Star cast: Ankur Khanna, Arshi, Anupam Kher, Ashish Vidyarthi, Pramod Moutho.
Plot: Anupam Kher, Ashish, Ankur, Arshi and some others are all for revolutionising the education system. They try to do it but they have to face a lot of obstacles along the way.
What’s Good: Nothing really. Or rather, Amit Trivedi’s music.
What’s Bad: The plot, the performances of most of the actors, the dialogues, the screenplay, the dances… just about EVERYTHING!
Verdict: The booking counters in the cinemas for Admissions Open ought to close as soon as they open. Unmitigated disaster.
Loo break: Probably the entire film.
Aman Films Production’s Admissions Open (UA) is the story of a group of people, which considers the current education system with grades, marks, classes, faculties et al flawed. These like-minded people want to revolutionise the entire education system for which they start SPIRIT (South Pune Institute of Research & Information Technology). Prof. Tariq Siddiqui (Anupam Kher), whose brainchild the new education system is, has also chalked out a new curriculum for the same. He envisages a learning process without faculty members and in which each student is allowed to follow his heart and pursue the subject which interests him. Unfortunately, even before the new college can open, Prof. Tariq Siddiqui breathes his last. Arjun Sehgal (Ankur Khanna), who is among one of the first students to register his name in the new college, now takes it upon himself to fulfil Prof. Siddiqui’s dream. He has the support of three friends of and Prof. Devang Tripathi (Ashish Vidyarthi), a drunkard and a degenerate who has been thrown out by the University and who has radical thoughts about education.
Prof. Devang, Arjun and his three friends succeed in mustering the support of hundreds of students. But the five founder-members of the college are clueless about Prof. Siddiqui’s curriculum and its whereabouts. Arjun luckily manages to lay his hands on a copy of the curriculum and soon thereafter opens the college where each student is allow- ed to opt for the subject he feels passionate about.
Calamity strikes when Raghuvendra Reddy (Pramod Moutho), the principal of a prestigious college in Pune – Engineering College Of Pune – complains to the National Accreditation Council (NAC) against SPIRIT for being run without accreditation. What happens in the NAC meeting and thereafter is revealed in the climax.
Writers K.D. Satyam, Srikanth Kumar Kandala and Haldar Chaturvedi have penned such a juvenile script that it is an embarrassment to watch a film based on it. The new college looks like an ashram where classes on seduction and occult sciences are held alongside cookery and painting classes! After one event in the college campus, girls and boys are shown to be sleeping with one another in suggestive positions. And when Prof. Devang Tripathi sees this, all he does is smile and crack a sick joke! In any case, Prof. Devang is shown to be a weird professor who drinks throughout the day and has no qualms about doing so in front of his students and while taking lectures! He even uses filthy language (muted by the CBFC) in the course of his lectures. Instead of the audience’s sympathy going to him in the NAC meeting when he is thrown out, the public experiences no emotion whatsoever. The clothes he wears in college and also in the NAC meeting (where the Council members are suited-booted) would not even befit a watchman, leave alone a professor. What the writers wanted to prove by showing Prof. Devang being ignorant about Prof. Siddiqui’s curriculum is not clear. Except for showing Prof. Devang in a bad light and as a person who couldn’t be bothered about anything, the ignorance does little else.
Yet another drawback of the script is that the current education system has been condemned so badly that it would seem to be a crime to be a part of it. Although the story is about the education system, the pronunciations of the English words by the students as well as by Prof. Siddiqui and Prof.Reddy are so vernacular that one could die of shame. The film often raises the point about the accreditation of the college but unbelievable as it may sound, Prof. Siddiqui and even a member of the National Accreditation Council pronounce the word as ‘accredition’. Absolutely shameful! All in all, the story, screenplay and dialogues are pathetic.
Ankur Khanna tries to be earnest but is horribly let down by the script. Arshi neither has screen presence nor acting talent. Her dancing is an eyesore. Anupam Kher is mechanical. Ashish Vidyarthi does well but his character is too loud for comfort. Pramod Moutho is sincere. Rati Agnihotri, Yusuf Khan, Sudesh Berry, S.M. Zaheer, Shabnam Kapoor, Shirish Sharma, Ravi Pandey (in the role of Sharad), Abhishek Sharma (as Ashutosh), Manish Vatsalya (as Jimmy) and Dushyant Raj Bhardwaj (in the role of Sachin) provide average support.
K.D. Satyam’s direction gives the impression that he knows precious little about the craft of filmmaking. In other words, his direction is terrible. About the only good thing in the film is Amit Trivedi’s music score. The songs are fairly well-tuned. Song picturisations (Raju Khan) are too routine to be true. Madhu S.Rao’s camerawork is shockingly poor with a lot of scenes being out of focus. Production and technical values are dull.
On the whole, Admissions Open is such a horrifyingly weak film that most creative people associated with it need to take admission in institutes offering them crash courses in their respective crafts. A disgusting disaster which pretends to be issue-based!