The movie that came to my mind immediately after watching Mridul Nair’s debut film B. Tech was his Guru VK Prakash’s movie Nirnayakam. I wasn’t a big fan of Nirnayakam as it stretched too much around the issue it was trying to address. Much like that, B. Tech also has a socially relevant issue at the center of it. But the makers have stuffed too much of random things to make it a B. Tech story that at the end you will have a mixed bag of emotions.
The story here revolves around a bunch of B. Tech students. Most of them are those who haven’t completed the course and are trying to do that. In to their carefree life comes a simple Muslim boy named Azad. The very likeable guy at one point had to face a mishap and the movie shows how that incident affects these friends and how they react to that situation.
The first half of the movie has no grip at all. We are shown random visuals of celebration, booze, parties etc. All these seemed like the establishment sequences to show how B. Tech life is in Bangalore. You might get the fun side of it very discretely, but the question of why all these are being shown will remain at the back of your head. Towards the interval when we are first shown the glimpse of the possible conflict, you can sense desperation to make it a responsible film. When the movie goes ambitious in the second half there is a lack of fool proofing in the making that bothers you even when the emotional aspect of it works.
For a large part of his screen time Asif Ali is in this steamy irreverent look. He looks authentic as that hot headed guy and towards the end the film offers him a space to perform. Arjun Ashokan gets his big break here in a character that will stay with the viewer for some time. Niranjana was surprisingly good. Aparna Balamurali doesn’t have that much of space. Sreenath Bhasi, Deepak Parambol, Saiju Kurup play the roles of the friends neatly. Alencier and Jaffer Idukki were also good. The elaborate star cast has names like Anoop Menon, Aju Varghese, Neena Kurup, V K Prakash and several others.
In the beginning portions we can sense the lack of clarity in the making. They are trying too many things and that over the top heroics and many cat fights doesn’t really excite you. Mridul Nair manages to have a control over what he wants to say only in the last one hour or so. There also it is not the film making that is making an impression; it’s the sensitivity and relevance of the issue that sheds light on the judgmental functioning of law and order and how authorities blindly spread islamophobia etc. The cinematography is okay and the edits are dizzy. Music from Rahul Raj is a major plus point in this movie.
To anyone who asks me whether B. Tech as a movie would work for them, my answer will be that it will depend on how much you liked Nirnayakam as a movie. B. Tech at the core has a sensitive and relevant topic. But this wannabe Rang De Basanti is too bloated.
B. Tech at the core has a sensitive and relevant topic. But this wannabe Rang De Basanti is too bloated.