Cheat India Movie Review: It Is A Stinging Slap On Educational Policies


Why Cheat India

Starring Emraan  Hashmi, Shreya Dhanwanthary

Directed  by Soumik Sen

Rating: ****(4 stars)

Relevant topical films frequently  fall into the trap of overstatement. But  here is where  Why Cheat India  scores  high marks. It succeeds  avoiding the imbalance between topicality and  engagingness  by simply  letting the  actors  be.

The  characters in this  film exposing the scam of forged duplicate  examinees don’t quite develop  into the  explosive entities they promise to . Their  workingclass psyche shines in their  disability  to generate spectacular drama. Hearts are broken,  young lives are destroyed, marriages fall apart, and ambition  dissolve…But life goes on.

Director Soumik Sen sees life in trivia. In the way the characters  speak of their unremarkable  life, the film creates  quite  a  remarkable litany of  bustling boredom.Take for example the character  of the protagonist Rakesh alias Rocky’s wife. She is so  immersed in her life of mundane domesticity she  never imagines there  could be any other   life  than what she  has.Shegives him sex. But  it’s clinical cold and uninviting. In one sequence  in their bedroom Rocky suggests sex after a long hiatus. The wife  doesn’t catch on at all and  babbles on about the household  activities.  At the end when her husband is in jail she arrives with tiffins  full of  food and  begins the serving the  food to her husband and his associates as  though  it was part of  an everyday routine.

   Why Cheat India  is  not  about Rocky’ wife.  It’s about his hunger to create  a ‘New” India with underprivileged and  perhaps undeserving students  being given a push by substitute candidates writing their examination papers. This  life of shocking duplicity never elicits harsh censure  in  the  film. The narrative’s tone suggests that our social order gets  the kind of moral structure that  it deserves.

The Rocky Bhaiyyas  of Hindustan  make full use of the Indian middleclass’ unfulfilled  ambitions and dreams. Astonishingly  Rocky sees no harm in scamming  the Indian  middleclass of its dreams  and  money.

This is a film about unfulfilled dreams and  abducted  yearnings, shot  by cinematographer  Y Alphnose  Roy   about a  brilliant student called Sattoo(impressive newcomer Singhadeep Chatterjee)  whose career is destroyed by Rocky’s patronage. I felt  the  bonding between the student and his mentor was not played out closely enough. We  never feel Satoo’s disappointment.The growing relationship between  Rocky and Sattoo’s sister (outstanding discovery Shreya Dhanwanthary)  gets   far more space to breathe.

By the end  of  the film Raja Bhaiyya loses all his hard-earned fame and money.As we stare  into the void of his life there emerges  from the mound of immorality a  kind of hope.

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