Creator: Saurabh Khanna
Director: Raghav Subbu
Cast: Mayur More, Ranjan Raj, Alam Khan, Jitendra Kumar, Ahsaas Channa, Revathi Pillai
Where to watch: YouTube
Kota Factory is a five-episode season which celebrates and even shows materiality of our education system, specifically Kota, the fulcrum of institutional dream-selling. It simply shows the young minds who have chosen to navigate their lives and the struggle they face in KOTA: A INSTITUTIONAL DREAM-SELLING FACTORY.
There’s this concept of black n white show which shows colourless two years of Kota and lives of 2 lakh IIT-Jee aspirants and their final lapse into colour after the selections.
The series even opens with an auto driver who tells the facts to Vaibhav and his father about KOTA referring to the city as a “Jurassic Park,” warning them about the close-ended zoo they are striving to enter into.
The show also exhibit great cinematography:It show’s top-angle drone shots. The first episode ends with a shot which shows Vaibhav, upgraded to A5 from A10 batch, merging into the crowd of kids entering from institute’s gates it’s like joining a rat race.
KOTA is shown as a place where, the student is too busy adapting to the town, a parent-less room, sweaty nights, coaching-class stress, kids wondering about how to be upgraded to better batches, or to the more prestigious coaching centers.
The first episode shows KOTA which has become a education factory and a rat race for kids to enter best coaching institute in town. Vaibhav Pandey (Mayur More) the lead character looks fragile and brittle but the second episode is suitably all about “settling” into a routine of 21 days, and ends with a lovely moment of a mother worrying for her son who fails to answer her phone call, she smiles, finally at ease saying “Uska mann lag gaya”.
Kota factory also attribute the show’s sponsor, an online teaching app UNACADEMY. The show is shown promoting the app throughout.
Vaibhav and his Prodigy Classes friends Meena (Ranjan Raj) who is in real a IIT Bombay 6th year dropout and Uday (Alam Khan) brings a healthy balance between stressful life and companionship. Then there’s a dialogue (“It takes 7 years to get over these 2 years,” “every batch is divided into rankers and our bankers”) by Jeetu Sir, a real IIT Kharagpur passout (Jitendra Kumar), a character in Kota factory as a “cool professor”, who helps students in every point and his way a teaching fascinate every student.
I especially like the way emotions are interpreted through the language of academics. Like Vaibhav is shown having study dates with Vartika ( Revathi Pillai) who no other excuse to meet so they even start 12th standard syllabus.