What is the story about?
Sanket Bhadoria is a final-year medical student at Reliable Medical College & Hospital in Bhopal, which is owned by his father, Dr. Ashwin Bhadoria. Young and brash, Sanket lives life on the edge, and disregards all sane advice from his friends. He crosses paths with Jairaj, a fixer who is part of a massive cheating racket that stretches all the way to the Rajya Pariksha Mandal, and decides to work for Jairaj by posing as a proxy candidate for other students in medical entrance examinations. However, when Ashwin is killed for trying to stop this menace, Sanket has a change of heart and decides to fight back. But can he take down the entire crooked system on his own?
If you knew there was a crooked system flourishing in front of your eyes, where morals and money are flushed down the drain so that many people can get an easier path to the "good life", what would you do? SonyLIV's latest salvo in the streaming wars poses this problem in the form of a show that looks at the seedy underbelly of medical education in India. Ajay Monga and Shivang Monga's screenplay liberally bases itself on the controversial Vyapam scam of 2013 that rocked Madhya Pradesh, but the writing is terrific in how it approaches the issue of portraying the cheating saga. Rather than generalize it as a game of power and money, the screenplay takes care to dive into why this racket is what it is, and how the unreal expectations of parents across all strata of society make them yield to unscrupulous folk who will go to any lengths to earn money. The dialogues are hard-hitting and sting at regular intervals, and there are several power-packed moments that will make you think long and hard about the state of higher education in India today. Grab a chair and binge it.
Following his breakout turn in Bandish Bandits, Ritwik Bhowmik comes of age here. His portrayal of Sanket is absolutely spot-on, and his transition from being a cocksure young man to one filled with the idea of revenge is fascinating to watch. Ravi Kishan is in superb form as Jairaj, who can ply rivals and friends with both honeyed words and deadly threats. Ankitta Sharma lends able support as Pragya, Sanket's girlfriend and conscience, while Ridhi Khakhar is all right as Prachi, Pragya's sister, who also has her own complicated equation with Sanket. Sachin Khedekar lends gravitas to the role of Ashwin. Ashish Verma is decent as idealist reporter Anup, while Sonali Kulkarni excels as his boss and the head of a news channel. Hemant Kher pulls off a surprise as the gravel-voiced fixer Sunil Verma, while Zakir Hussain is okay as a minister.
Music & Other Departments
Stanley Mudda's camerawork and Dev Rao Jadhav's editing are great, especially in the night sequences. Ketan Sodha's background score is haunting. The production design is terrific, with realistic sets, such as the Habibganj police station.
- The strong screenplay
- Several standout moments
- Solid performances from the entire cast
- Terrific dialogues
The middle portions, especially episodes 5 and 6, meander a bit in terms of story.
Did I enjoy it?
Do I recommend it?
Absolutely. This is a well-written gritty series which will not only entertain, but also make you think about the future of education in India.