Super 30 Is An Outstanding Inspirational Tale

Super 30

Starring: Hrithik Roshan,Mrunal Thakur, Pankaj Tripathi. Aditya Shrivastava

Directed by Vikah Bahl

Rating: **** ½ (4 and a half stars)

Super 30 is magnificent survivor of  a film. It  survives  Hrithik Roshan’s atrocious  ‘Bihari’ accent, probably  picked from one of the many Lalu Yadav skits on the internet. It not only survives the verbal abomination,  it also stakes it claim among  the most inspiring and  kindred  films on the empowerment of the  underprivileged through education.

Mathematician par excellence Anand  Kumar couldn’t have  hoped  for a  better  showcasing  of  his  remarkable  work in the field of education.  Of course  the  original endeavour to give the  dis empowered  students  a chance  to make a  place in the sun,  has  been substantially  amplified  and dramatized. The  climax specially, shot ion a hospital premise with  the protagonist’s students taking on  a gang  of professional goons, is a hoot.

But then , this  film survives  the onslaught  of  the outrageous , from the  hero’s accent to  the  film’s climax  , to  create a  very special and  precious  place in our heart. What  comes  across  is the warmth and empathy  of the selfless fearless  educationist who would  walk that extra  mile–literally—to  educate  empower  and  edify the  life of  poor students.

And  what  a marvellous bunch  of  eager  anxious  underdogs  director Vikas Bahl has assembled  in AnandKumar’s  class act!  The  students  feel real and  gloss over many of the narrative’s broad  melodramatic  leaps  of faith.Some of  their  activities  in  the classroom are  stretched out and  a tad tedious.

  Otherwise, Anand Kumar’s story moves  at  an even pace, bringing out his humanism and generosity of spirit without ever resorting to over-sentimentalization.What we  get are some fabulously choreographed  songs specially  the “Basanti” number where a wonderful parable  of  empowerment  is  created  at a very public place  during Holiwhere the rich kids are shown to be  “put  in their place” by Anand’s downtrodden army.

It is a marvellously staged  illusory drama which reminds  us of  the  biggest flaw in this  film: the  children  from privileged  homes are not to be blamed for their entitlement.But then  this  exceptional  film survives even this moral  incongruity.The  flaws  get mitigated  by  the  film’s  supreme belief  in the power  of education to heal,and by Hrithik’s  central performance. He  doesn’t play Anand Kumar . He  enters  the mathematician’s soul. Another  magnificent performance comes  from Pankaj Tripathy  as a  slimy politician. Tripathy , a born scenestealer gives  his unctuous slimy character a glint of humour  and a hint of hilarity.

 There  is a tender  love story tucked away in the passionate parable of  empowerment  . And  Hrithik  courts  Mrunal Thakur with  a jaunty  standoffishness that feels real. Mrunal gets some pithy lines  that make fun of the  self-effacing genius  of a boyfriend. I specially loved a line  that comes late in the plot when she praises herself for her taste  in men. But clearly  there  is more heart  in  Hrithik/Anand’s  relationship with his father(VeerendraSaxena) and his brother(Nandish Singh) than with his  girlfriend.The father  whom  Anand calls by his first name, oils his son’s hair and  gives him advice  him on sexual release.The mother (played  warmly by Sadhana Singh) is  for a change, a shadowy figure.

Director Bahl makes  telling use  of  scruffy spaces in  the  lanes of Bihar(actually shot in Varanasi) to show the warm intimate rapport that the protagonist establishes  with his students.And here I must  mention Anay Goswami’s astonishingly  lustrous cinematography which revels in sepia and toasted-brown tones  without wallowing in the squalor . The visuals celebrate  the  joys of aspiration rather than the stench of  perspiration.

 This  is  a great story of a man who decided the poor can be privileged if educated. That a king’s son need not be  a king. It would have taken a really  daft director to ruin a story so inspiring. That, Vikas Bahl, is not. Lucky  that he  is  good. Lucky for Anand Kumar. This movie has anointed him for  good.

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