Varun Grover’s “All India Rank” review: A tale of nostalgia with a familiar twist from the 90s.

If Varun Grover’s “All India Rank” had come out a few years earlier, it might have been groundbreaking. But now, with OTT platforms booming in India, it’s in a sea of diverse stories. The film follows the success of “12th Fail,” delving into the struggles and dreams of the Indian middle class. In 1997, we meet Vivek, sent from Lucknow to Kota for IIT prep. His father, RK Singh, has big dreams, but Vivek isn’t entirely sold on the plan. The movie captures the essence well but covers familiar ground seen in recent years. The tale shifts between Lucknow and Kota, showcasing their unique lifestyles amidst India’s changing landscape.

The movie really goes all out with animation in the first half, which totally pulls you in. It’s like a blast from the past with all those 90s vibes – Sachin posters, Citra drinks, Rangeela tunes, walkman, Shah Rukh Khan flicks, Indian Ocean music – all spot-on in the film.

The first part keeps you hooked with its charm and a quirky twist (like when erasers and pencils rain down on a tired Vivek), but the second half kind of loses its way. The story’s set up well by then – Vivek’s family in Lucknow facing challenges while he explores life beyond books, but the plot doesn’t quite wrap up neatly, making “All India Rank” fall a bit flat.

The cast is mostly fresh faces. Bodhisatva Sharma as Vivek feels a bit inexperienced to carry the film alone. His connection with Sarika (Samta Sudiksha) feels rushed and expected. The dynamics with Chandan and Rinku also lack depth. The young actors give it their all, but the writing limits their characters. On the other hand, Bhushan and Aggarwal as Vivek’s parents feel so real, like a couple navigating life together, trying to build a family and a home. Their scenes hit you with authenticity and heart.

You know, the attention to detail in the production design and Gorver’s keen eye for specifics really bring a smile to your face in “All India Rank,” taking you right back to your childhood (I’m a ’90s kid too). That scene with the students lined up for assembly, with the kid fainting in the sun, captures those school days perfectly, especially in North India. Those little moments like these really make the screenplay shine. And then there’s this character ‘Shawn Michaels,’ a nod to the old wrestling days, who shakes up Vivek’s mom at the PCO booth, a disappearing sight in India with everyone having mobiles now. It’s these details that give the film its charm.

While the plot might feel a bit undercooked, the film wins you over with its nostalgic moments. I do wish Grover, a top-notch writer in Hindi cinema, had woven a more coherent tale. It’s a heartwarming film, but the wandering storyline doesn’t quite hit the mark you’d hope for or leave a lasting impression.

Mar 19, 2024 - Posted by filmygod - No Comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *