Super 30

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Super 30
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SUPER 30 is earnest, but formulaic!

With a noble cause at its heart, and filled with moments ranging from sincerely heart-breaking to preposterously melodramatic, SUPER 30 decently entertains, even if it fails to satisfy. Against all odds, its leading star Hrithik Roshan puts up another inspiring act, even when most others are mere caricatures. Nothing special, but worth a watch nevertheless.

Inspired by the life of mathematician Anand Kumar and his educational program, SUPER 30 is the story of a Mathematics genius from a modest family in Bihar, who is made to believe that only a King's son can become a King. He is on a mission to prove that even the poor man can create some of the world's most genius minds. He starts a training program named 'Super 30' to help 30 underprivileged but brilliant IIT aspirants crack the entrance test.

For the unaware, “Super 30” is an Indian educational program started in Patna, India under the banner of Ramanujan School of Mathematics. It was founded by Anand Kumar, a mathematics teacher. The program selects 30 talented candidates each year from economically underprivileged sections of Indian society and trains them for the JEE. It is a story that needed to reach more and more people across a nation where educational institutes are allegedly exploitative. So there’s no doubting the noble intention of this film. It makes you root for the underprivileged which is even more pertinent in India, where “education for all” is still a work in progress.

However, the problem lies in the writing, which fails miserably. Gaping holes in the plot, spoon-fed screenplay, sketchy scripting and over-dramatization spoil the content quality. With commercial biopics, cinematic liberties are a given, but “how much” is the question here. Director Bahl fails to do complete justice to the inspirational life of Anand Kumar. He hardly delves into the enigmatic psyche of the mathematician, which leaves you wanting for so much more. Even more disappointing is the fact that Bahl shows little or no concern for the children who form this “Super 30”. They are all forgettable, which doesn’t go well with the true intent of this film. A little more engagement with them could’ve made the film far more fun, I believe. More than them applying their knowledge in fighting goons (in a mindless climax sequence), I would’ve loved watching them crack some exciting mathematical problems instead.

But the film still makes for a decent one-time watch. Despite all the Bollywoodized real life sequences and lack of subtlety, the film is consistently watchable. The dialogue is inconsistent, witty at times, dull in others. The music is a big dampener in this film. The overall theme is inspiring, but its rudimentary treatment hugely reduces the impact.

As always, superstar Hrithik Roshan is the main pillar of strength. He appears in every frame and it’s even more commendable because no one gave him a chance. How do you make a man who looks like a Greek-god, look ordinary? His make-up does feel a bit overdone, but his expressions are just appropriate. Displaying with great subtlety the fight within himself, he delivers a winning performance. Many may question the accuracy of his accent, but I feel you have to be a little more discerning and open minded to realize that his dialogue is actually proper. He is dependable yet again. Mrunal Thakur, Pankaj Tripathi and Aditya Shrivastava do a great job in their small roles.

To sum up, “SUPER 30” works for a relevant cause, but fails to do complete justice. Notwithstanding its flaws, the film qualifies as a decent weekend pastime for family audiences across India.

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