Super 30 is much more than just any biographic flick. It’s part – heart-wrenching quintessential Indian melodrama and part nostalgia intertwined with a classic David vs Goliath subplot which makes you want to jump out and cheer for the underdog. The teacher Anand Kumar has been played by Hrithik Roshan to perfection. Super 30, as a true story, is a remarkable one. Driving home the point of how sacrosanct education is and the casual approach we have towards this very privilege being served to us on a platter.
By the intermission, you will be thanking your stars, for all the times your mum and dad put the screws on you to dig your head into those books – and the fact that you were forced to go to school. Hrithik Roshan in Super 30 has done a commendable job. This is a fabulous comeback after a string of flops – perhaps the most exceptional performance of his career ( seasoned and mature ) – playing the role of a humble mathematical genius turned guru.
The plot of Super 30 is one where our man loves solving equations and in his early days, is thrown out of the library as he’s not a registered student. A good Samaritan peon tells him to get this book for free he must get published in that very journal. Our hero cracks a previously unsolved equation and manages to get published. Subsequently, he is offered admission into Cambridge University.
But due to financial constraints and a slimy politician not sticking to his words ( played by Pankaj Tripathi ) he’s unable to take that ‘leap’ and make it to England. I feel before we go further, one must understand the very ethos of Super 30. This is the question of abject poverty and class distinction in India which is so normal to us in our day to day lives, it strikes a specific notion of it being – I dare say – ‘acceptable’.
This very notion is what the film questions with great vigour. It asks us “are all children not equal? Do they not deserve to be educated as a right by birth, irrespective to whom they are born as caste and class?”
In continuation with the plot… the great guru falls on hard times, loses his father and is forced to become a road seller of popadum. Then one day a coaching centre owner bumps into him and recognises him as a gold medalist. He ( Lalan ji ) makes Hrithik a star tutor at his coaching centre and changes both their fortunes – showing him the potential of the “education business” which Pankaj Tripathi calls “ The Education Mafia”.
In true Bollywood drama style, one rickshaw cyclist quoting the Mahabharata – reminds Hrithik of his past and this inspires him to help the underprivileged. He quits his job and decides to teach the most deserving kids who can’t afford education… for FREE! This generous idea has severe consequences for the coaching institute and Lalanji the owner makes it his life’s mission to ruin Hrithik to bring him back in his fold.
Then ensues the Rocky Balboa part of the movie, with Hrithik enduring a plethora of adversities – dealing with his electricity being cut off, running out of food to feed the poor kids and even getting shot! He is rushed to the hospital and the next few minutes are very Home Alone – ish – played by math junkies preparing for IIT. The bad guys from lalanjis clan come to finish our guru and all 30 kids, but are outdone by them and chased off!
“The 21st century is the age of the Technocrats. For the first time in modern history, have our minds been so valued!” A considerable portion of the movie revolves around the idea that the hunger for knowledge is much higher than natural desire itself. Super 30 uses some fantastic graphics, though most of the songs are a bit of a downer and yes Hrithik doesn’t do any Kaho Na Pyaar Hai steps ever.
“Raja Ka Beta Ab Raja Nahi Banega. Ab Raja Wohi Banega Jo Haqdaar Hai“, are those lines that echo as the film ends and remind you that we as a nation have a long winding road to being equal in all its forms. But people like Anand Kumar are the beacons of hope getting us there 30 students at a time.
Ps: All 30 make the cut off to IIT ( incase the title didn’t ring a bell ), and Hrithik does a Shahrukh pose in the rain – God I love Bollywood!