Kota Factory

Kota Factory is an Indian Hindi-language web series created by Saurabh Khanna and directed by Raghav Subbu for The Viral Fever. The story is set in Kota, Rajasthan, an educational hub famous for its coaching centres. The show follows the life of 16-year-old Vaibhav (Mayur More) who moves to Kota from Itarsi. It shows the life of students in the city, and Vaibhav's efforts to get into an Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) by cracking the Joint Entrance Examination. It also stars Jitendra Kumar, Ahsaas Channa, Alam Khan, Ranjan Raj, Revathi Pillai and Urvi Singh in prominent roles.[1]

Kota Factory
Kota Factory 2 poster.jpg
Official release poster
Genre
  • Drama
  • Comedy
Created by
  • Saurabh Khanna
  • Arunabh Kumar
Directed byRaghav Subbu
Starring
Composers
  • Karthik Rao
  • Simran Hora
Country of originIndia
Original languageHindi
No. of seasons2
No. of episodes10 (list of episodes)
Production
Executive producerSameer Saxena
CinematographyJerin Paul
EditorGourav Gopal Jha
Running time30 – 45 minutes
Production companyThe Viral Fever
Release
Original network
Original release16 April 2019 (2019-04-16) –
present

Saurabh Khanna, the creator of the show, said that he aims to change the popular narrative surrounding Kota and IIT preparation in Indian pop culture to a more positive one via the show.[2] The series premiered simultaneously on TVFPlay and YouTube from 16 April to 14 May 2019. The series received a generally positive response from critics, praising its monochrome setting, realism, and the major technical aspects of the series.[3]

On 30 August 2021, Netflix announced that the series would be renewed for a second season, which was released on 24 September 2021.[4] On 26 September 2021, Raghav Subbu confirmed that the third season was in the works.[5]

CastEdit

Main castEdit

  • Mayur More as Vaibhav Pandey
  • Ranjan Raj as Balmukund Meena
  • Alam Khan as Uday Gupta
  • Jitendra Kumar as Jeetu Bhaiya
  • Ahsaas Channa as Shivangi Ranawat
  • Revathi Pillai as Vartika Ratawal
  • Urvi Singh as Meenal Parekh

Recurring castEdit

  • Vipul Singh as Mahesh (boy being interviewed)
  • Rohit Sukhwani as Rohit
  • Arun Kumar as Deepak
  • Harish Peddinti as Bablu
  • Sanyam Bafna as Aayush
  • Loveleen Mishra as PG Aunty
  • Jasmeet Singh Bhatia as Parminder sir
  • Shivankit Singh Parihar as Awasthi sir
  • Gaurav Mishra as Batla sir
  • Visshesh Tiwari as Piyush
  • Jyoti Gauba as Vaibhav's mother
  • Amitabh Krishna Ghanekar as Vaibhav's father
  • Saurabh Khanna as Vice Principal Mehta
  • Deepak Kumar Mishra as Autowala
  • Sameer Saxena as Maheshwari sir
  • Vaibhav Thakkar as Shushrut Patel
  • Naveen Kasturia as Dhruv
  • Abhaya Sharma as Vernali
  • Rajesh Kumar as Gagan Rastogi

