The film starring Emraan Hashmi, Shreya Dhanwanthary and Snighdhadeep Chatterjee takes up a subject that is novel and immediately strikes a chord with practically anyone in India who has appeared for competitive exams.
In the acting department, Hashmi who can display angst and humour with a poker-faced indifference is convincing in the role of Rakesh who is shaken but never stirred. Shreya Dhanwanthary as Sattu’s sister Nupur holds her own and Chatterjee as a fresh-faced student, turns in a credible performance.
The producers, clearly have a knack of picking on interesting and intriguing subjects –their last venture Neerja and Tumhari Sulu were outstanding films but this one- alas, just about makes the grade.
However, because the film’s heart is in the right place and its observations astute, Why Cheat India is worth a watch.
“When Students cheat on exams it’s because our School System values grades more than Students value learning,” stated Neil DeGrasse Tyson (American astrophysicist) in 2013. Emulating Neil’s thoughts is director and writer Soumik Sen in Why Cheat India. With Emraan Hashmi at the focal point, Soumik pens a story on the criminalization of education through the examination system in India; whether it be for an engineering and medical exam or for an MBA. While the intention is honest, the execution fails miserably and what we get is an overdramatic 90’s close-ups galore with tacky songs as the end result.
Why Cheat India chronicles the life of Rakesh Singh aka Rocky, whose code of ethics is money, money and more money! Using the greed in every man to his advantage, Rakesh makes the moolah by getting educated chaps to write entrance exam papers for the sons of the rich and famous. One educated dad-fearing lad is Satu who falls prey into the glamorous and wealthy world which Rocky creates for such juvenile kids. Things take a turn for the worse when Satu gets addicted to the game and what follows is some troublesome times for Rocky. In between all this is a brewing love story between Rocky and Satu’s sister Nupur (Shreya Dhanwanthary).