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Cricket fever has come to an end with a bang, literally! As you continue your celebrations for India’s grand win you’re greeted with promising new releases at the box office this Friday. One of them is Puja Films’ Faltu.

Remo D’Souza makes his directorial debut, however he is an already acclaimed name in the Bengali film industry, having earlier won a National Award for direction. Faltu releases with a lot of expectations. Firstly, those entrusted upon Remo as the director who’s emerged as somewhat of an icon thanks to his innumerable television appearances. Secondly, Jackky Bhagnani attempts to prove himself once again with this film having earlier failed to do so with Kal Kisne Dekha. Thirdly and lastly, it has a chartbuster soundtrack that people are simply dying to see onscreen! With that concludes the list of things that is likely to bring the audiences to the cinemas upon the conclusion of this cricket season.

Faltu joins the league of films that analyze and challenge the shortcomings of the Indian education system. It seeks to bring to the forefront the various issues within the system that are constantly operating as a detriment to the average Indian student. Taare Zameen Par and 3 Idiots have been two films in the recent past that have dealt with the issue of the education system and the average Indian parents relationship with a student child. Whilst Faltu does tackle these exact themes and issues, it does so in a completely unique way. In addition it manages to highlight many issues that cinema has not highlighted till now.

In a nutshell the film, as its title suggests, is the story of a bunch of faltus. A word loosely used to address the “useless” or “hopeless”; in society. They’re young and bright however with little to no focus for the academics. They may pass their exams, however only by 35% and thus have no chance of ever entering any university in the country. After facing much frustration and humiliation they decide to put an end to their parents’ disappointment. Hastily they create a hoax college/university with the help of some mature ‘faltus’ (read: Arshad Warsi – their financier and Ritiesh Deshmukh their college principal). Within no time they acquire an abandoned building and set up their fake college. However, what the gang didn’t expect is to have the rest of the faltus from across India join in! When fellow faltus stumble upon the fake website for the fake college they mistake it for a real one. As expected, all hell breaks lose and now it all must be dealt with accordingly. How do the faltus get out of this mess, how do they eventually face up to their parents and society, and ultimately, how do they prove themselves is the story of Faltu.

If there is one thing that is certain about Faltu it is the fact that the film is made with a lot of heart and soul. It promised to be a fultu entertaining film with a message and that is exactly what it is. There’s nothing pretentious or fake.

However, there are moments of naivety in the script which your intelligence doesn’t accept based on a test that concludes “this is not practical!” However, it is likely the majority may look past this shortfall in the film.

An addition to the limited list of shortfalls in the film would have to be the song placements. Whilst Sachin-Jigar turned out eleven original and rocking tracks, the placement of these rocking tracks could have been greatly revised. Some of them in fact could have been quite comfortably left out of the film, and perhaps better utilized as a music video. At times it feels as if enough dialogues had not passed between two songs. Having already criticized the song placements a small complement is rightly owed. It was quite innovative for the makers to have left out the romantic number from the film. Thus, leaving out the obvious and predictable romantic angle out of the film completely.

A special mention simply has to be given to the picturisation of ‘Awaaz’ in the climax. The track in itself stood out of the entire soundtrack however Remo’s choreography of the number took it to a whole new level. Conceptually and visually the song is breath taking. In addition as it carries such a strong message and story there is every chance you could find yourself in tears.

That leads us into the final part of the review, the performances! For anyone who was going to jump to the conclusion that Jackky Bhagnani would be given more scope (being the producer’s son) than the other actors in the multistarrer you’ll be very politely proven wrong. Whilst he is a prominent character in the film, Chandan, Ritiesh, Arshad and Angad are given as much scope to perform. Perhaps the only person who looses out is Puja Gupta who is stunning to witness onscreen but whom we don’t get to hear much from or see much of in the film.

Jackky outdoes himself for an actor who is only two films old. His dialogue delivery is extremely impressive as he manages to pull off a variety of scenes ranging from comedy to drama. Chandan Roy Sanyal is a scene-stealer throughout the film. Angad Bedi is entertaining and a master of facial expressions. Arshad Warsi and Ritiesh Deshmukh are their impressive selves, there’s very little the two cannot do!

To sum up, is Faltu the thing to opt for to start off the now revived film season and to celebrate India’s victory? Yes! It may have technical faults here and there but from a bird’s eye view it’s a complete film that is not to be missed. Although a youthful entertainer, it’s a film for the whole family and one that parents’ truly ought to see. So, don’t be faltu any longer and don’t miss out on Faltu!

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