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Hostel Days review: Aditya Mandala’s take on hostel life is entertaining and relatable

The Telugu adaptation of Hostel Daze is reworked well for a newer audience

Hostel Days review: Aditya Mandala’s take on hostel life is entertaining and relatable
Hostel Days

Last Updated: 02.35 PM, Feb 26, 2024



Naveen Yadav, Chittaranjan Bhattacharya and Sai are roommates in an engineering college hostel. From dealing with bullies in hostel to first love to last-minute preparation for exams and coming to terms with emotional highs and lows, the trio navigates through thick and thin in their first year of college. Theppa, Kavya, Rithika are an integral part of their journey.


Campus dramas are like comfort food for the soul. For those beyond their college years, it’s a window to the past and the rest, it holds a mirror to their present. The peculiarities of the stories may change from time to time but the aftertaste is similar - it’s a perfect package of nostalgia, vibrancy, angst, innocence, ambition besides offering a temporary escape from adulthood.


Hostel Days, the Telugu adaptation of TVF’s widely watched Hindi show Hostel Daze, is a light-hearted, bitter-sweet exploration of hostel life. It vastly unfolds from a male perspective, but encapsulates concerns, joys that are universal to most teenagers. Packed with witty anecdotes and words of wisdom from the college staff who’ve seen it all, over the years, the show is funny and poignant.

The director Aditya Mandala, writer Akshay Poolla stay true to the stereotypes and the archetypes of the genre - the three pivotal characters are a nerd, a massy happy-go-lucky guy and an innocent, lovestruck lad. The girls are trying to break free from their conservative, clingy parents and rediscover themselves. Ragging, first love, sex talk, bonhomie, heartbreak - this has it all.

The major improvement in the Telugu version in comparison to the original is the seamlessness in the storytelling and the characterisation. The characters are flawed, free-spirited and not judged for their choices. One senses a genuine effort to view life from their shoes and Hostel Days doesn’t trivialise their concerns or even blow them out of proportion. College life can be messy and the show makers don’t try to sugarcoat it beyond necessity.

Hostel Days
Hostel Days

There are roommates who introduce each other to films of Boyapati Sreenu and Hollywood sci-fi flicks. They google ‘how to prepare for M1 in one night’, the canteen owner equates cinema and pangs of first love to an illusion one can’t live without and the stationery shop owner has a theory about why last-minute tension before exams prepares students for life.

The liberties of the digital medium permit the writer to capture the lingo of this world sans filters. The screenplay is to the point and knows its elasticity. The attempt to shed light on issues like body shaming, and the love-hate relationship between parents and teenagers is appreciable. However, much like 3 Idiots and most campus dramas, it passes off ‘ragging’ as a bonding tool.

Darahas Maturu as Sai brings innocence and likability to his portrayal while Mouli Tanuj Prasanth is aptly cast as the ‘friendly’, wise geek. Akshay Lagusani’s liberated screen presence and dialogue delivery are an asset to the show. Aishwarya Hollakal is more than a pretty face and reflects the concerns of her character with earnestness.

Jaiyetri Makana shines in an equally well-written part of a girl who’s in the middle of self-discovery. Anannyaa Akulaa, with his thug-like persona and dead-pan humour, ensures laughs aplenty. The familiar faces - Raghu Kumar Karumanchi, Rajeev Kanakala, Jhansi, Thagubothu Ramesh, Harsha Chemudu - are used well to bring about a wider perspective to the proceedings.

The lively colour palette and the music score enhance the impact of several sequences. At just over two and a half hours, the show offers everything you expect from a campus story with minor, effective tweaks. Director Aditya Mandala and writer Akshay Poolla, yet again after Dead Pixels, prove their mettle in borrowing the essence of a popular show and catering to the tastes of a new audience with a good understanding of trends and pop-culture references.


Hostel Days is an entertaining campus tale, taking viewers through the highs and lows of hostel life, exploring teenage anxiety with the right doses of humour, (b)romance and drama.


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