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Farrey Movie Review: A pleasant surprise- Cinema express

Farrey Movie Review: A pleasant surprise

Salman Khan’s niece Alizeh Agnihotri gives a commanding debut in this tense thriller

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Published: 26th November 2023
Farrey Movie Review: A pleasant surprise

A good thriller leaves you anxious. Farrey, a story of a group of teenagers cooking up an exam cheating scam, seems childish at first. It feels like director Soumendra Padhi (Jamtara) has left the grime and grittiness of Jharkhand and is attempting to tell a softer tale. I mean how tense passing an eraser with alphabets written in pencil can be?

Director: Soumendra Padhi

Cast: Alizeh Agnihotri, Zeyn Shaw, Sahil Mehta, Prasanna Bisht, Ronit Roy

Turns out, a lot. Farrey gave me a feeling which can only be described as “nostalgic nerves.” Most of the film unfolds inside examination halls and it does bring back some jittery memories. Of your pen falling and vanishing below the desk with ten minutes left for submission, of having that answer stuck at the tip of your tongue, of circling the wrong option in a bout of absent-mindedness, even though you knew the right one. Even the best of us have had ‘testing’ times.

A remake of the Thai film, Bad Genius (2017), Farrey marks the debut of Salman Khan’s niece Alizeh Agnihotri. She plays Niyati, an orphan, who believes she is destined for a better, richer life. After she tops the state in her Class 10 exams she gets accepted into an elite school. One which doesn’t offer a bus service. The only other student besides her who doesn’t own a car is the taciturn Aakash (Sahil Mehta). The class divide, thankfully, isn’t on the nose (The rich kids, for a change, don’t resort to bullying the newcomers or making fun of their accents). It is stated, rather subtly, as Alizeh’s Niyati dejectedly looks at the food prices on the wall in the school’s cafeteria. Or when she states she forgot her mobile at home when her privileged friend Chhavi (Prasanna Bisht) gives her a missed call so that she gets to save her number. Later, Niyati flips out her cell in the auto ride back home, it’s decent but not an iPhone.

Chhavi has her own share of rich girl problems. She has an overachieving sibling and although she can pay her way into it, her father won’t be impressed if she gets into Stanford sans merit. Niyati comes of aide as she helps her cheat through her first term exams. But it isn’t for the last time. Soon, their innocuous scam becomes bigger and even goes international.

I liked how writers Abhishek Yadav and Padhi increased the stakes for the harmless act of cheating in an exam. Padhi has shot these scenes with such intensity that even the routine act of invigilators asking students to shift seats becomes a wary hurdle. Whenever the story tends to get fantastical, the makers rev up the thrills and the viewer doesn’t get time to ponder upon the improbability of the plot.

Alizeh delivers a commanding debut. She plays Niyati with an ease first-time actors rarely have. She doesn’t get the star-kid introduction and sticks to playing a character. Quite impressive. Sahil Mehta as Aakash gets the best transformation while Zeyn Shaw and Prasanna Bisht fit perfectly as the rich kids out for a quick buck.

The film does dwindle though. The Us Vs Them themes feel tiring. The emotional bits lack bite. Whenever the film is not dealing with the manoeuvres of executing the cheating scam, it feels aimless. Farrey is like an exam you excitedly attempt, your writing is clear and legible in the beginning but a garbled mess at the end as time runs out. 

Rating:
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