Director Vikas Bahl’s wholehearted yet exaggerated attempt at depicting Anand Kumar’s life story is…well…been there, seen that!
Rating – 3 / 5 ⭐️⭐⭐
I’d call Super 30 one of those real-life inspired almost-biopics that could have easily nailed it but fell short simply due to its lack of subtlety. From a slow, rather boring start to an all-consuming peak pre-interval, followed by a bumpy, semi-relevant latter half, the film’s instability combined with its somewhat superficial storytelling is what prevented it from soaring and swooping away hearts! However, its sincere performances and the film’s feel-good moments were definitely difficult to overlook.
Based on the renowned educationist and mathematician, Super 30 follows the life of Anand Kumar (Hrithik Roshan), belonging to a lower-class family of Patna, who, after several ups and downs, sees a vision to educate and tutor 30 underprivileged, impoverished kids for the IIT-JEE entrance exam for the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT).
Following quite a textbook-ish screenplay that tends to be a bit too idealistic at times and offering nothing unique, the overall purpose of the film seem rather forced. Although director Vikas Bahl and writer Sanjiv Dutta tried their best to create some motivating magic on screen, the attention was directed too much towards the political dynamics. Super 30 would have benefited so much more had the film focused a tad bit more on Kumar’s teaching techniques and the students’ learning experiences – a.k.a centered around the whole “voh teacher nahi, jaadugar the” aspect!
“Raja ka beta raja nahi banega, raja voh hi banega jo haqdaar hoga!”
Several ‘goosebump’ moments were scattered throughout this 162 minute pseudo-patriotic spectacle – watching the underprivileged kids say things like my father is a driver, I want to be a marine biologist, or the whole “hum maarenge chalaang” scene definitely kept the adrenaline rush coming and passed the film’s message across in a very obvious way. Having said that, Super 30 didn’t fall short of certain irrelevant scenes stretched out for absolutely no reason – right from Kumar pushing his students to do a naatak in English (Basanti no daaaance) in front of the upper-class English-speaking students in order to overcome their fear, to the almost-end scene where Kumar’s students shoot fire bows at the goons at a very specific 69 degree angle to protect their beloved professor. The romance between Kumar and Rashmi (Mrunal Thakur) was redundant of sorts, although it did add an air of mystery amongst most of the ranting.
The majority of the beauty of the film lied in its genuine performances – Hrithik was, of course, promising, earnest, although, his Bihari accent didn’t really make the cut and in effect, wasn’t a hundred percent effective in bringing out his character. Aditya Srivastava (yup, we know him as Abhijit from CID) came on like a fresh breath of air as Lallanji and delivered a greatly persuasive performance in a negative role. Nandish Sandhu as Kumar’s brother, Pranav and Amit Sadh as a witty journalist were both fabulously well-suited to their roles and served to be ideal supporting characters. And, of course, we have Pankaj Tripathi as the local education minister, whose subdued acting amplified to give such a powerful impact…as always!
A moderately-entertaining biopic that probably won’t give you the epiphany you expect and should certainly not be taken as inspiration by potential IIT students! That being said, watch at your own time!
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