Actors: Mayur More, Alam Khan, Jitendra Kumar, Ahsaas Channa and Ranjan Raj
Back to the genre of tragicomedy with typical TVF tropes – nostalgic stories and idiosyncratic characters – in masterful monochrome colors Kota factory, a biting commentary on India-wide coaching culture that sees itself as a touchstone of brain business and thrives as a parallel educational arrangement that has transformed the classroom into a landscape of insecurity and personal tragedy.
Developed for the web by Saurabh Khanna (The Meri family), with a relatively lesser known team of director Raghav Subbu, DoP Jerin Paul and writers Abhishek Yadav and Himanshu Chouhan, Kota factory is a fundamental observation comedy set in the confident, highly competitive and dark atmosphere of Kota, Rajasthan. In this sense Kota factory maintains an edge over other shows in the genre thanks to its pointed, dead humor and a relatively bittersweet aftertaste of existential struggle that the protagonist faces.
The 5-episode series follows a teenager, Vaibhav Pandey (Mayur More), who joins a coaching institute that prepares students for the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) entrance exam. Vaibhav has to deal with intense academic pressure, with friends who live in the same state of denial and terrible rivalry. Meena (Ranjan Raj) and Uday (Alam Khan), his friends and competitors, help him to find his way around in this strange state, but in a place where emotional accessibility is pretentious or at least distant, he will get away and in his own Getting into shape is what the creators want to research.
The cast is designed for effect. More presents us with a flawed, three-dimensional being, loosely caught in ambiguity and indecision. As we pursue Vaibhav's combat opportunities based on his own weaknesses, his liberation and fame become our victory. Every test that he fails passes us by the mind and every problem solved trumps our fears. More than one actor delivers more in silent and subtle ticks on the face than when he screams his case on the city streets. The last episode titled overhaul, has a long contemplation sequence in which More shines when he finally blooms into an uncertain, frightened, but slightly confident IIT aspirant, much like all the city's students.
Ranjan Raj and Alam Khan play supporting actors who are as natural in the city of Kota as the floating fog. They are two perfectly colored and non-dubbed types, and the three actors share wonderful chemistry on the screen. Raj's sense of humor and his dealings with the captive and out of control Meena, who often slips into class consciousness, are sure to drive you crazy. Khan is equally effortless, but has shown a similar show and figure in the past – Chudail in Laakhon Mein Ek Season 1,
Ahsaas Channa as the bossy friend Shivangi Ranawat has small but significantly recurring appearances on the show. Shivangi, who works in small-time medicine (prescription for depression!), Comments on full-time humor and sarcasm as well as women in Kota who are more numerous but more successful.
Kota factory Jitendra Kumar also plays a central role. He impresses Jeetu Bhaiya as a teacher, mentor and overseer and reaffirms our confidence in the fact that the education system can still be redeemed if it is behind glossy advertising and burgeoning capitalism.
The series is characterized by the fact that it delivers set pieces with a high emotional octave, supported by daringly creative cinematography and an atmospheric sound design. The narrower frames are as claustrophobic as the wide-angle liberating. Camerawork also acts as a leitmotif and intensifies immersion through long shots and careful blocking and choreography of actors.
You can watch Kota factory for a fresh and fun twist on the thematic recall on vulnerability that brings us together. The show is interested in cathartic resolutions for further shots, but there is an underlying symbolism almost throughout. A wonderfully funny time in front of the screens is something Kota factory has to offer and only miss it if you prepare for IIT.
Rating: 3.5 / 5
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