Three male students sharing a two-wheeler, made fashionable by Raju Hirani.
Continuing the saga of Vaibhav Pandey (Mayur More), Uday Gupta (Alam Khan) and Balmukund Meena (Ranjan Raj), the three IIT aspirants who’ve enrolled in the coaching classes of Kota, director Raghav Subbu makes the first five episodes of the new season like kindergarten-level sex education classes.
Jeetu Bhaiya (Jitendra Kumar), the teacher who works magic on the morale of his students, continues to be more a life coach to them. From ‘Don’t dream, aim’ and ‘Should you take a shot at getting into IIT’ to two big Ms – menstruation and masturbation — and a third M called Mummy who only comes in to cook mounds of food and feed everybody, Jeetu Bhaiya dispenses it all. Raghav Subbu faithfully devotes one episode to each of these stodgy life lessons.
There’s a whole episode on Meena isolating himself with ‘self-study’ because he’s so distracted in class. Then he indulges in ‘self-help’ if you know what I mean, which he thinks makes him a sinner. Until Jeetu Bhaiya goes beyond physics to teach him a lesson or two in basic biology.
The writing (by half a dozen names) and the direction are so trite that after Jeetu Bhaiya lectures his proteges on veering from the straight route to find your own individual path, there’s a top shot of the professor actually driving his car and taking a right turn away from the main traffic.
Contrasting with Jeetu Bhaiya is Maheshwari Sir (Sameer Saxena) whose demoralising welcome address to students of his classes has MCP lines on how the successful ones will get a beautiful wife. How about successful female engineers? Who do they get? With lines like that and Vaibhav’s mother (Jyoti Gauba) who is credited only as his mother (no name of her own), it’s no wonder that the girls on the periphery are shown as diffident about entering the ‘male territory’ of engineering.
Jeetu Bhaiya’s new classes bring in a couple of new faces like Gagan Rastogi (Rajesh Kumar), a maths wiz. There’s a perfunctory shot at gender inclusivity with the arrival of Sarika Mittal (Jaiti Khera), a lady professor.
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A mystery guru in a wheelchair who pronounces ‘swallow’ like ‘sway-low’, someone called Vernali (Abhaya Sharma) whose tearing up emotionally is so patently artificial that it takes hamming to a new low, someone with a parrot who knows all the chemistry formulae, and dull songs in the background that sum up Jeetu Bhaiya’s fundas, don’t really infuse new life into the old Kota story.
Processed in predominantly black and white tones, Maheshwari and his assistant (Abhishek Jha) are lensed like villains, each with a predominant ‘tikka’ on his forehead. Ah, how can a Netflix show not have at least one Hinduphobic shot?
Watch Kota Factory Season 2 Trailer Here: