Finally, Eklavya defeats Arjuna
Film: Super 30
Date: 12 July 2019
Director: Vikas Bahl
Cast: Hrithik Roshan, Mrunal Thakur
In Mahabharata, when Guru Dronacharya learns that a poor boy Eklavya looks up to him as his teacher, he promptly asks for
his right thumb as guru dakshina sothat prince Arjuna remains the best archer and so that the son of a king can be groomed to
become a king.
In Super 30 Anand Kumar’s father, a postman believes that gone are the days when the son of a king bequeaths the throne for
today, only the deserving is entitled to wear the crown!
Inspired from the life of a brilliant mathematician Anand Kumar, who collected a group of underprivileged students and prepared
them for entrance exams of IIT (Indian Institutes of Technology) the film is shot in Ramnagar Fort and in Sambhar Lake Town.
A gold medalist from Patna’s Ramanujam College, Kumar resolves a difficult theorem as an article for a foreign journal and is
invited by the Cambridge for higher studies. The Education Minister has promised to help him economically but at the right
moment turns a deaf ear to his pleas and Kumar is forced to burn his books and sell papad on the streets.
One day, his bicycle rams into a luxurious car and the rich man, also alumni of Ramanujam makes a star teacher out of Anand
Kumar. The coaching classes ushers a new lifestyle and for the first time, the family is comfortable. Life seems settled when a
chance encounter with a rickshaw driver revives memories of the king and the crown prince and overnight Anand Kumar deserts
Arjuna/ his rich students in search of Eklavya/ the underprivileged students.
Many years ago, a teacher had once asked me, why our films always trivialized the professor, do we have no regard for the man
who imparts knowledge to us, he had asked. Vikas Bahl’s Super 30 breaks the stereotype. We have read many posters of ‘Mulgi
shikli pragati jhali’ and now Super 30 emphasizes that one educated child can transform the fortunes of an entire family.
We have seen enough of cinema celebrating the rich and the corrupt now Super 30 proves that knowledge, not money is real
power and the human mind is the strongest weapon. In this film, the poor are not weak and whether he is an office peon, the postman
or the ward boy in a hospital all have a voice and more important, self-worth. In Kumar’s world parents lend wings to their offsprings and children participate in the dilemmas of the adults.
Like all films, there are some misgivings. Some things are not clearly explained like the children come from different age groups
but study in the same class. Then we have no idea about their basic education. The pace is a tad slow and some sequences appear
long but all this does not matter because there are many pluses to compensate like the narrative, Ajay Atul’s music, Sanjeev
Daattaa’s writing, all the characters, locations, dialect, and subtle humor.
There are some scenes that haunt you long after the film is over…The stormy night when Anand Kumar and his brother drive
their father to the hospital. When Anand uses his exercise book pages to wrap the home-made papads and sell them on the
streets. When the students present a street play in English and succeed in what they have set out for.
Of the performances, Pankaj Tripathi as the self-absorbed politician is effective and Mrunal Thakur alluring in the romantic
scenes but you cannot look at anybody when Hrithik Roshan is on the screen! Hrithik makes a special connection with all his
characters over the decades but this time he lives Anand Sir and invades into our hearts forever.
Super 30 is inspirational, aspirational and a must watch for the young and the old, poor and rich, for all teachers/ parents and
students, in fact, there cannot be a better tribute than Super 30 for the Guru Purnima Day.
I rate Super 30 with 4.5 stars out of which 1 star is exclusively for Hrithik Roshan.