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‘Farray’ Review: Imaginative, intelligent and features a starmaking performance from Alizeh

By: Mohnish Singh

Jamtara director Soumendra Padhi is back to woo audiences with yet another intriguing tale in his new film Farray, which translates to chits. It is based on the Thai film Bad Genius, which in turn was inspired by true-life events.

Farray has been in the news for quite some time now as it marks the acting debut of Bollywood superstar Salman Khan’s niece Alizeh and also features newcomers Zeyn Shaw, Prasanna Bisht, and Shahil Mehta in principal roles.

Set in Delhi, Farray follows four students at one of the most reputed schools in India. One of them is Niyati Singh (Alizeh Agnihotri) who has been raised in an all-girl orphanage by its warden (Ronit Roy) and his wife Zoya (Juhi Babbar Soni) and the other, Akash (Sahil Mehta) does a part-time job as a food delivery guy to support his education and his single mother who irons clothes to earn her bread and better. Their lives take an unexpected turn when exam topper Niyati is pulled into a cheating racket by her wealthier classmates Chavi (Prasanna Bisht) and Pratik (Zeyn Shaw). What happens next forms the crux of the story.

Director Soumendra Padhi, who has previously made Budhia Singh: Born To Run and Jamtara, once again succeeds in telling an impactful story about dreams and ambitions, while also focusing on the class divide without going overboard. He keeps his storytelling simple but, at the same time, highly engrossing.

Talking about performances, debutante Alizeh looks extremely confident in front of the camera and shines in the role of Niyati. She portrays her character’s strengths and vulnerabilities with panache. The newcomer trained rigorously before starting shooting for the film and that shows in every scene. In fact, there are a few scenes in the film where she outshines an established actor like Ronit Roy. In a nutshell, director Padhi brings out a star-making performance from Alizeh. Sahil Mehta also delivers a commendable performance. He looks the part, never forgets the pulse of his character, and impresses you with his acting chops. Zeyn Shaw and Prasanna Bist are perfectly cast as rich students who believe they can buy anything with their money. Bisht gets more screen time than Shaw and she utilises every second of it to her advantage. Ronit Roy and Juhi Babbar are perfect as the guiding forces in Niyati’s life. I am going with 4 stars.

Farray opens in cinemas on November 24.

Pakistan Weekly

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