Academics, peer pressure, entrepreneurship, dysfunctional familyhood, sexism, middle-class ambition – as cutesy social vignettes. Real-world stories seem to unfold in a world that’s afraid of being too real.
The past features the Old Rajindra Nagar adventures of three young UPSC hopefuls – Abhilash (Naveen Kasturia), Guri (Shivankit Singh Parihar) and SK (Abhilash Thapliyal) – hurtling towards yet another civil services exam attempt.
One might argue that Aspirants 2 is almost pro-establishment, in that it portrays vengeful industrialists and politicians as people who are capable of reforming at the drop of a hat.
Naveen Kasturia’s sharp performance ensures that Abhilash’s patriotism remains complicated. His arc suggests that – much like the protagonist of Newton (2017) – the character thinks he’s a hero by virtue of being righteous.
Aspirants 2 is a rare – if slightly misguided – reminder that success can be costlier than failure; that exam conquests are only a prelude to life quests.