Setters Movie Review: Set Up Without A Let Up

Setters Movie Review: Set Up Without A Let Up

Movie Name
Ashwini Chaudhary
Crime, Drama, Thriller
02 hours 05 minutes

Setters Review

A little while ago, Emraan Hashmi’s Why Cheat India spotlighted more or less

the same subject. How a mafia operates to subvert the exam system in North

India whether it’s for a railway job, banking, medical or engineering. Like the

Emraan Hashmi film, writer-director Ashwini Chaudhary sets it against a

backdrop of religious Hindus who pray fervently and pursue crime ruthlessly.

Kingpin Bhaiyaji is deep in puja on the ghats of Varanasi. Puja over, it’s back to

foul play with a menu card for various exams. Parents are willing to pay the

price, whether one lakh or fifteen, to place their children in secure jobs that

they’re not really qualified for.

Coordinating and carrying out his criminal business is Apurva or Appu. Appu

whose once-upon-a-time friend Aditya is the upright SP assigned to crack the

crime syndicate of exam setters.

While the essential story is fine and with Santosh Thundiyil’s camerawork, the

storytelling is also visually professional, the screenplay by Ahmed Siraj gets

laborious. At the beginning, it’s interesting to watch how Appu and his gang set

up their crime system and there are a few good dialogues too. There’s also a

word here and word there dropped to establish that Aditya’s wife was once

close to Appu which has its undercurrent of friction. But after a while, it gets

tiresome to keep watching the Bhaiyaji-Appu gang go on and on with their

setting while Aditya and his team of dedicated policemen are always one step

behind them.

There are several threads that are left hanging. Appu keeps telling his team

after every exam that they’ll be collecting money from 50 minus one which the

viewer has to guess refers to him providing the papers free of charge to one

deserving candidate. If that’s to establish his goodness, it’s really too little to

make him virtuous.

Ashwini Chaudhary’s direction is slick but the writing isn’t and far too much has

been left unexplained. Ultimately, like Why Cheat India, the criminal comes

out on top while the cops look impotent. There are also laughable scenes

where the Commissioner is treated with contempt by Bhaiyaji and junior

officer Aditya talks to him like he would to a normal criminal.

Where it does score well is in the performances of well-maintained Aftab

Shivdasani as Aditya the policeman though one wishes he had scenes that

would do justice to the brain wearing the uniform. Shreyas Talpade is such an

efficient performer that he makes Appu likeable. Pavan Malhotra as ruthless

Bhaiyaji also slips into the Varanasi milieu rather comfortably.

Disclaimer: We are proud that LehrenTV reviewer Bharathi S Pradhan has been appointed an advisory member of the prestigious CBFC. However, her reviews reflect her personal appraisal of a film and do not in any way speak on behalf of the Censor Board.


  • Dialogues
  • Story
  • Music
  • Screen Play

The Verdict

In its storytelling, it is better than Why Cheat India but I’m not sure if
that’s enough to keep a viewer rivetted.


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