'Scam 1770' movie review: A mostly uncompromising look at the commodification of medical education

The film's central narrative is the tragic fate of a talented student named Nithya, whose aspirations of a medical career are cut short by the ruthless machinations of the education industry.
'Scam 1770' movie poster
'Scam 1770' movie poster

Where dreams of pursuing medicine can often turn into nightmares, 'Scam 1770' vividly portrays the harsh realities of the NEET exam, delving deep into the murky waters of education and its repercussions, exposing the insidious transformation of learning into a profit-driven business. Setting the tone for the film's central narrative is the tragic fate of a talented student named Nithya, whose aspirations of a medical career are cut short by the ruthless machinations of the education industry.

Nithya's desperate act of surrendering her medical seat and subsequent suicide serve as a chilling indictment of an exploitative system that preys on the vulnerabilities of young minds. Sathyamurthy (B Suresha ) plays Aaryan Institute's CEO, a man with a relentless pursuit of achieving a 100 percent success rate in NEET results, who applies mounting pressure on prospects to enroll in coaching classes and meet unrealistic cutoffs, illustrating the harsh realities of the system.

Stepping into the fray is Thimmaiah Gowda (Ranjan), affectionately known as T, a paperboy from Mangaluru now residing in Bengaluru with his elder brother Sukesh (Raghu Shivammogga). Despite his humble origins, T undertakes the NEET exam, only to achieve average results and face the daunting task of securing a seat in a medical institute.

The film chronicles his transformation into a whistleblower, as he uncovers the intricate web of corruption surrounding the NEET exam and the institution boasting a 100 percent success rate. Relying on a central clue pivotal to the film's plot and titled 'Scam 1770', T confronts the elusive figure of Basheer (Sampath Maitreya), an agent implicated in numerous cases, but he manages to evade justice until he encounters the kingpin behind it all—a revelation that shocks him to the core.

The story of this aspiring boy, striving for a medical seat with average marks and aiming to secure a place in the medical field, is not unlike that of many other aspiring students. Told primarily through the protagonist, the film's narrative serves as an eye-opener, shedding light on the lack of justice in numerous instances, leaving young aspirants to confront dead ends. However, director Vikas Pushpagiri, who initially highlights the students' struggles to secure a medical seat, takes the central character's arc in an unconventional direction.

Instead of solely pursuing T's dream of obtaining a medical seat, he evolves into an investigative figure, gaining easy access to mansions and various villainous abodes. This investigative aspect of the plot that unfolds through Ranjan's character as a medical student, sometimes defies logic. However, the journey up until that point keeps audiences engaged, prompting them to connect the dots and uncover the true nature of the events depicted in the film, particularly related to coaching classes, medical seats, and NEET.

Actors such as B Suresha, Harini, Narayanaswamy, Prashanth, Raghu Shivamogga, and Nischita also play crucial roles revolving around T's journey, forming integral parts of the story.

'Scam 1770' prompts society to confront the ethical implications of commodifying education. It serves as a poignant reminder that when education becomes driven by business motives, we risk losing sight of its true purpose and the sanctity of learning itself. That said, a more positive ending could have better served the purpose of the story by catering itself to a wider audience while providing them with motivation and inspiration.

Scam 1770

Director: Vikas Pushpagiri

Cast: Ranjan, Nischita, B Suresha Harini, and Sampath Maitreya

Rating : 2.5/5

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The New Indian Express