Review: Emraan’s ‘Why Cheat India’ Is at Best a Sermon & Not a Movie
Video Editor: Puneet Bhatia
Camera: Sumit Badola
Producer: Tridip Mandal
Newton ka 4th law pata hai? I now know courtesy Why Cheat India where Rocky bhaiyya aka Rakesh, tells a wide-eyed student, “gareeb se koi pyaar nahi kerta”. He then goes on to explain how he already is “akalmand” and now must become “nakalmand” for a comfortable future.
Sattu, effortlessly played by Singhadeep Chatterjee, is one of the many bright kids Rocky enrols in his dubious scheme — where degrees and top ranks are up for sale. Sattu’s job is to appear for exams on behalf of other kids and guarantee them a good marksheet.
He uses his brain, other kids put in their money and Rocky’s business goes on unchallenged. He does encounter a few roadblocks — some honest people here and conscientious citizens there, but Rocky forges ahead with his plans without qualms.
At various times in this 2-hour-long film, Emraan Hashmi, who is always strangely at home playing characters with malleable morals, rants about an education system that has little regard for a student’s overall development. A lot of importance is given to marks and society upholds degrees in engineering or medical.
The affluent kids with their privilege of access get jobs and promotions much easily because of their connections. So where does that leave the “good”, innocent kids who have to struggle at every level?
The twisted logic here isn’t the problem as much as this sermonising that happens at least half-a-dozen times in the movie!
While the film’s core idea about exposing the corrupt education system does offer an interesting premise, the execution is almost shoddy. Post interval, Soumik Sen’s writing and direction both give up all pretence of coherence.
The film proceeds on automation and adds and subtracts parallel tracks at will. Shreya Dhanwanthary, as a simple, well-meaning small-town girl who takes a fancy to Rakesh is quite delightful. Emraan is fairly decent with the limited scope he has, but the film doesn’t know what it wants to be — a boring essay critiquing society or a throbbing, pulsating cinematic exploration.
Why Cheat India ends with statistics flashed across the screen about how 50% students at IIT Bombay admitted to cheating, the number of fake educational institutes is on the rise and only 7% of engineering graduates are employable. The film is as dry and static as these facts. A pity because both Hashmi and Shreya are capable of so much more.
I will go with 2 quints out of 5.