Synopsis by Clarke Fountain
This tale of endless woe would be painful to examine even if it were considered as a comedy, which it is not. Instead, this film is a resounding indictment of India's clogged, unresponsive political system and the maddening bureaucracies it supports. The story begins with Tabara, a minor tax collector, as he looks back over his long career prior to retirement. He is anticipating it joyfully, but when an oversight leads another paper pusher to put through a cut in his retirement pay, his joy is short-lived. Soon, his beloved wife suffers an injured foot which turns gangrenous due to her previously undiscovered diabetes. He can't afford the health care she needs and pushes even harder for his full retirement, calling on politicians and bribing bureaucrats; he even begs for a loan. However, his efforts bear little fruit, and that comes too late to save his wife's life. On top of that, his sweet, lovable, but mentally slow adopted son has gotten lost in the city while on foot and cannot be found. Tabara wanders around his village wailing with grief and rage, prompting his irritated neighbors to the uncharitable wish that he go mad so that he can be put away and not bother them anymore. Even more mishaps befall this Job-like figure, so that his final Pyrrhic victory prompts him to make a supreme gesture of contempt.
against-the-system, business, corruption, death, disease, grief, injury, retirement, tax-collector