For over a month now, we’ve watched many sneak peeks from Soumik Sen‘s Why Cheat India. The social drama exposes and maps the defective state of the Indian education system from the 90s till date. The story revolves around Emraan Hashmi‘s sly Robin Hood–like character who finds loopholes in the system and exploits its faulty ways. All the while, running his own corrupt version of the big-brother program with underprivileged but brilliant kids. These are the young minds who are willing to bend the rules for a living and then some more.
The film begins with Satyendra Sharma aka Sattu played by Snighadeep Chatterjee. He’s one of the thousands of students pursuing Engineering in our country. Emraan’s character, Rakesh Singh aka Rocky spots this intelligent son of a middle-class father after he scores well in his entrance exam. Sattu also has an elder sister, played by the beautiful, Shreya Dhanwanthary. She has the most screen time besides Emraan and Snighadeep and justifies it too. The story quickly moves on to bring to light the various ways the system can be and is being cheated. From bribing parents to students appearing for exams under false identities, the faults of the education system are brought to the forefront. The whistle-blowing nature of the script makes you want to intently watch what’s happening on the big screen.
The movie raises a lot of questions and has its heart in the right place. However, it fails to hold the viewer’s attention for most parts. The story is interesting but the screenplay disappoints. The scenes seem to be dragged and don’t end long after the point has been made. For instance, the scene where you get a glimpse of Sattu’s family. It makes sure you know how middle class they are and does that a few times over with every dialogue. The dialogues are another let-down, you really hope for them to get better but they simply don’t. There are a few songs in the film but they’re ill-timed and unnecessary considering the nature of the film. The film also has a courtroom scene where Emraan’s character and the lawyer present two different sides of the coin – that is the Indian Education System. But once again the scene fails to leave an impact because of a weak direction. The three central characters of the film, Rocky, Sattu and Nupur are its saving grace. They shoulder the weight of every other element that isn’t quite up to the mark.
The movie hits the right notes when it comes to making us question the part we play in the tangled web of corruption in the education system. This film isn’t a solution to the long-standing problem and it doesn’t pretend to be that either. It is merely a mirror to look into the number of ways in which this scam is being pulled right under our noses. If you have no plans this weekend then go watch this film for the actors’ performances.