Rating 3/5 Stars
Super 30, a film that has had a long struggle with its story and its subsequent release, is finally in theatres. The film is directed by Vikas Bahl who was accused of sexual harassment and eventually led to the dissolution of Phantom Films. The team had decided not to give Bahl the credit but that he eventually has that in the film. Based on the life and times of genius mathematician Anand Kumar, this Hrithik Roshan, Mrunal Thakur and Pankaj Tripathi starrer has some low moments but proves to be a good watch, nonetheless.
The biopic follows the life of Anand Kumar (Hrithik Roshan) as he develops the Super 30 educational programme, which was established in 2002. The plan behind the programme was to select thirty highly skilled students from economically impoverished areas in India who were unable to afford coaching and tutor them to be able to pass the IIT Joint Entrance Examinations. The flick also focuses on Anand’s rags-to-riches story and how he garnered acclaim for his work in spite of obstacles holding him back.
Hrithik Roshan, the Hero Every Man Deserves:
Hrithik’s superstardom is nowhere to be found as he completely hunkers down and becomes the average man from Patna. The film makes incredibly strong commentary about poverty in India and the divide between the haves and have-nots. Hrithik Roshan’s powerful depiction of Anand Kumar creates a hero’s aura all in the right places. The feel-good factor is placed creatively and sparsely in the narrative of the film in order to highlight that the film is, at the end of it all, about hope in the darkest of times.
Anand Kumar’s Story and Hrithik Roshan’s Portrayal:
If you thought you’d heard the worst make-believe accent when Anushka Sharma did the Gujju inflection in Jab Harry Met Sejal, you were wrong. Hrithik Roshan’s Bihari accent is far worse. Strangely it has no bearing on the film itself. Where Anushka Sharma’s accent in Jab Harry Met Sejal left a jarring impact on the entirety of the film, Hrithik Roshan’s not-so-great Patna inflection is a small error in the film Super 30. Hrithik Roshan plays Anand Kumar, the mathematician slash magician who coached underprivileged kids and became an inspiring story for many people.
The film begins with Vijay Raaz narrating the story of Anand Kumar, the man who helped him achieve various laurels despite being at a great socioeconomic disadvantage. Told with squarely keeping Anand Kumar’s poverty at the centre of the film’s conflicts, the plot has predictable highs and lows but eventually the payout does make its impact, owing to Hrithik’s beautiful performance as Anand Kumar. Accent notwithstanding, Hrithik gives the role his all and succeeds evoking the right emotions. At no point does he create a swagger to convince the world of Anand’s genius. Hrithik’s greatest achievement here is being able to stand as a hero without going overboard, especially considering the fact that the film was purely for Bollywood’s palette.
The Cliches and the Truths in Super 30:
The tearjerker factor in the film is solely on Hrithik’s credit. Spoiler alert – some of the age-old cliches of the dead father and rags to riches slumdog billionaire schticks are peppered in for the most part. It is perhaps the shades of grey added in Anand’s character, how he happily decides to part ways with his girlfriend (played sweetly enough by Mrunal Thakur) and decides to earn the easy buck once the opportunity presents itself, that makes the film interesting.
Super 30 anchors and succeeds solely because of Hrithik’s grounded performance in the film. Pankaj Tripathi is yet another treat in the film as he plays the corrupt politican with brilliance and ease. There aren’t any clear cut heroes in the film despite it being all about a larger than life story. There are no big dance numbers (not a lot anyway) where the hero is almost invincible. In fact, it tells you the important tale of being your own hero. You can definitely show this film for a motivational class and if you’re a Hrithik Roshan fan, you’ll definitely cherish this.