All India Rank Movie Review

Team FC

Varun Grover's Directorial Debut

Lyricist and stand-up comedian Varun Grover makes his directorial debut with a coming-of-age story set in the Nineties. An uneven, nostalgic take on the IIT-Aspirant story.

The Framework is Fascinating

The film combines timeworn TVF (The Viral Fever) equations – the Nineties, and embattled IIT aspirants – and views them through the lens of arithmetic balance. There is a lost teenager yearning for home, but there is also a boy finding himself through his Kota struggle.

Balanced Film

There is a cautionary tale, but there is also a wistful reckoning. There is an indictment of the rat race, but there is also an appreciation of it. There is middle-class angst, but there is also middle-Indian wisdom. There is parental pressure, but there is also adolescent agency.

Unfolds Like a Varnished Memory

The ideas are there, but the translation to screen lacks a cohesive language. It ends less dramatically, as an ode to a generation waking up to the post-liberalization parameters of success.

The Approach is Novel

There’s much to like in how All India Rank dispels the randomness of human nature. Most young-adult dramas might have presented him as a budding artist or as a boy with alternative ambitions, but all Vivek knows here is that he misses home and doesn't feel unique anymore.

IIT is Not The Villain

I like that the metaphors for control in the family – the man smoking, the woman’s debilitating weakness for sweets – extends to Vivek’s larger epiphany about dreams and destinies.