As said in 3 idiots : “If we fail, we feel sad but if our friend tops the exam, we feel worse.” Well finally it is here! The Season Finale of the much awaited Aspirants is here. A series that over its tenure of 5 weeks had slowly but surely caught the imagination of the audience thereby making its way to their heart. And while the other four episodes had premiered on a weekday, the season finale premiered today and here I am with its review. Knowing TVF and the quality content that they create, this has got to be good. But is it as good as some of their own shows, now that is the question. Stay tuned to find out.
Story & Screenplay
Aspirants follows the story of a bunch of Aspirants for arguably India’s toughest exam, The UPSC which barely has a success rate of 1% and is also said to be the second toughest exam worldwide. In fact, the show begins with these lines and also sets the tone for the proceedinfs to follow – an exam that could cost friendship, that requires sacrifice and forces you to live with that pressure day in and day out. And the story is exactly how the lives of the many Aspirants of UPSC ought to be! The screenplay is just so perfectly penned. It has the right amount of emotions and evokes those feelings for the characters that are unparalleled to any other show. Some people might argue that it is on the lines of Kota Factory but not sure what the complaint is! This is a different show with a different setting and with a completely different screenplay. To give you a perspective, there are many elements in the screenplay that are tactfully held back up until the last episode where all the cards are on the table. And that also causes curiosity and intrigue as to what actually happens between the characters that they land up where they are now. I could go on and on, such is the screenplay, an absolute masterclass in writing. If a little blip, the last bit could have been spaced out a little more, I expected a confrontation but it happened all too quickly and a little conveniently, but that is alright, the journey made it beautiful.
Dialogues, Music & Direction
The dialogues are quirky packed with several one liners. There is a legit Dil Chahta Hai Reference that will put a smile on your face. At the same time, the dialogues also impart certain life lessons through one of its characters that is actually valuable and the main take away from the show. The music is outstanding and so beautifully portrays the mood of the characters. The BGM is brilliant too and adds a layer of intrigue to the drama. Director Apoorv Singh Karki has done a brilliant job here. Never once does he let the drama dip, in fact he makes sure to push it upwards throughout until the heart warming climax that will leave you teary eyed. Outstanding!
The performances are the highlight of the show. Bijou Thaangjam is impressive in his small cameo as Rijiju, so does Nupur Nagpal as Pragati . Namita Dubey as Dhairya impresses in a heartwarming role. I really wished to watch more of her towards the backend but nevertheless a memorable outing. Abhilash Thapliyal as SK is that one friend we all wish to have. He is like the glue in the group(of three here) and really earnest and caring. He is that friend who can so easily be brushed aside, but eventually you fall back on him in case of any help. And he deserves distinction marks for his performance here! Shivankit Singh Parihar a name now synonymous with innumerous TVF sketches is outstanding as Guri. A friend who you treasure but at some point lose touch, and he plays his role to the ‘T’. Naveen Kasturia as Abhilash is that one friend who is always so focussed in life and he is absolutely brilliant here. I was a little worried with his choices in the recent past, given his talent but here once he was back with TVF it was a grand home coming and he yet again delivers a fine performance. But my favourite character was Sandeep Bhaiyya essayed by Sunny Hinduja. A character that we all can look upto like our elder brother, his life lessons was my take away. And it was so brilliantly portrayed by Sunny, he was soft, subtle with his eyes doing the talking(remember the end of the 4th episode that made us weep?), he is a phenomenal actor with a tremendous range. This is one character that will stay with you long after the show has ended! A memorable and towering acting masterclass by all that collectively creates magic.
Aspirants is probably the best show of 2021 so far by a production house that has a pulse of a big studio, TVF. I can’t remember the last time I have felt this connected to a webseries that has inspired me for my goals yet taught me the value of balance in life. This is an absolute must watch! Available for free on Youtube and Highly Highly Highly Recommended!