Cheat or get cheated! ‘Why Cheat India’, directed by Soumik Sen, will give you a familiarly distinct (and mildly flawed) outlook on a grave and neglected societal problem in our nation.

Rating – 2.75 / 5

If there’s one thing that gets me excited to a whole new level, it’s Emraan Hashmi films! His ability to cover a vast range of genres and pull off a myriad of roles with ease and a great deal of swag is truly admirable. Right from his “serial kisser” days in Aashiq Banaya Aapne and Aksar to his more recent badass characters in Jannat 2 and Raja Natwarlal, he remains rock solid and committed to every role. And trust me, ‘Why Cheat India’ is no exception.

Now, let’s address the topic of today’s film – the immense pressure put on our youth by society in order to obtain a high rank and a respectable degree, specially in the fields of engineering, medicine and management. Films of the past, such as 3 Idiots and Aarakshan, have done a commendable job of shedding light onto this serious problem and have positively influenced their target audience. But the question is – will Why Cheat India be able to fulfil its original purpose, or is it simple another film for the shelf? Well, let’s find out!

Not your typical Emraan Hashmi movie, ‘Why Cheat India’ portrays our main man in a light somewhere between a hero and a villain. Rakesh aka Rocky (Emraan Hashmi), runs a so-called ‘coaching institute’, wherein, he pays some brilliant students belonging to lower middle-class families to sit the engineering/medical/management entrance exams in place of some rich spoilt non-deserving students. One such intellectually gifted student Satyendra Dubey aka Sattu (Snighadeep Chatterjee) begins to work for Rakesh, setting off a series of scams and shams, involving heated family drama, money matters and of course, Rocky’s love interest, Nupur (Shreya Dhanwanthary).

Upar wala dua qabool karta hai, main sirf cash leta hoon!

The film fails to follow the concept of ‘less is more’, which would have proven to quite a powerful tool otherwise. Starting off with a simple plot, the film then goes off on several different tangents (politics, court case & death to name a few), becoming difficult to cope with and just a tad bit boring. However, I must give credit to director Soumik Sen for strategically being able to tie up all loose ends, despite having such a large amount of sub-plots clumped up together in just 128 minutes.

Talking about performances, yet another tremendous job by Emraan Hashmi, who carries off the role an anti-hero so effortlessly and persuasively. In spite of his character’s negative attributes, he brings a whole of of conviction on-screen with his expressions, and dialogues such as “mujhe hero banne ka koi shauk nahi hai, villain banne ka bilkul time nahi hai, khiladi hoon, khel raha hoon” and by the end of it, he’s able to get the audience to his side. His co-star, debutant Shreya Dhanwanthary, breaks through with a very promising performance. Her natural beauty, charisma and fairly developed acting skills all work in her favour and she fits her role like a glove!

Going back to the above question – the film wasn’t as much of an influencer as it was an entertainer. Walking out of the theatre, you might not feel as convinced about the film’s intention, but it sure as hell feels worth it. ‘Why Cheat India’ is what I would call a total “paisa vasool!”

Got your own reviews and ratings of Why Cheat India? Let me know in the comments section below and follow @thecinesurgeon on Instagram!

Posted by:The Cine Surgeon

Diu Somani, The CineSurgeon, is a student of Veterinary Medicine and Surgery at the Royal Veterinary College in London. Diu has two main loves, animals and Bollywood.