MAKE FAIR COPY FIRST! FAIL!
A physics teacher shows up to teach ‘section D’ at a posh junior college and helps them ‘clear their fundas’. Beautifully shot, the writing makes for a frustrating viewing. It makes a weak and very obvious point about the education system but fails in delivering the message.
You’ve seen Hollywood’s Dangerous Minds and Stand And Deliver where teachers instil a love of learning and even help students written off to overcome their challenges and win. You’ve seen Robin Williams the teacher use not-so-usual methods to inspire students in Dead Poets Society. You’ve even seen Vinod Khanna’s Imtihan where he’s a professor who turns a group of rowdy students into model citizens. Not too long ago Shabana Azmi and Juhi Chawla played teachers in a not too memorable movie about the ‘commercialised education’ (Chalk ‘N’ Duster). So this movie offers no real surprise even though it a subject that needs to be talked about, and it aims well.
It is the story of a Physics teacher (Tannishtha Chatterjee) whose unusual teaching methods to a class of losers relegated to Section ‘D’ inspires them to take that ‘all important’ IIT-JEE exam after the 12th grade high school exams. And with a little help from her friends (Joy Sengupta and Jayati Bhatia) prepares them for taking the competitive exams and passing in flying colors.
So far so good. But if you are a parent, or indeed been through the system (as all have) as a student, you will realise that students who score poorly in the tenth grade are never ever offered a ‘science stream’ for their all important 12th grade exams. Even though you want to believe that students who fare poorly (a kid who wants to dance, a kid whose heart is really into music) really want to go to IIT, even if they are the photographer lad from 3 Idiots, even then you fail to appreciate what the movie is trying to say. It’s just that the writing is not sharp at all. It meanders everywhere and as audience that frustrates you. You want to hear something concrete, and the debate about education to go further. It’s a minor character (Ram Kapoor plays a dad to one of the ‘rowdy’ kids) who makes a clear, and sincere point. That actually shows how smart the writing could have been.
Thankfully the locations where the movie has been shot, the gorgeous weather that has been captured beautifully in the movie are such an awesome relief, you understand why the writing may have meandered off into the misty hills… Might make for a decent watch on tv at home where you can start a conversation. Until then you just wish for something sharper than this blunt pencil…