If you have seen Kota Factory from TVF, the world of the new Amazon Prime series Crash Course, directed by Vijay Maurya, won’t feel like an unfamiliar terrain. What makes Crash Course different from a Kota Factory is that it is much more elaborate. There are so many characters and minute backstories here. And this game of greed has all sorts of emotions happening in its ten episodes, with an average duration of 45 minutes.
Ratanraj Jindal’s RJ institute is the pioneer in IIT coaching, and he wants to have a monopoly in this game. For this, he uses the help of Binny Agarwal, a guy who is his go-to option for every dirty move. Then we have this gang of students who are trying to crack the IIT. The power war between the institutes and how that eventually affects these students is what we see in Crash Course.
In the initial episodes of Crash Course, you might feel it is a Mirzapur kind of treatment given to a story like Kota Factory. But gradually, the script finds a balance between the two major tracks happening in the story. And the interesting thing is that the power-oriented track is more revenge and thrill-driven, while the students’ angle is emotion-driven relatable content. And there are areas where the lines between these two get blurred when you see the fragile side of those in the power positions. It takes a while for the dust to settle and give us a clear picture, and when you look at the whole plot from that point, both shades of this series look compelling.
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One major challenge in front of the writers of this series is accommodating its gazillion characters. There are times when you lose track of certain characters, like Shanaya, played by Riddhi Kumar. But the events associated with that character played a role in defining the pain of other characters in the series. Thus every event is connected with something, which helps Crash Course a lot in building its environment. The dynamic between certain characters is somewhat predictable, but the character arc somewhere gives it a novelty.
Annu Kapoor, as this power-obsessed institute head Jindal is fabulous. The manipulative mentality of that character was portrayed brilliantly by him. The way Jindal utilizes every opportunity to get business in a cruel way was depicted with believability by Mr. Kapoor. Anushka Kaushik as Vidhi Gupta delivers a remarkable performance. Her character goes through a lot in the process, and Vidhi somewhere spearheads the whole emotional track of the entire series. Hridhu Haroon, as Sathya Srinivasan, the calm yet fragile topper, was really convincing in his character. So was Riddhi Kumar as Shanaya.
Mohit Solanki performed the jarring shift of Anil very impressively. Udit Arora as Binny, the middleman with a past, was good. Pranay Pachauri had that grace to be a charming teacher. Bhanu Uday, as the equally competitive Shashank, was impressive. I am just saying the names that immediately came to my mind, and there are so many names in the humongous cast that managed to make their characters look very real on screen.
Kota and its coaching-driven culture is a character in the series. Manish Hariprasad and Raina Roy know the importance of world-building, and they have incorporated the elements of the city through various characters. A big credit for holding everything together should be given to editor Chandrashekhar Prajapati. The placement of scenes and the transitions were smooth and effective. There is a death in the series that shakes its world entirely, and the build-up towards that death was done so brilliantly on the edit table using a song that somewhere contradicted the emotion.
With a tentative second season that will witness the face-off between business people and passionate teachers, Crash Course gets many things right for a first season. There are a lot of subplots that weren’t resolved or addressed which I feel will play a vital role in the second season as there was a paradigm shift with the teams involved in the conflict. Emotional relatability is one thing that works in favor of the series. And they have managed to add a layer of a corporate thriller without diluting the impact of the drama.
Emotional relatability is one thing that works in favor of the series. And they have managed to add a layer of a corporate thriller without diluting the impact of the drama.
Green: Recommended Content
Orange: The In-Between Ones
Red: Not Recommended