Quota movie review: A well-intentioned, but inferior melodrama
Despite the plot of Quota being heavily inspired by the Iranian classic The Children Of Heaven, the film still turns out to be a yawnfest
‘Award padam’, that’s how Quota would have been referred to if it had come out a decade ago. The term refers to films supposedly made for a cause and not entertainment, and to indiciate that one shouldn’t complain if they are boring. That’s exactly why Quota’s poster flaunts numerous film festival awards. It is like a warning to the viewer not to hate the film. But, it hardly helps.
Cast: Bhavass, Niharika, Adhil, Chella, Manasi Naresh
Even the cause or the message of the film isn’t novel. Quota is about corruption and nepotism in the field of sports, and how things are against the underprivileged. The film follows one such poor family in a small hillside village. Manickam (Chella), the head of the family, a tapioca farmer, is struggling to make ends meet. But he has huge aspirations for his village. He tells his wife that all it takes for their collective growth is one success story. Being the altruist that he is, Manickam adds that the achiever need not be his son Paari (Bhavass) or his daughter (Niharika).
He keeps asking his son what he wants to do with his life, and Paari doesn’t have an answer. But when his father dies, Paari's destiny becomes clear. He has to win a gymnastics tournament to save his family and their house from debt. However, the film is predominantly about the torn shoe of Paari’s sister and how the siblings manage with one pair of shoes. The plot of Quota is clearly heavily inspired by the Iranian classic The Children Of Heaven. And yet, the film turns out to be a yawnfest.
Evidently, the film has been made on a shoe-string budget. The problem here, however, is not lack of money but creativity. There is a paucity of ideas. There is nothing new in Quota that you haven’t seen before except for the beautiful village. It is quite tiring to keep reiterating that good intentions alone don’t make good cinema.