CHENNAI: Indian cinema has fallen passionately in love with biopics, and in recent times there has been a glut of films in the genre.
Sports stars such as sprinter Milkha Singh and boxer Mary Kom, mathematician Srinivasa Ramanujan and politician Bal Thackeray among others have lent themselves to some gripping movies, although not always with the right choice of actor for the lead role.
The latest in this line has been director Vikas Bahl’s “Super 30,” an exhilarating sketch of the life and times of educationist and mathematician, Anand Kumar, from the Indian state of Bihar.
Son of a poor postman, academically brilliant Kumar had to throw away his Cambridge scholarship because he could not afford the passage, and later finds himself in a center coaching students to meet the tough entrance requirements of the prestigious Indian Institutes of Technology.
But the boys and girls are all from rich backgrounds, and Kumar despairs about the many who cannot afford such expensive tuition. So, he leaves a well-paid job and begins teaching impoverished children for free. His class has 30 pupils at a time, hence the title.
Bollywood star Hrithik Roshan plays Kumar and takes viewers through a journey fraught with excruciating suffering and physical harm from rich businessmen who see him as a threat to their own prosperity through coaching institutions for the well-to-do teenagers.
Bahl takes artistic liberties. While the real Kumar also ran an institute for the rich to fund his tutoring of the poor, “Super 30” sidesteps this to heighten the dramatic effect, emotionally enslaving the viewer.
While “Super 30” underplays the Indian caste angle, which has been a perennial impediment to higher education for the country’s poorer sections, the wishy-washy romance between Kumar and Ritu Rashmi (Mrunal Thakur, who after an excellent performance in “Love Sonia” disappoints in this latest outing) adds just about a zero to the narrative.id Glanzer, Comic-Con’s marketing chief, told AFP.