Director: Mridul Nair
Cast: Asif Ali, Niranjana Anoop, Sreenath Bhasi, Deepak Parambol
Rating: 3/5 stars
Mridul Nair's debut venture BTech begins on a very cliched note, happily ticking off every criterion in the 'today's youth' checklist. There is a bunch of young guys who spend hours boozing, pub-hopping (the story is set in Bangalore) and idling around, that when the story takes a serious turn post interval, you are pleasantly surprised. Not that it wasn't unexpected of
Mridul and team, but because they dared to take up a very relevant subject and pack it with conviction whilst remaining faithful to its urbane chic genre.
With a title BTech, you know this one is about a bunch of engineering students, who still haven't completed their course or plan to do so in near future. Their days are spent picking up fights inside the campus and nights drinking and merry-making. Well, Anand Subramaniam (Asif Ali) and friends don't exactly belong to the model students mould. Into their gang comes Azad, an orphan from Kerala, with dreams of making it big. But, certain incidents, beyond their wildest dreams, happen, turning their lives upside down.
For many reasons, BTech is an ambitious venture that doesn't hesitate to take the untrodden path. Some of it works and some don't. While it succumbs to the pressure to play to the gallery, it also doesn't mind pulling a few risks. One of it being Asif Ali's
larger-than-life avatar. He sheds his boy next door charm, getting into the garb of thug-rebel mix persona and the result isn't that disappointing.
BTech also deals with an ultra-sensitive topic, that needs to be heard. It doesn't mind being the voice of rebellion. But then, we wish the makers had cut back a few cheesy scenarios in the first half, where campus life is portrayed. Unwanted action sequences, romance and partying scenes could have gone as they don't really contribute much except hinder the smooth flow of the narrative. And, haven't we seen enough campus dramas to even think of enjoying them?
That said, the director in Mridul deserves a pat for the way he took forward the narrative in the second half. In a society where religion and prejudices dominate life, this movie does its small bit.
Despite a lot of logical flaws, BTech rides on its technical brilliance. Mridul exercises his directorial skills to the best, with the help of some crisp editing. The background music and good dialogues too make BTech an entertaining watch.
Asif Ali does a good job playing Anand, a confused youth, who later on emerges a hero while Niranjana Anoop, Sreenath Bhasi and Deepak Parambol do their bits well. Arjun Ashok as Azad too puts up a great performance. However, Aparna Balamurali is wasted a poorly-fleshed character, playing an inconsequential lover to Anand.
BTech is indeed a youth-centric movie, that aims to become the voice of the underdogs. It is ambitious and daring, but we wish it had a tighter script with fewer stereotypes. But, then it definitely amounts to an entertaining watch.?