EpisodesEdit

Season 1Edit

No.TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal air date Viewers
(millions)
1"Inventory"Raghav SubbuAbhishek Yadav16 April 2019 (2019-04-16)29[6]
Vaibhav comes to Kota in the middle of academic year and is allotted the last batch of Prodigy classes, A10, after being denied at Maheshwari classes. He meets Meena at his new homestay, also in Prodigy, who tells him that he should not accept A10. He speaks to Deepak, the Head Manager of Prodigy but is denied any change. Then, he meets Jeetu Bhaiya, the Physics lecturer, who gives Vaibhav a 50 question paper, and tells him too complete it by the next day. With the help of Meena and Uday (another student of Prodigy), he solves 42 questions by copying the solutions from different books, but not able to do the rest 8. The next day, Jeetu Bhaiya points out his cheating and Vaibhav accepts that he cheated. Jeetu Bhaiya allots Vaibhav A5 batch, because of his hard work.
2"Assembly Line"Raghav SubbuSaurabh Khanna & Abhishek Yadav23 April 2019 (2019-04-23)19[7]
Vaibhav struggles to sleep, eat food at mess, drink water (which he finds salty) and study for long hours at Kota. Uday and Meena try to help their new friend but all in vain. One day, Jeetu Bhaiya acknowledges about his problems and helps him with the solutions. Eventually, within 21 days, Vaibhav has all the struggles sorted with all the help he has.
3"Optimization"Raghav SubbuAbhishek Yadav & Sandeep Jain30 April 2019 (2019-04-30)21[8]
Vaibhav is not able to cope up with Inorganic Chemistry and blames the teachers who teach the subject. But even after changing 3 teachers for the subject, he bursts out all his anger and frustration in front of Meena, who then takes him to Jeetu Bhaiya. He advises Vaibhav to drop the subject.
4"Shutdown"Raghav SubbuSaurabh Khanna, Abhishek Yadav7 May 2019 (2019-05-07)19[9]
Jeetu Bhaiya advises his students to take a break from their JEE studies and tells them to visit their school for their practicals. Uday tells Vaibhav that he wishes to roam around Kota with Shivangi, his girlfriend. He also tells Vaibhav that he should also come with them and a girl named Vartika. While Uday discusses this with Vaibhav, Meena is busy talking with Meenal, a studious but nerdy girl from their class. Meena first plans to study with Vaibhav, but then backs out by the saying of Meenal. As Vaibhav disagrees to go, Meena goes instead of him. As Vartika too insists to study, she takes help from Vaibhav, and studies while Uday, Shivangi, Meena and Meenal roam around Kota. Vaibhav and Vartika start developing feelings for each other, but don't speak it out. Wanting to be with Vartika, Vaibhav gives an exam along with her to go to Maheshwari, although he does not want to go there. After the exams, Vaibhav and Vartika start studying for 12th as well. Meena finds it useless to roam around Kota, as he starts developing feelings for Meenal, but she says that she will be moving to the US. He thought that it would have been better to study instead of roaming around.
5"Overhaul (Season Finale)"Raghav SubbuAbhishek Yadav14 May 2019 (2019-05-14)18[10]
Vaibhav is shocked to know that he has been selected for Maheshwari classes. Deepak and Batla Sir talk to the group of students who are selected for Maheshwari, including Vaibhav. The bunch are allotted in A1 to demotivate the students from changing their coaching centre. Vaibhav had settled in Prodigy now and never intended to leave. Jeetu Bhaiya is also brought to talk with the group about this, and all students say that they are not going to Maheshwari. Jeetu Bhaiya insists Vaibhav go to Maheshwari, as there are more students and focus there. Vaibhav is reluctant at first, but after consulting with his parents on Uday's advice, he decides to join Maheshwari. He has a farewell from Shivangi, Meena, Uday, and Vartika. Uday drops him off at Maheshwari, where he is allotted A3. He meets a nervous student named Sushrut, who is in A7.

Season 2Edit

No.TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal air date Viewers
(millions)
1"Reasoning"TBATBATBATBD
Vaibhav is preparing to attend his first day at Maheshwari classes and the orientation before the class. He is accompanied by his new roommate Sushrut and on his way to Maheshwari. He notices a billboard with Jeetu Bhaiya on it. At the orientation, Mr. Maheshwari welcomes the students with a demoralizing introduction to the battle they are fighting followed by an oath. In the Physics class, the teacher fanatically writes on the white board while the students robotically copy it down in the notebooks without any explanation and the class is completely un-engaging. Back at Prodigy classes, previous friends of Vaibhav get to know that Jeetu Bhaiya has left the institute. Vaibhav discovers through Sushruts mother that he is depressed and she is scared that he might harm himself and when Vaibhav enters Sushruts room, he finds his friend crying and questioning whether JEE is an important exam to appear in. While seeking help from other seniors about the issue, the duo figures out that others also have similar concerns. Jeetendra is busy in building his institute when all the friends of Viabhav and the duo meet Jeetu and address the concerns of Sushrut.
2"Control System"TBATBATBATBD
At Jeetu's class, Meena is missing, apparently due to not keeping well and Vaibhav is also now feeling engaged in his Chemistry Maheshwari class. Jeetu addresses the duo's concerns about the Physics faculty at Maheshwari not teaching up to the mark even after having brilliant qualifications. Vaibhav attempts to leave Maheshwari premises during daytime to attend Jeetu's classes but is blocked by the Guard. Vaibhav convinces his Physics faculty to allow him to not attend his class. Jeetu secures funding from one of his old friends who is into investment. Shivangi addresses Meenas female attraction issues, introduces him to masturbation, and encourages Vaibhav to confront Mr. Maheshwari. Vaibhav tries to bribe the security guard but is instead sent to Mr Maheshwari. Meena gets addicted to Masturbation and his guilt is addressed by Jeetu Bhaiya. Mr Maheshwari allows Vaibhav to attend Jeetu's classes.
3"Atmospheric Pressure"TBATBATBATBD
At Maheshwari, many other students are now raising concerns about teaching abilities of the Physics Faculty. Jeetu hires a female teacher for teaching Chemistry.

