CAST: Alizeh Agnihotri, Juhi Babbar, Ronit Roy, Sahil Mehta, Arbaaz Khan, Prasanna Bisht and Zeyn Shaw

DIRECTOR: Soumendra Padhi

RATING: ****

Streams on Zee5Global

A top-performing orphan from Delhi’s 10th grade earns her place in a renowned school, only to be ensnared in a cheating scheme orchestrated by affluent peers. As she navigates this precarious world, the potential losses mount, far outweighing the possible gains. The outcome of this precarious situation remains uncertain.

Farrey Review: Debutante Alizeh Is Brightest Spot In Middling Exercise - 2.5 Stars

This school drama, teeming with new talent, transcends the typical narratives of love, romance, and the divide between social classes, thanks to the creative vision of director Soumendra Padhi. His film introduces fresh air to the genre with its thrilling execution. At the heart of the story are two academically brilliant students from modest backgrounds, Niyati (played by Alizeh Agnihotri) and Akash (portrayed by Sahil Mehta), who earn the chance to study at a prestigious Delhi school through a scholarship program. However, their experiences there are unlike anything previously depicted on screen.

In a twist, when traditional means of cheating become untenable, Niyati devises incredibly creative solutions to aid her wealthy yet entitled classmates. Her seatmate, Chhavi (Prasanna Bisht), and Chhavi’s friend, Prateek (Zeyn Shaw), primarily influenced her. A simple act of helping Chhavi avoid punishment from a teacher spirals into a complex scheme of exam cheating for profit, with each plan surpassing the last in ingenuity. The film’s climax revolves around a significant international examination, where the students are scattered across various centers. The focus is on Niyati’s most ambitious plan yet, which also involves Akash, and the suspense of whether their strategy will succeed drives the narrative forward.

Farrey Box Office Collection Day 2 & Budget

The unique appeal of Soumendra and Abhishek Yadav’s screenplay stems from its departure from conventional school drama clichés, offering instead a gripping narrative. The script skillfully juxtaposes the lives of affluent and underprivileged students—the former possessing every advantage but lacking motivation and the latter driven to excel despite facing substantial barriers. A notable thread in the story is the universal challenge of parental expectations. For instance, Chhavi’s father (played by Arbaaz Khan) pressures her to abandon her interior design aspirations for a business degree at Stanford, mirroring Akash’s mother’s wish for him to forsake an Oxford scholarship to continue the family’s modest laundry business.

The film’s soundtrack emerges as another highlight, with Sachin-Jigar delivering a hit in “Ghar Pe Party Hai,” a stylish anthem that captures the essence of youth culture. This is complemented by “Macha De Tabahi,” a vibrant dance track, and MC Stan’s hip-hop infused title song, enhancing the film’s atmosphere. The carefully curated background score elevates the emotional and dramatic moments throughout the movie, making it a complete auditory experience.

Soumendra, known for his work on “Jamtara: Sabka Number Ayega,” delivers an engaging narrative overall, but the extended scenes of exam cheating, especially during the climactic final exam sequence, might have been more impactful with tighter editing. While the suspense builds to a high point, it somewhat levels off toward the end, leaving parts of the main conflict unresolved, which dims the impact of the conclusion. Additionally, the narrative’s concentrated attention on the lead character leaves the fates of the other characters somewhat in the shadows.

Alizeh Agnihotri impresses in her debut role as a spirited academic achiever, bringing authenticity to her portrayal of a smart yet impulsive young woman. Sahil Mehta skillfully navigates his complex role, and Prasanna Bisht and Zeyn Shaw convincingly play their parts as cunning adolescents. Ronit Bose Roy and Juhi Babbar, portraying the orphanage wardens and surrogate parental figures, excel in their supporting roles, adding depth to the story.

Even with a few unresolved elements, “Farrey” captivates and entertains from start to finish. Its dynamic performances, particularly Alizeh Agnihotri’s remarkable debut, mark her as a talent to watch!

Streams on Zee5 Global April 5 onwards


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