Film: Why Cheat India
Cast: Emraan Hashmi, Shreya Dhanwantary, Snighdadeep Chatterjee, Manuj Sharma
Director: Soumik Sen
Rating: * * ½
‘Why Cheat India’ is based on the corrupted education system that falls prey to ‘Vyapam’ like scams ever so often. Rakesh Singh (Emraan Hashmi) alongside assistant Bablu (Manuj Sharma) runs one such scam outfit. He gets achievers to write exams on behalf of incapable students, giving them a pay-off that is highly desirable. Sattu (Snigdhadeep Chatterjee) is one such trusting victim who becomes the medium for this expose of sorts.
The film explores how the scamster exploits the unhinged desire of parents to turn their children into Engineers, Doctors and MBA’s, enrolling them into specialised classes under stringent monitoring and when all fails – even taking the corrupt route to amend the lack. It’s an interesting premise but the writing and narration go all over the place with the anti-hero flaunting clap worthy wordplay while embroiled in cringe-worthy shenanigans. It’s not clear whether the story intends to portray Rakesh as merely an opportunist or a criminal. The glorification of the anti-hero here is not exactly palatable. Morals and ethics are on sale to the highest bidder but the tone is such that it doesn’t seem altogether galling.
Soumik Sen’s film, while exploring the many nooks and crannies in the ‘educational malpractice’ universe fails to make the experience stinging or edgy for that matter. The writing is loose and gilded in stereotypes. The editing is inconsistent even while the milieu and atmosphere mark dread. The narrative jumps track pretty often trying to incorporate an expansive lure for the unwary. The performances are fairly likeable.
Emraan Hashmi does slimy quite well, Manuj Sharma, as his sidekick is effective enough, while Snigdhadeep Chatterjee and Shreya Dhanwantary as Sattu’s sister Nupur who carries a candle for Rakesh, play naïve and stupid with a lot of conviction. While the narrative does generate a fair bit of excitement it fails to draw a strong line between right and wrong. The statistics presented before the end credits may be a form of validation for this largely fictional work but the attempt to paper over criminality with cheesy one-liners is certainly not appreciable!