces sexism and surpasses expectations and conservative mindsets to achieve her dreams. But with each layer that writers Nath and Tharun add to this brew, it just weakens everything that it wants to say. In the beginning, we are told that Manasa Samyuktha is from a middle-class family in Lambasingi, near Araku (Andhra Pradesh). Her grandfather is an Ayurvedic doctor, whose special concoction mixed with all sorts of spices (tea) cures all sorts of illnesses. But when tragedy strikes the family, Manasa’s elder brother takes over the family responsibility. Thanks to his job, the family moves to San Francisco, where, for some reason, they manage to move into a villa, of sorts. The young techie is doing well for himself and earning a good pay-check. But wait… the tea is still brewing.
The main disadvantage in Miss India is the over-explanatory dialogues. Right from marketing lessons to their strategies, everything is told. It doesn’t allow us to take in the visuals and process it. Keerthy randomly names her chai brand, Miss India. All it takes is two months for her to reach the stature of KSK Coffee, an already established brand in the USA.
The dialogues are so silly. So are the strategies Keerthy and Jagapathi Babu apply against each other. You can see them coming from a mile away. It is Keerthy Suresh who tries hard to salvage the film. But, there’s only so much she can do. Even the serious scenes turn out to be unintentionally funny because of the dialogues.
Miss India is a pointless story of a middle-class woman who builds an empire in the US with her special chai. As Keerthy says, ‘Coffee is not her cup of tea.’ But to be honest, this chai isn’t our cup of tea either.