Ruled by the edgy presentation, the Amazon Prime series is about the systemic diseases in the country's rat-race education system.
Last Updated: 06.50 PM, Aug 05, 2022
Story: Based on the basic premise of Kota – the educational hub of India – the series focuses on the two rival coaching centres – RJ and Batra. Ratanraj Jindal – the owner of RJ – wishes to own the city. Sidelining senior and well-revered teacher Arvind Batra (Siddharth Kak), his sons Shashank (Bhanu Uday) and Mayank (Chirag Vohra) wish to take their Batra Institute to the top. Jindal and junior Batra get into a fierce, ruthless and to an extent, cruel and bloody war to stay on top of this business. None of them bat an eyelid to compromise their aides to achieve what they want. They build their empire based on manipulation and devilish strategies.
Review: First thing first, the show is an extension of Kota Factory. In terms of context, the Amazon Prime show seems like a whacky cousin of the previous show. Crash Course also has certain borrowed flavours from 3 Idiots. However, the show stands out for a more realistic treatment and convincing writing. It has an infectious intro song that is a treat to watch.
It all happens within Kota’s competitive coaching classes. Every year, thousands of students come to crack IIT, JEE and medical exams. With thousands of students from across the country, Kota is a mini India. Along with the increasing number of IIT aspirants, every year, the stress, competition and toxicity go up bit by bit. Once renowned in the field of weaving Kota Doria saree, Kota has now become the coaching capital of India as far as technical entrance exams are concerned. Students here are perpetually caught in a competition grind.
Taking its cue from this reality, director Vijay Mourya and writers Manish Hariprasad and Raina Roy’s effort tells a familiar story. Two coaching institutes have been leveraging young merits, ambitions and jealousy to mint money and build empires. Crash Course is about education mafias who barely care about students’ future while masking and masquerading as noble educators. When the students’ dreams, friendship, love and heartbreaks are blended well with their greed and power, it turns into a deadly cocktail of a dark and heartbreaking drama.
The show features known characters – some good students, a couple of headstrong parents, a group of good teachers and some rapacious manipulators. It is enjoyable to see how most of the characters are developed with their backstories and dilemmas. The show also brings in the drug rackets and gangs in a student town.
Annu Kapoor as devilish Ratanraj Jindal owns the character effortlessly. It is a delight to watch him playing his cards mindfully. His dialect, manipulations, body language and cold threats hurled at his colleagues and competitions are completely gripping. Shashak, played by Bhanu Uday, is the Jindal 2.0 in making. He too plays the wicked character with elan. Udit Arora plays Vinny Agarwal well. Binny is the kingmaker of Kota. He scavenges secrets, bribes teachers, manipulates and plays mercenary if need be. He enjoys power until a tragedy awakens his morality. Like Udit, Pranay Pachauri as AK sir – Batra's popular physics teacher – looks nice. His character is the second most idealistic character after senior Batra in the show.
The freshest bit of the show is the performance of the teenagers – Sathya, Vidhi, Aviral, Anil, Tejal and others. They party, date, drink, do drugs, falter, fall hard, get up and move on until a tragedy shakes them to their core. Their life looks the most realistic in the show and they pull off a decent show together.
Verdict: Crash Course is a decent watch. It has its highs and lows. Certain scenes are worth mentioning. Mayank and Shashank read out the poem that is taught by their mother in their room and that sequence exuberates lost innocence and melancholy. Vidhi’s carefree smile as she keeps on climbing stairs to go to the top hints at the darkest tale of heartbreak. On the other hand, there is little novelty in the plot. It has a lot of stereotypes in characters, especially the same refreshing group of teenagers. Having said that, Crash Course brings out the grim tales of our education system and how it breaks more dreams than it builds.