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“All India Rank” Review: A Captivating Dive into the Intricacies of Adolescent Struggles

"All India Rank" Review: A Captivating Dive into the Intricacies of Adolescent Struggles

In a captivating exploration of adolescent struggles, screenwriter and lyricist Varun Grover makes a felicitous directorial debut with “All India Rank.” Set against the backdrop of India’s economic liberalization era, the film offers a poignant slice-of-life narrative, delving deep into the challenges faced by a reluctant IIT aspirant.

Charming and thought-provoking, “All India Rank” distinguishes itself from conventional narratives with its muted, anti-formulaic approach. Eschewing traditional storytelling devices, the film opts for a fragmented yet immersive narrative style, punctuated with imaginative animation interludes and a deliberate avoidance of a facile climax.

Grover’s directorial venture unfolds as a gentle and revelatory examination of a middle-class boy’s psyche, thrust into the relentless pursuit of academic excellence by an overbearing father. Through the lens of the protagonist, Vivek (played by Bodhisattva Sharma in his debut lead role), the film navigates the complex dynamics of familial expectations and societal pressures.

Set in the bustling town of Kota, renowned for its IIT-JEE coaching ecosystem, “All India Rank” paints a vivid portrait of Vivek’s year-long journey as he reluctantly prepares for the competitive exam. Against the backdrop of the new millennium, Vivek grapples with raging hormones, newfound friendships, and the allure of teenage love, all while contending with his father’s unwavering expectations.

As the narrative unfolds, “All India Rank” transcends the confines of traditional coming-of-age tales, offering a nuanced exploration of the impact of the “success” industry on young minds. Grover’s narrative is complemented by Prachi Deshpande’s meticulous production design, which vividly captures the essence of the 1990s era.

The film’s soundscape, masterfully crafted by Vinit D’Souza, resonates with nostalgic markers of India’s pre-consumerist pop culture, evoking memories of Tehkikaat’s title song, Doordarshan’s Shaktimaan, and Vividh Bharati’s skits. Through these cultural references, “All India Rank” captures a nation on the brink of transformation, grappling with the complexities of globalization and societal change.

At its core, “All India Rank” is a testament to the resilience of the human spirit in the face of adversity, and a poignant reminder of the universal quest for identity and purpose. As audiences embark on Vivek’s journey of self-discovery, the film invites viewers to reflect on the myriad challenges of adolescence, and the enduring power of hope and resilience.

In a cinematic landscape dominated by formulaic plots and exposition-driven narratives, “All India Rank” stands out as a refreshing departure, offering a compelling blend of ideas, emotions, and introspection. Through its poignant storytelling and evocative visuals, the film leaves an indelible mark on the hearts and minds of its audience, reaffirming the transformative power of cinema.

Sources By Agencies

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