Crash Course(Amazon Prime, 10 Episodes)
Directed by Vijay Maurya
There is a plentitude of acting talent on display in this penetrating study of the rivalry among coaching institutes in Kota, Rajasthan. For those who came in late for their classes, Kota is known as the city of coaching institutes. Students of both sexes, and maybe some of the third sex too, descend in lakhs every year with one dream: to become engineers.
One thought the quota on Kota’s students’ heartbreaking concentration on achieving their tough gaol was completed with Netflix’s Kota Factory. Amazon’s new series Crash Course spreading into a sprawling storytelling of ten episodes with characters swarming but never crowding the canvas , succeeds in giving an engrossing intermittently likeable spin to the drama that unfolds in the dormitories of Kota’s educational centres as well as the politics of one-upmanship among the main coaching institutes, each with its own agenda on how to remain at the top.
It’s a deftly written show. Vijay Maurya directs every episode with room for the actros to grow. But I wish the series was shorter.The playground of unlimited expression that OTT provides is not always a good thing and certainly not conducive to a tightly structured narrative.
I was invested till the end because of the characterization and performances. While among the senior actors Annu Kapoor as a ruthless educationist who wants Kota to be renamed after him, is a sly synthesis of selfinterest and …well, more selfinterest. Bidita Bag as a food caterer who serves the students in unexpected ways is another show-runner.She deserves a lot more.
The young actors especially Hridhu Aroon(Sathya), Hetal Gada(Tejal) and Riddhi Kumar(Shanaya) seem to understand the camera a lot better than their counterparts in cinema.
In spite of those inevitable comparisons with Kota Factory, Crash Course should be given a fair viewing. It has a life of its own. 3 Idiots , Kai Po Che and Rang De Basanti are all about campus politics and yet distinctive in their cinematic voices. Like Kota Factory which was curiously shot in black-and-white, Crash Course too is set in Kota. But then so was the Rani Mukerjee serial killer thriller Mardaani 2.