IIT, it’s one word… rather a dream, which often takes shape of dread in India. It’s every child’s (read: parent’s) reverie, often notional, to study in the premier institute, to wear it like a badge of honour in hope of earning a ‘sorted’ life. An idea which is parochial yet popular.
This is precisely the premise of Amazon Prime original series, Lakhon Mein Ek, which depicts the life of an average student Akash and his chase for the delusional IIT dream.
The cramped classrooms, dorm life, scenes of ragging & casual banter, send you on a nostalgic trip. Akash and his gang studies hard, yet fails to win the race of numbers, thus resorts to cheating to score high.
Principal Murthi (Shiv Kumar Subramaniam) is caricaturish and epitomizes the rot in the education system. He decides to bury the copying scam to maintain the dignity of the institution. The idea is not to make education interesting but grab the cherished numbers, which, more than often, doesn’t shape the future of a student.
Ritvik Sahore as Akash is you, me, anyone. His story is that of a trapped child who wants to fly high but is chained by notions & conventions of the society. A Raipur boy, Akash’s life takes a beating, not for his own fault, but for the the pressure of living someone else’s dream.
The story has its moment of youth exuberance and frivolity, which is apt for the age its depicting. Akash and his crop of friends grip you into watching the episodes, however, the story gets predictable as it unties its knots.
The message is not novel. The chords have been touched in 3 Idiots and Udann. Yet the writing and scenes backed by a strong cinematography and sound, lend a touch of freshness.
Ritvik oscillates between multiple emotions and his subdued vulnerability makes you sympathise for him. Your heart goes out to this helpless distraught soul.
Lakhon Meik Ek is created by stand up comedian Biswa Kalyan Rath. Biswa doesn’t weave magic but certainly displays sparks of brilliance and promise.
After a long time have come across a web -series which is rooted in real India. It has no pretensions and talks about today’s youth’s dilemma and sordid education system. Though young in tale, the makers refrain for including sex as clickbait, which is often an easy route taken in web format nowadays.
Amazon Prime and its shows (Inside Edge, Lakhon Mein Ek) are pushing the boundaries and we are glad, for it would only mean great content to watch.
Lakhon Mein Ek deserves a 3.5 out of 5 stars.