In an ideal, civilised society, every child must have the basic right to get educated. However, that is far from being the truth, more so in countries like India where a large number of people live in abject poverty. In India, while some children get to study in the most affluent schools and colleges, some never get to read a book in their entire lives. In such a scenario, one cannot help but take notice of Anand Kumar, who chooses to teach under-privileged children and prepare them for entrance exams that get into IIT, one of the most premiere institutes in the country. While one had heard of a couple of filmmakers interested in portraying his story on the screen, Vikas Bahl finally took the plunge and managed to get a big star like Hrithik Roshan to emulate Kumar on the screen.
Anand Kumar (Hrithik Roshan) has recently finished his graduation studies. His passion for mathematics makes him travel several kilometres to a library in Patna where he gets to read a foreign journal which serves up the toughest mathematics problems. One day, Anand gets reprimanded by the librarian for getting inside it without being a member of it. Anand feels offended and the peon advices him to write an article for the journal which, in turn, would help him get free subscription to it. Anand manages to solve a mathematical problem, which nobody has been able to solve till date, listed in the journal and mails it to the journal’s office abroad. Soon, Anand gets a letter stating that the fact he has been able to solve such a tough problem has impressed the people behind the journal to such an extent that they informed leading universities about it and that led towards the prestigious Cambridge University offering him a seat in their college for doing post-graduation studies. Anand and his family members are elated to hear the news. Anand and his father Eeshwar Kumar (Virendra Saxena) tries their best to raise funds for his further education but fail to do so. Meanwhile, Eeshwar suffers from a heart attack which results in his death. Anand decides to bury all his dreams and starts selling papad on the streets. Meanwhile, a chance encounter with Lallan Singh (Aditya Shrivastava), a businessman who runs a coaching institute in Patna, leads Anand towards getting a well-paid job as a teacher in the institute and changes his fortunes for good. Everything is going smoothly, until one day Anand realises a large number of children in India remain deprived of basic education and he feels the urge to help such children have access to quality education.
‘Super 30’ is a masala film, let me make that clear from the onset. There are a few incidents which make you go ‘did this really happen?’. Is that a bad thing? Not really. I am not very well aware of the work Anand has done in real-life but director Vikas Bahl and writer Sanjeev Dutta do manage to bring a sense of realism and believability to the fore effectively while adding a few larger-than-life elements that might seem a little improbable but fit into the larger scheme of things well and add to the entertainment value of the film. The first half is consistently engaging and is largely devoid of any such scene that would look out of place. Yes, Anand’s cutting off ties abruptly with Lallan, a man who helped chart a new course in his career, seemed a little odd. He could have, at least, informed him about his decision of leaving his institute and starting a free-for-all educational centre of his own to teach underprivileged children. The makers have claimed that they have not added any fictional elements in the show but one wonders whether Anand’s students really put up a fight against a bunch of armed goons who march towards a hospital to knock off Anand. This particular sequence is bound to evoke mixed reactions. While some would raise questions at the plausibility of the sequence, some would sit back and enjoy the proceedings. Similarly, there is another sequence in the second half when Anand uses unscrupulous means to have his way. This scene might also divide the viewers. One must also mention the scene where a student of Lallan’s coaching institute approaches Anand and asks him is it right for him to be deprived of Anand’s teaching just because he comes from a privileged background. Anand does not give him a proper answer for that.
Hrithik Roshan delivers a very good performance. After seeing the trailer, some had stated his accent does not sound genuine and his body language, too, looks out of place. Hrithik does speak a little differently from the way Anand speaks but his accent and physical behaviour, be it perfect or flawed, remain the same throughout the film. His mannerisms and accent remain consistent throughout the film. Mrunal Thakur lends an effervescent charm to her character. She looks lovely and acts very well. Aditya Shrivastava is first-rate; here is an actor who needs to be seen in more number of films. Pankaj Tripathi does well in a small role though he seems to act in a similar manner in most of his films. Nandish Singh (Pranav), Veerendra Saxena (Eeshwar) and Sadhana Singh (Jayanti Devi) play their parts well. Amit Sadh leaves an impact in a cameo appearance; his character had the potential to be etched out better.
‘Super 30’ is a well-made film that inspires and entertains in equal measure. Several cinematic liberties have been taken in this seemingly true-life story of an achiever but you do not really mind that as it all comes together in a fairly coherent film that has more positives than negatives.