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Movie Review: Super 30

Banners: Reliance Entertainment, Nadiadwala Grandson Entertainment, Phantom Films, HRX Films

Producers: Reliance Entertainment, Nadiadwala Grandson Entertainment, Phantom Films

Director: Vikas Bahl

Cast: Hrithik Roshan, Mrunal Thakur, Nandish Sandhu, Virendra Saxena, Aditya Shrivastava, Pankaj Tripathi, Amit Sadh, Vijay Verma

Writer: Sanjeev Dutta

Music: Ajay-Atul

Since time immemorial, Hindi films have been replete with themes of aspirational value. Then came realistic cinema, films which made the audience connect to the grass-root level. But when we see a film, which has both these elements, the aspirational value and the realism that is now revered, we get a strong, power-packed film like Super 30.

Directed by Vikas Bahl, the film, based on the life of mathematician and educationalist Anand Kumar, was stuck in limbo for some time but the conviction of the makers and actors has made sure that it is worth the wait.

The story starts with Anand Kumar receiving state recognition for excellence in a Mathematics contest. He gets a medal from the Education Minister Shriram Singh and is encouraged by him to study further. Anand works hard and cracks a Math equation that no one in the world could solve because of which he gets invited to study at Cambridge University, UK. But due to his family’s financial crisis and a tragedy that ensues, he starts selling papad around town to support his family. He then gets an opportunity to teach at a big coaching institute in Patna, backed by the Education Minister and his side-kick, Lallan Singh. While the financial woes are solved, Anand experiences an epiphany and turns his life around to give free coaching to 30 underprivileged children on how to crack IIT entrance exams. He faces trouble from Shriram and Lallan for taking this step and how he holds his spirit despite facing several obstacles is what forms the crux of the story.

The film starts strong as we see the characters and their background being established. On paper, the film has a linear storyline where a teacher changes his course of action from teaching privileged kids to underprivileged ones. But writer Sanjeev Dutta should be given credit for adding the right kind of emotional value that compels the audience to invest in the characters, their storylines, their joys and their losses. The one thing that grates you is the length of the film. While the film flies in the first half, the second half is a tad stretched as the basic concept re-establishes itself over and over again.

The ensuing drawback of this is the dramatisation of certain situations. The makers have tried to balance it like in one of the later scenes, we see how the life lessons that Anand gave his students in the form of Mathematics, à la Phunsukh Vangdu style, are being used in some dire situations.

The story is based on the classic theme of rags-to-riches but the twist to this globally accepted concept here is that we don’t see the protagonist going from rags-to-riches, but him fighting and working towards the betterment and achievement of others.

The look and feel of the setting are very important in films like Super 30 as that itself plays an important part in convincing the audience of the authenticity of the narrative. Everything from Anand Kumar’s house to the hostel he makes for his students, to the small-town feel of Patna has been caught ably by the cinematographer Anay Goswami. The production value of the film is not larger-than-life but the emotions attached to it take it to the next level.

The background score plays a very important role in adding the thrill factor to this storyline. Although it is a little too loud in some places, it enhances the themes of the sub-plots on-screen.

Vikas Bahl has given the audience a strong film to look up to with Super 30. In the elongated run of two hours and thirty-four minutes, the story takes you through the journey of one man whose sacrifice has changed the lives of scores of people, a theme that had been missing from the wide variety of Hindi films that have come out lately.

Performance-wise, Hrithik Roshan, who is back on the big screen after over two years, largely holds the film on his shoulders. The actor reminds us of the raw, powerful talent that he has as he brings the right kind of feeling, especially in the most emotional scenes. Mrunal Thakur has limited scenes but has a sweet screen presence and adds to the emotional quotient of the film. Nandish Sandhu as Anand’s brother, Pranav Kumar is decent. Virendra Saxena is good and so is Aditya Shrivastava. The cherry on top of this cake has to be Pankaj Tripathi who, like in all the roles that he portrays, is flawless in this performance as well. The group of kids who play Anand’s students are okay. Amit Sadh is a pivotal addition in the special appearance that he has and Vijay Verma’s cameo is good.

Verdict: Must watch!

Rating: *** 1/2

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