Rating : 2/5
Why India cheats? It is a rhetorical question that hardly elicits any kind of response or even remotely carries any shock-value. Though it sounds scary, cheating in exams is an accepted anomaly which is brushed aside as a necessary-evil by majority.
Why Cheat India – Should be lauded for its efforts
Therefore, Why Cheat India, that brings forth the ills in our education system should be lauded for its efforts. Though director loses his target midway and does not understand whether to please fans of meaningful cinema or fans of Emran Hashmi. And unfortunately he chooses the later.
Understandably in India, gateway to heaven (read.. life of luxury in big cities) passes through the mark sheet of schools and colleges. Higher marks in exams lead to good colleges which in turn lead to better jobs with fat salaries that ultimately conclude with a ‘trophy’ life partner in tony houses. Vicious circle, you see !!
And who other than Rakesh Sharma or Rocky ( Emraan Hashmi) will understand the aspirations of parents for their children, better.
In other words, Rocky is their passport to enter the gilded gates of esteemed colleges and hallowed institutions. Sadly, Indian education system which is more marks-based than knowledge-based, is the actual culprit of Cheat – India tradition where good or bad marks can break or make your career…read, your life.
Mouthing whistle & clap dialogues, Emraan Hashmi declares that he has no aspirations to be a hero (of vulnerable parents and students) nor does he have time to become a villain (in the eyes of educationists). But deep down he surely enjoys the attention and spoils of Cheat-business that simply asks an ’akalmand’ student to become a ‘nakalmand’ by writing entrance exam papers for dummy students. Student Sattu, ( Snigdhadeep Chaterjee), the prized catch, is more than happy to slug around currency-stashed duffle bags in exchange of his brains. After all , “mehnat salaried log karte hain, bade log scam karte hain” sneers Rocky.
With ever increasing gullible aspirants, Rocky’s business is ‘recession-proof’ and that prompts him to break into bigger league with better returns. All is going fine with ‘CHEAT INDIA’ film till director decides to change tracks and starts running on tried & tested Emraan Hashmi ‘formula’ films. So suddenly, uptight Rocky is seen running around trees and serenading his lady-love with more -than-compulsory smooches and pecks.
Whatever happened to the business-of-greed in the mean time is up to anybody’s guesses ☹.
The film could have come dangerously close to real-life ‘cash-for- marks’ scams but refrains from pointing fingers or making statements about anyone in particular and therein lies the ‘fall’ of director and actor.
Also, not taking a firm stand against the said cheat-practices dilutes the social message and audience is left to open-ended conclusion.
In an industry where out-of-sight means out-of-mind, Emraan Hashmi makes a sort of come back after a long hiatus. No doubt, he looks refreshed and gung -ho about his return act but decides to play safe with expected-from-him dialogoue-baazi, a devil-may-care swag and of course, an unapologetic anti-hero.
But without any starry airs, Emraan pours in required emotions in every shot making it completely believable and authentic. In fact his earnest performance reassures his fans of his acting chops.
His love–interest, Ms Dhanvanthary, is a small fish in big pond but manages to float above the competition with her natural flair.
Student Sattu is toast of the evening, given his absolutely honest portrayal of a small-town boy ruined over ‘making-fast-bucks-leading-to-faster-collapse’ syndrome.
Frankly speaking, contrary to musical Hashmi -films, music of ‘CHEAT INDIA’ is no great-shakes where tuneless song & dance add more agony than melody.