Star Cast: Jitendra Kumar, Mayur More, Ahsaas Channa, Revathi Pillai, Ranjan Raj, Alam Khan, Urvi Singh, Sameer Saxena and ensemble.
Creator: Saurabh Khanna & Arunabh Kumar
Director: Raghav Subbu
Streaming On: Netflix
Language: Hindi (With Subtitles)
Runtime: 5 Episodes, around 40 minutes each.
Kota Factory Season 2 Review: What’s It About:
Just after the events of season 1, the shuffle has happened. Vaibhav (Mayur) is making his way to Maheshwari Classes. Rest all now joined by Vartika (Revathi) are in Prodigy classes and begin preparing for the JEE Advance for the second year. Amid all this is the country’s favourite Jeetu Bhaiya starting his own dream venture and putting his heart and soul into it. This time around it is also him who has to go through a tough test and bringing back colours in their lives is not as easy as season 1.
Kota Factory Season 2 Review: What Works:
Everything that has come out of Saurabh Khanna’s pen (popular for Yeh Meri Family, Hostel Daze and also Permanent Roommates) has an emotion of familiarity and belonging. It is one of those corners of our existence that we have lived and the writer just makes us relive those. TVF strongly runs on the same principle and the shows it has churned out over years are shining examples.
Earlier TVF now under the Netflix umbrella, Kota Factory is an experiment that hit the exact centre. A show that talks about the IIT circus of the country and the city that works as a tent pole for it is a niche idea and one cannot expect masses to resonate. But somehow when the writers and Khanna’s original story shaped a character as a solution in Jeetu Bhaiya, it all became relatable. Of course, all other characters did the magic too.
Season 2 of the much popular show has a lot to live up to. While season 1 was the introduction of the characters and their trajectories in this circus, in season two they gear to put up a show. Co-created by Arunabh Kumar, also an amazing writer, Kota Factory 2 grows horizontally than vertically and we go deeper into the same storyline with the same actors. Of course, there is the famous JEE Advance and we are closer to it. But there is obviously more to them than that.
The writing this time around gets more cathartic as compared to self-assessing in the first season. While the friendships and budding love between the students including Vaibhav, Vartika, Meena, Uday, Shivangi are still evolving, it is Jeetu Bhaiya this time who is giving an exam. He is trying to fulfil his dreams and in the mix meets a few roadblocks. He isn’t just a counsellor to the kids anymore, he needs some words of wisdom for himself here.
Raghav Subbu in his direction tell the tale more profoundly. It is more personal than universal now. We have learned enough about Kota, now is the time to see the robotic humans the city is busy creating. With the help of DOP Shreedutta Namjoshi, he makes Kota a character rather than the base. He puts the shot of a chimney emitting waste gasses frequently signifying the factory that the city has become. Maybe I am overthinking, but there are high chances.
Namjoshi with Gourav Gopal Jha is set out to tell a completely different tale. Still shots that engage the viewer making them one with the frame skilfully joined by Jha gives a highly immersive experience. The monochrome that plays a major part in the storytelling process is introduced again at the right time, but it is here to stay a bit longer this time.
Kota Factory Season 2 Review: Star Performance:
Jitendra Kumar aka Jeetu Bhaiya has a huge responsibility. Though with lesser monologues in season 2, he manages to bring the same charm back. There is a sense of void in him this time. You see something has changed in him and gradually the layers introduce themselves.
Mayur More as Vaibhav has baggage from the past. The ghost of Prodigy is above him while he enters Maheshwari classes. Mayur does a brilliant job at being himself. The character is one amongst us and maybe us, he plays him l
ike that. And rest everyone around him from Ahsaas Channa to Revathi Pillai to Ranjan Raj to Alam Khan are characters we know and they make sure to blow life in their parts keeping that in mind.
Sameer Saxena as Maheshwari sir grabs attention in his limited scenes though. Mouthing lines like “Unrewarded geniuses are not geniuses but cliches” or, “There are only successful men in this world. Unsuccessful are not men,” he makes sure we hate him.
Kota Factory Season 2 Review: What Doesn’t Work:
Sad to report fam, Kota Factory 2 gets a bit preachy when it tries to touch high points on two of its most crucial turns. I understand it is important to discuss female representation in IIT, the taboo around m*sturbation, the lack of knowledge about menstruation. But it cannot be done in a way that it all turns out to be a value education class.
The pace in the initial two episodes bother too. Now we pretty well know this set-up. Let’s dive deep quicker. Probably a bit more emphasis on Jeetu Bhaiya’s struggles to put things together would have done wonders.
Kota Factory Season 2 Review: Last Words:
There are a very few shows that manage to replicate life as it is. Kota Factory is a raw take at the choreographed business that education has become. Watch the finale and you will know what circus we all have been a part of. Of course, there are loopholes, but none so deep that you don’t watch it. Go for it.
For a thrilling recommendation, read our The Family Man 2 Review here!