The USP of the first season of Kota Factory, its uniqueness, audacity and frankness are downsized in Season 2. Kota, the coaching capital of India, is a little town in Rajasthan which has over the years become the educational centre for all youngsters aspiring to qualify into the prestigious IIT (Indian Institutes Of Technology). The fierce competitiveness of the students is matched by the rivalry among the coaching institutes of Kota who fight tooth and nail to get the best students into their domain.
All this was packaged into the first season of Kota Factory in 2019 with a flair for understatement and a dramatic dilution that scoffed at easy resolutions. Season 2 has nothing new to say. The students are stalemated into a stubborn status quo. The three protagonists Vaibhav (Mayur More), Meena (Ranjan Raj) and Uday (Alam Khan) are still struggling to make it into the ITT. At the end of Season 2, they’ve still not made it. This can only mean, there is Season 3 coming up.
A sobering thought, indeed. Kota Factory Season 2, shot in monochrome like the first season (why the fancy back-and-white photography?) is dreary drab and a drag. The protagonists who seemed to underscore their overweening ambitions with shards of shredded humour are this time more embittered than hopeful.More passé than passed with honours.
Of course, there is their beloved Jeetu Sir, a role model with pierced ears and flaring nostrils who loves the students and rasmalai, in that order. He is some kind of a messiah for the hero-worshipping boys. Played by Jitendra Kumar (Ayushmann Khurrana’s gay partner in Shubh Mangal Zyada Savdhaan). Jeetu Bhaiya comes across more as ironic than iconic.
Still, there is no telling about tastes. I am told the Kota students have their quota of heroes among teachers. And that they take a fancy to the unlikeliest of teachers. Jeetu Bhaiyya is not only a mentor guide and counsellor, this time he also opens his own coaching institute which he has chosen to call Aimers.
How very innovative! If only the scriptwriter (Saurabh Khanna) had shown more of a tilt towards adventure, taken the characters forward! The protagonists seem frozen in time as the discuss syllabus, books, girls and masturbation. A whole chunk of Episode 2 has the mythic Jeetu Bhaiya giving gyan to one of the protagonists Meena on masturbation. Refreshingly even his female friend talks about the “m” words with unabashed single mindedness.
All this adds up to nothing new in Kota Factory. Let’s put it this way. If you were to skip Season 2 and go on to Season 3 (provided there is another season) you’d have missed nothing. Kota Factory 2 is reflective of the stagnancy in the lives of the ITT aspirants, struggling with malnutrition, a non-recreational routine and a growing sense of why-am-I-here.
A new student Sushrut (Vaibhav Thakkkar) asks what all educationists should: why only ITT? I have a more immediate question: why another season of a series that offers no growth to its characters?
Image source: Netflix