An A-grade drama that scored high on performance

History: An orphaned 10th board exam topper from Delhi, who gets a seat in a prestigious school in the city, is drawn into a cheating racket by his rich classmates. As the stakes and rewards get higher, she risks losing far more than she can win. What will be the outcome of this shindig?

Review: A school drama with fresh faces is mostly about love and romance, peer pressure or the clash between the haves and the have-nots. Or is it? Not for director Soumendra Padhi who delivers an extremely refreshing and exciting film. The setup is not new – two talented board members from humble backgrounds, Niyati (Alizeh Agnihotri) and Akash (Sahil Mehta), who attend an elite school in Delhi on a scholarship program. But what happens during their stay is nothing like you’ve seen on screen before.

When passing farrey (cheating in the exam) is impossible, Niyati improvises in the most ingenious ways to help a bunch of her ridiculously rich and spoiled classmates. Leading them are her bench partner, Chhavi (Prasanna Bisht), and her friend, Prateek (Zeyn Shaw). What begins innocently to save Chhavi from their teacher’s wrath leads Niyati down the rabbit hole of exam cheating in exchange for money. Each time the plan is smarter than the last. The main plot of the film is a final international exam where all students go to different exam centers. Niyati’s brilliant plan that Akash gets drawn into and whether it will pan out forms the rest of the story.

The USP of writers Soumendra and Abhishek Yadav’s narrative lies in avoiding the school drama tropes and the thrills it serves. The contrasting worlds of the rich and the poor are well presented. While the former have the opportunities but not the fire to study, it is the other way around for the latter. Interestingly, parents’ expectations, although different, are a common factor. Chhavi’s father (Arbaaz Khan) wants her to give up her dreams of becoming an interior designer and study at Stanford to run her business, and Akash’s mother wants him to give up the full scholarship at Oxford to do their menial laundry job. The film’s music is another strong point. Sachin-Jigar give a club banger with Ghar Pe Party Haiwhich is a clever depiction of how youth lets their hair fall, a Desi dance number with Macha De Tabahi, and MC Stan’s hip-hop title track. The beautifully scored background music complements the drama perfectly.

Although Soumendra (known for Jamtara: Sabka number Ayega) presents an overall well-crafted outing, the sequences of cheating in the exams tend to overstretch, including the final exam track that would have benefited from being shorter. The tension reaches a crescendo but plateaus towards the end, where part of the main conflict is left unexplained, making the resolution pale in comparison. Since the focus is on the main character, what happens to the other characters is left unanswered.

Alizeh Agnihotri makes a strong debut as the spunky topper. She is convincing in her role as a bright, sassy, ​​yet ruthless girl. Sahil Mehta pulls off his complicated character arc effortlessly. Prasanna Bisht and Zeyn Shaw stand their might as manipulative teenagers. Ronit Bose Roy and Juhi Babbar as the orphanage guards and loving parental figures shine in their roles.

Despite some loose ends, the Farrey is a compelling watch that will keep you entertained throughout. While resonating with energetic performances, with her impressive debut, Alizeh Agnihotri is one to watch out for!

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