Director Ashwini Chaudhary attempts to look at an important issue in Setters. It’s to do with the entrance exam mafia that fixes results—through leaked papers or proxy candidates—to get their clients a coveted job or a degree. All in exchange of some lakh of rupees.
- Director: Ashwini Chaudhary
- Cast: Shreyas Talpade, Aftab Shivdasani, Vijay Raaz, Pawan Malhotra, Ishita Datta, Jameel Khan, Zeeshan Qadri
- Storyline: An entrance examination racket blooms in Varanasi with the cops on a hot chase of the crooks behind it
Chaudhury tells it like a thriller that runs along parallel tracks. There are the crooks in Varanasi, on the one hand, led by Bhaiyyaji (Pawan Malhotra, a fine actor who ends up overdoing things here) and his henchman Apurva (Shreyas Talpade, in fine form). On the other is Apurva’s friend and superintendent of police Aditya (Aftab Shivdasani, listless) who wants to wipe off their business with a little help from his core team of three cops. The narrative keeps switching between the procedurals and operatives of these bad and the good guys. The mafia keeps getting increasingly ingenious, inventive and hi-tech in its modus operandi, even as the cops chasing them get more determined to bust them.
Chaudhary gets the milieu, lingo and the social nuances and hierarchies right and has a fabulous ensemble of actors, some in smaller roles, but the film doesn’t hit a high note. It remains facile rather than probing or provocative. It’s also too protracted to hold your interest. Incidentally, two of the actors here—Jameel Khan and Ishita Datta—can also be seen in the other release of the week, Blank.