Pareeksha - Simplistic but delivers what it intends to!
The gateway to professional courses is decided by common exams. But is there a level playing field for those wanting to appear for these exams. Pareeksha explores this well known disparity through the story of an underdog. For any film of this kind to work, the most basic requisite is for us to root for the underdog and Pareeksha does succeed in this (to an extent)despite whatever issues it might have.
When we are introduced to Bucchi, we see him as an extremely hard-working individual who despite all the hardships is always gleaming with a smile. He is a rickshaw driver who transports affluent kids to a famous private school. Adil Hussain plays Bucchi with a certain earnestness and makes him endearing. He is also good in the later half when he shivers in fear and cries out loud for having committed a sin. But him quickly getting accustomed to betraying his conscience seems rather rushed on screen. Not that people can't and don't change quickly but that he goes to a certain extreme too soon does come across as forced. Priyanka Bose is very good as his wife Radhika and emotes a great deal without much histrionics. The teenager who plays Bulbul does a neat job. More often than not, the underdog character would be sketched in a way to garner sympathy but in Pareeksha, despite all that his happening around him, Bulbul always appears confident. I found this particularly important in the film and even when another character comes to help him in the later half, the onus is still on Bulbul. Also, there is a specific mention to clearly indicate that the other character is not an outsider. Pareeksha, in atleast a couple of instances does make it clear that the oppressed do not need a saviour and equal opportunities to everyone is all that matters.
The film at times is rather too simplistic and few characters are a little close to becoming caricatures. The portions towards the end when rich parents and a politician get together are done a bit clumsily. Again, this isn't about whether this can happen or not but on screen this comes across as an easy way to create a conflict.
Pareeksha does get its point across and is a rather focussed film. It is rather too simplistic but it does deliver what it intends to.