Originally named “Cheat India” before the Censor Board’s axe, “Why Cheat India” holds up a mirror for the society. And, of course, it’s not a pretty picture. Tracing the dirt in our education system, the Emraan Hashmi starrer strikes a chord with all too bitter ground reality.
Can’t decide if it’s worth a trip to the movie theatre this weekend? Read on to find out.
Directed by – Soumik Sen
Produced by – Bhushan Kumar, Krishan Kumar, Tanuj Garg, Atul Kasbekar, Parveen Hashmi
Written by – Soumik Sen
Starring – Emraan Hashmi, Shreya Dhanwanthary
Background score – Neel Adhikari
Cinematography – Y. Alphonse Roy
Edited by – Dipika Kalra
Production company – T-Series Films, Ellipsis Entertainment, Emraan Hashmi Films Production
The movie tells us the story of Rakesh Singh aka Rocky Bhyyiaa. He is a con man, a character played by Hashmi with the usual skills and talent. Failing thrice in his attempts to clear a medical entrance exam, Rocky, now an adult is hitting back at the system in a sweet irony. He owns a business that makes money out of proxy exams.
In other words, he helps the “not so bright” students get into their dream colleges by making more ‘intelligent’ students appear for the entrance exams in their place instead. Of course, he also sees it as an opportunity for the poor, middle-class students to earn some bucks. In comes one such topper, Sattu aka Satyendra (Snighdadeep Chatterjee). Rakesh gives him an offer he can’t refuse – more money than his middle-class background could ever give him. However, caught in the fast-paced glamour, Satyendra finds himself caught in a web of drug addiction, prostitution, and what-not.
Why Cheat India takes you on a ride, with multiple familiar stops along the way- the corrupt education system, the mounting pressure on students, toxic parental expectations. All of it through the eyes of our hero, or rather anti-hero, Rakesh.
The director-writer Soumik Sen certainly chose a story that can move the audience. Lags and errors in our educational system is a reality we know all too well. However, the film sadly fails to deliver the hard punch home. It falls flat, unable to gather enough momentum for the viewer to feel connected or get affected.
While Hashmi does a good job playing the mastermind Mafia, his character has its own loopholes to bear. Rakesh, while running immoral operations himself, gives a few ‘speeches’ here and there denouncing the same system. Emraan Hashmi rolls out the classic “Greed is good” dialogue from Oliver Stone’s Wall Street. But, that’s pretty much all “Why Cheat India” manages to have in common with the classic movie. The pace is consistent, leaving you unable to feel the depth of even the sensitive content.
The creators tried to pack a punch, but it was a hit and miss. Had the movie managed to polish the clumsy editing, worked on the construction a little more, it could have made it to the good list. The “once in a while, Bollywood give us a good one” kind of film. Instead, it seems to lack the finesse and momentum, time and again.
On a positive note, it is a treat to see Hashmi playing a very “Hashmi” role again, and doing it well. Chatterjee has also done an honestly good job with his debut role, and hopefully, we’ll get to see more of him in our cinema ahead.
Now, the golden question: Should you spend your money and time on the movie? If you have nothing better to do this weekend and are a Hashmi fan, it can be a one-time watch. It has its good moments, after all.