Kota Factory S2 Review: A Brilliant Show That Tells You to Accept Who You Are
Kota Factory season 2 is streaming on Netflix.
Kota Factory Season 2
Netflix's Kota Factory S2 Review: A Brilliant Show That Tells You to Accept Who You Are
‘This is your chance to be somebody”, is said right at the start by a man on stage before an auditorium full of people. Soon, the bespectacled children, their innocent eyes large, their hair parted and slick, look at the man and swallow their anxiety. In a deja vu from 3 Idiots, they are told that without winning this race, they will be losers, if they don’t have the most beautiful wife, the most beautiful car, the biggest house? They’re losers and then how, does one guarantee, not to be a loser in this big bad world? By getting into IIT and making a lot of money.
Kota Factory season 2, like season 1, doesn’t beat around the bush and gets straight to the point. The colours blur straight to black and white, reminding us and reinforcing the lifelessness of living under this pressure.
'Kota Factory', with razor sharp vision, examines the IIT dream, an extension and amalgamation of the once-upon-a-time Nehruvian and today American dream and whether it is IIT or JNU, the Philippines or India, who young people are at the end of the day the same.
They are sometimes scared, insecure and mostly decent at heart.
In the terrain of small town Kota, brilliant Vaibhav, loveable Balmukund, spunky Shivangi, cute Uday and the brilliant Jeetu bhaiya navigate the chance and challenge to explore the realest and most relatable face of India, its aspirations and explores its romance, sexuality and friendship with utmost gentleness and sweetness.
This time, we meet Vaibhav with a whole other agenda, Jeetu bhaiya as the entrepreneur and Balmukund as the young saint and sinner all at once, more spirited and enlightened than last time. Everything is new and different but what remains the same, like last time, is that Kota Factory doesn’t try to sell you what’s right and what’s wrong, it doesn’t moralise this world but only allows you to question what would make you happy, make you feel alive and examine what your capabilities are.
Kota Factory, a show about thousands of children working hard for the same IIT dream, is the show that tells you to accept who you are and who you’re not because not everyone is cut from the same cloth.
A character, who has failed a few IIT entrances before, allows a bird to fly from his window, reminding you to not be trapped in a cage of your own expectations.
The show is also so much about the beauty of the profession of teaching and the age old “guru shishya" relationship. It also explores how, while the universities and bigger platforms in this country have accountability, responsibility, agency and do enjoy a large cast of mostly accomplished and brilliant professors and teachers who are deeply entrenched in research, academia and love teaching with a passion, the smaller spaces and institutes, government and private, have a large number of insecure, mostly under qualified unhappy people who are there not for any passion for teaching but because they aren’t doing anything else and only care about the pay check.
A large number of once-upon-a-time brilliant institutes and organisations are today suffering a loss of repute and reliability due to toxic work cultures and awful teaching.
One of Kota Factory’s largest takeaway is the importance of having good mentors, good teachers with good intentions who don’t misjudge or harass their students in a battlefield of mind games but instead, welcome them with open arms, take their hand and walk them through life with a certain sense of wisdom which, unfortunately, not everyone in a position of power has.
The writing, direction, acting, editing, sound and every single other department of the show is absolutely spot on. There is very little to say about them except that they are so poignant and so well crafted that its almost impossible to find a place where the team slips. This is one of those shows that comes together in a harmony that is rarely ever seen, almost as if blessed by the hand of God. To find a machine that is so well oiled and runs so smoothly is what organisational dreams are made of.
Special mention to the writing and direction of the show which are so crisp, so subtle, so subtextual and so full of emotion and story in every scene, every moment, that if even a single frame were removed from the seasons 5 episode run, the whole thing may fall apart. To reach a place of such writing, on top of that the conscious directorial choices taken to create a youthful yet serious atmosphere, are noteworthy and need to be experienced by all.
The second season of Kota Factory is perhaps one of the best things to happen to Netflix India, and I really hope for and wish for more platforms like TVF to spring up across the world, where wonderful original content can be shown to millions of people on YouTube, allowing creators autonomy and democracy when it comes to their work. Why should big networks or OTT platforms, if they deem a script unworthy of selling to audiences, be allowed to trash brilliant heartfelt stories? Why should there be a list of secret underground screenplays and stories that everyone agrees are brilliant but somehow can’t seem to sell or buy? The politics and economics of big production houses and distributors is a whole other ball game and creators today, I sincerely hope, make more use of platforms like YouTube and create more content that will be a true testament to the kind of quality that can be created. Also, to see tons of IIT graduates get together, including some of the creators of this show, some actors and other crew, and make a show about that life, comes from so much honesty and heart that it fills you up with warmth and keeps a smile on your face throughout. The second season of Kota Factory is a must watch.
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