Critic reviews and ratings

  • A revision on our morality meter, a cause of worry and concern regarding the prevailing criteria of ranking, marks grades and Emraan Hashmi’s nuanced brilliance...

    69

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  • The story and concept of Why Cheat India holds a lot of merit, and if the execution was the sharper and steadier, this one had the potential to graduate to another level. Even with the flaws in the story, the film and its various subjects have enough at hand to keep you entertained.

    59

    Critic rating (?)

  • From the very first frame, this one has its audience figured. It knows that someone who’s drawn to a Hashmi caper has specific expectations — glib dialogue baazi, a lip-lock or three, and a surreal conman who can charm the pants off his partner.

    59

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  • Despite being disjointed and overstretched, the 120-minute movie manages to double up both as an expose of the problems that plague the examination system and a commentary on the failure of a generation to secure the future of the next one.

    59

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  • While the first half is logically constructed, all logic goes for a toss in the second. Proceedings get more ludicrous by the minute.

    59

    Critic rating (?)

  • Has some powerful things to say, but mirrors the ‘the system is such, what can we do’ common-person attitude that it wants to complain against. And therefore, lacks the punch, maybe even rightly so.

    59

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  • ...is a neatly-observed film that needed more tonal clarity to be taken seriously. It features a refreshingly amoral protagonist, portrayed by a talented male lead — but the faux-thriller-like posturings of what is essentially a dark social satire gives him little elbow room to play with.

    59

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  • ...perhaps too attached to his script, Sen is unable to skillfully pull it all together. Some scenes are particularly untidy – in their design, execution and casting.

    49

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  • For a film that tackles education, the screenplay should have concentrated on plain speak. Instead, this one takes an incoherent approach.

    49

    Critic rating (?)

  • The writing is flat. The wheeze is ingenious enough to fill a great film, but Sen revels in obvious filmy cliché.

    49

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  • ...like the hybrid of fact and fiction, needed far more imagination and audacity.

    49

    Critic rating (?)

  • What it does, and does reasonably well, is address a subject that is real in a manner that, despite its adherence to many of the broad rules of popular Hindi cinema, does not stray too far from the tangible.

    49

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  • A jumbo mess of warped notions and random ambition, Why Cheat India trivialises education and shows sympathy for deceit. Why indeed?

    39

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  • The film tackles the problem of rampant cheating in these exams but it gets so preachy about a failing system and talks so much, you cannot help but yawn...

    39

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  • Hashmi seems to enjoy himself; if the writing was brighter and the other characters had more agency, the film might have played differently.

    39

    Critic rating (?)

  • Complex problems need complex cinema. Why Cheat India prefers to stay on the surface than dig deeper.

    39

    Critic rating (?)

  • So though it derails itself in the last quarter of its duration, the film, by that time, has asked a few hard questions of the more obvious flaws in a higher education apparatus that relies on skills of rote learning, for both entrance and graduation. 

    39

    Critic rating (?)

  • If you thought that Soumik Sen’s Why Cheat India comes up with an answer, or at least looks at the aforementioned psychological concerns among children and their behavioural issues that often lead to suicides with grave concern, you’d be disappointed.

    39

    Critic rating (?)

  • It’s a shame you leave the cinema bored and underwhelmed because there was potential here to make a smart film about our flawed education system – one that encourages mugging and rote learning over understanding; one that values a degree over real aptitude. A system that drives students and their parents to seek dangerous, unhealthy shortcuts. Some of that is addressed but it’s not really what the film is about.

    39

    Critic rating (?)

  • ...it eventually starts descending to such levels of random, thoughtless spinning of the yarn that by the end of it you're not even too sure it's the same film that you had started with in the first place.

    29

    Critic rating (?)

  • Give this a miss. Because you feel so cheated after watching this two-hour-long yawn fest, that you cannot stop asking yourself 'Why'. That's a question Emraan Hashmi needs to answer.

    29

    Critic rating (?)

  • ...is disjointed and disappointing, never quite knowing which side it is on...

    Critic rating (?)

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