Farrey: An Engrossing Film About A Genius Student Who Goes Wayward

A must-watch!

Farrey (Hindi)

  • Cast: Alizeh Agnihotri, Juhi Babbar, Ronit Roy, and Sahil Mehta
  • Director: Soumendra Padhi
  • Producer: Atul Agnihotri, Alvira Khan
  • Music: Sachin-Jigar
  • Runtime: 1 hour 54 minutes

The Thai film Bad Genius (2017) was about an A+ student who devises innovative methods to cheat in exams.

It was based on a real-life incident and focused on themes of class inequality and some general issues that teenagers go through. It is a subject that can fit in any language.

Therefore, it is not surprising that Salman Khan has chosen this film as a launch for his niece Alizeh.

Soumendra Padhi’s first feature film was the critically acclaimed Budhia Singh-Born to Run (2016). It was based on the life of Budhia Singh, who ran 48 marathons and was the world’s youngest marathon runner.

Surprisingly, the buzz around Farrey (Slip that students use for cheating in exams) has been on the lower side despite the film opening to positive reviews in the International Film Festival of India, Goa.

Whatever the box office outcome of Farrey is, there is no denying that Salman Khan has produced a quality film and a star is born.

Synopsis

Farrey is based on the Thai film Bad Genius
‘Farrey’ is based on the Thai film ‘Bad Genius’. (X)

For those who have not watched the Thai movie, Farrey focuses on two students from an underprivileged class.

Niyati (Alizeh Agnihotri) is one of them. She is brought up in an orphanage under the loving care of a warden-cum-father figure (Ronit Roy) and his wife (Juhi Babbar Soni).

Niyati is always a top student. She passes her 10th-class exams with distinction marks and gets admission for Plus-Two in a popular institution. Here, too, Niyati becomes a top student.

The principal (Shilpa Shukla) grants her a full scholarship.

Her nearest competitor in studies is Aakash (Sahil Mehta). He is Niyati’s friend and comes from the same social strata as she does. He, too, is granted the same scholarship.

On the other side of the spectrum, you have the super-rich Chhavi (Prasanna Bisht) and Prateek (Zeyn Shaw). Niyati and Chhavi become good friends.

Chhavi’s father (Arbaaz Khan in a two-scene cameo) wants his daughter to follow in the footsteps of her brother and secure a seat at Stanford. She constantly faces the pressure of being pitted against her brother.

Chhavi lures Niyati to help her and a few others. After some agonising, Niyati agrees to earn some quick money because she wants to help the orphanage.

What starts as a one-time help ends up as a serious affair.

Farrey is essentially a coming-of-age story of a girl who realises her mistakes and undergoes a transformation.

Class divide

Director Soumendra Padhi does a good job of presenting the class divide and the two vastly different worlds of Niyati and Chhavi. This comes out particularly well in the scenes where Niyati goes to Chhavi’s house. She feels like an “Alice” lost in some strange land.

Another aspect that stands out is the character of Chhavi. There is no denying that Chhavi is manipulative and not likeable. But at the same time, the viewers also understand why she does what she does.

Chhavi wants to become an interior designer and is not interested in taking over her father’s business. However, the pressure of living up to the expectations of her father’s desires gets to her.

Prasanna Bisht does a swell job of portraying the grey shades of Chhavi.

The second half of Farrey is more about the cheating methods that Niyati employs along with her friend Aakash. The drama becomes more heightened, and soon, the film turns into a morality play where the viewers feel tense about the plight of these two students. Of course, all ends well.

Alizeh Agnihotri and Sahil Mehta stand out

Alizeh Agnihotri in Farrey
Alizeh Agnihotri stands out in ‘Farrey’. (X)

The scenes featuring Alizeh and Ronit Roy are filled with warmth. For example, there is a scene in the pre-climax where Niyati confesses about her wrongdoings.

It has been solidly directed and acted. It is nice to see Ronit Roy in a character like this for a change, as he mostly played a stern father. The actor plays his part with a lot of warmth.

However, the same thing cannot be said about the two-scene cameo of Arbaaz Khan. It doesn’t add any significance to the film.

More scenes between Prasanna and Arbaaz would have enhanced the drama.

The scenes of Niyati helping her rich friends have the right amount of thrill, but they are also stretched in some places.

The character arcs of the rich kids needed to be tied up in a more uncliched manner.

Alizeh Agnihotri makes a truly sparkling debut. She has a difficult character to play, given the moral ambiguities. But the young actress pulls it off like a pro. She pulls off the various transitions in Niyati’s life admirably.

Sahil Mehta, as Aakash, is solid. Just like Alizeh, he also does a swell job of depicting the grey shades of his role.

Verdict

To sum it up, Farrey is a film that should be on your weekend list — whether you have watched Bad Genius or not.

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