The strength of this series is its cast and characters. The nice guys and nice girls who seldom get to play the leads.
Kota Factory Season 2
Creator/Writer: Saurabh Khanna (TVF)
Director: Raghav Subbu
Cast: Mayur More, Jitendra Kumar, Ranjan Raj, Ahsaas Channa
Streaming on: Netflix
TVF’s Kota Factory highlights the problems faced by present day IIT-JEE aspirants in their day-to-day lives. The first season premiered on YouTube and was sponsored by Unacademy. The series has received most of its publicity through word of mouth. I had heard of the series from a friend but didn’t bother watching it. Watched the first season a couple of days ago because I wanted to review the second one. Must admit, it was super engaging and I binge watched the 5-episode series. The second season is equally breezy in its pace. However, it suffers the curse of the second season. It is not as remarkable as the original.
The pluses of the series are its cast and characters. The nice guys and nice girls who seldom get to play the leads. TVF content has always been relatable. Some portions of Kota Factory may sound like jargons but the makers do their best to simplify it without becoming preachy. Credit must go to creator-writer Saurabh Khanna. The series is in black-and-white symbolic of the greyness of the lives of these students.
There’s Jitendra Kumar balancing the character-self portrayal of the beloved Jeetu Bhaiya. It never gets dull. Mayur More playing the lead Vaibhav Pandey is confident and sincere. Ranjan Raj as Balmukund Meena is exceptional. The rest of the cast ably supports the narrative. Most of them manage to portray the vulnerable, awkward, confused, dreamy eyed students very well.
The second season advocates setting aims instead of just dreaming. There are some fine lines of dialogue giving such life hack, coming from Jeetu Bhaiya, of course. In spite of the series being set in a specific world of Kota and IIT-JEE aspirants, the series has universal appeal because of the mental turmoil that people go through when the reality wakes the dreamy eyed people from sleep.
The series performs well on almost all fronts – direction, casting, cinematography, editing, production design, and sound design. Where it falters in the second season is its sloppy writing in some portions. The sequences with Vaibhav’s mother are borderline cliché. The romantic tension between Vaibhav and Vartika (Revathi Pillai) is stretched a little too much. But these can be overlooked for an otherwise binge worthy series.