ProductionEdit

DevelopmentEdit

The screenwriter Saurabh Khanna who worked on The Viral Fever's Yeh Meri Family, started the scriptwriting process of his another project for TVF, after the release of Yeh Meri Family in July 2018.[11] It was reported that the series is based on a teenager who joins a coaching institute that prepares students for the Indian Institute of Technology entrance examination(JEE Advanced), and deals with intense academic pressure and a colourful hostel experience. While Khanna compared the script of the series to Biswa Kalyan Rath's Laakhon Mein Ek, a similar web show released in late 2017, and a documentary An Engineered Dream, by Hemant Gaba, Khanna stated that the script is distinctively different from both the works as this show is set in India's coaching hub of Kota in Rajasthan.[2]

"The popular narrative surrounding Kota and IIT preparation in Indian pop culture is that parents torment their children by pushing them through the process and it’s a one-sided representation. It’s not like everyone is in Kota with a passion other than clearing the exam. There are also studious kids, but people who study aren’t celebrated in the country. We make films on mavericks, but never something like A Beautiful Mind. We have developed this tendency to portray people who study and get nine-to-five jobs as these drones whose passions have been sucked away. It’s like there’s not a story in their life unless they quit their jobs and climb the Himalayas."

— Saurabh Khanna in an interview with the Scroll.in about the scripting of Kota Factory.[12]

CastingEdit

Khanna drew the inspiration of the series as he and the creative team of TVF (Arunabh Kumar, Amit Golani, and Biswapati Sarkar) were IIT graduates. The series star Jitendra Kumar in a principal character as Jeetu Bhaiya, as like all the TVF series and sketches featuring Kumar. He was also an ex-IIT graduate studied in Kota, and his experience made them easier for him to work in the series.[13] Khanna stated about his role, adding that, "Teaching is a very humble, underrated profession, where those who practice it are not that high up on the social ladder. That's not how it is in Kota. Teachers are heavily paid and they are, consequently, under pressure to extract the best from students. Jeetu is one such teacher, a well-to-do guy with a taste for fine things in life. He is a motivator, a friend, a guide, students' 'agony aunt' and does not do lip service to make a student feel good. When Vaibhav requests to be allowed to move up to the elite students’ batch, Jeetu snaps at him to not beg."[14] One of the characters Uday, is played Alam Khan who also appeared in Laakhon Mein Ek, having the similar storyline and role as of Kota Factory, but Khanna conveyed it as unintentional.[15]

FilmingEdit

Kota Factory was shot in colour and graded into monochrome later during post production (black-and-white). The shooting was kickstarted in January 2019 and ended within 30 days.[16] After the announcement of the series' second season being renewed, the makers started their works of writing in July 2019.[17] The team initially planned to shoot the series in March 2020, but the shooting was delayed indefinitely due to the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown in India. The makers later started the shooting process in September 2020, and was filmed across two to three months in and around Madhya Pradesh. The crew shot the series under the supervision of a special team designated as in order to observe the crew members abiding the COVID-19 protocol. In January 2021, the makers announced that the shooting of the series had been wrapped.[citation needed]

SoundtrackEdit

Season 1Edit

The first season's soundtrack is composed by Karthik Rao and Simran Hora, and was produced by Ankur Tewari. It features twelve original compositions with two songs "The Gentleman" sung and written by Simran Hora and "Main Bola Hey!" sung by Abhishek Yadav, Manish Chandwani and Karthik Rao. The soundtrack album was released on 23 May 2019, through media streaming platforms and in YouTube through the official channel of TVF, where the songs are independently released without launching a separate jukebox format.[18][19] In addition to the original soundtrack, Kota Factory also features two songs composed by Ankur Tewari, Karsh Kale and his rock band The Ghalat Family, whereas the songs were written by Ankur Tewari.[20][21] The songs were released as a part of the additional soundtrack released on 3 June 2019.[22][23]

Kota Factory: Season 1 (Music from Tvf Original Series)
 
Soundtrack album by
Karthik Rao, Simran Hora
Released23 May 2019 (2019-05-23)
Recorded2018–2019
GenreSoundtrack
Length25:01
LanguageHindi
LabelContagious Online Media Network Pvt Ltd
ProducerAnkur Tewari
Kota Factory: Season 1 (Music from Tvf Original Series)
No.TitleMusicSinger(s)Length
1."The Gentleman"Simran HoraSimran Hora02:50
2."Main Bola Hey!"Karthik RaoAbhishek Yadav, Manish Chandwani, Karthik Rao02:33
3."Nostalgia"Karthik RaoInstrumental03:18
4."Jeetu Bhaiya"Karthik RaoInstrumental01:07
5."Against the Flow"Simran HoraInstrumental01:28
6."Hero's Journey"Karthik RaoInstrumental03:05
7."21 Days"Simran HoraInstrumental01:36
8."With the Flow"Simran HoraInstrumental00:58
9."Practical Love"Karthik RaoInstrumental01:52
10."Hi Gili Gili"Karthik RaoSimran Hora00:50
11."Truth"Simran HoraInstrumental02:15
12."The Dark Side of the Gentleman"Simran HoraInstrumental03:09
Total length:25:01
Kota Factory (Additional Soundtrack)
No.TitleMusicSinger(s)Length
1."Yaaron"Ankur TewariAnkur Tewari04:12
2."Mohabbat Zindabad"Karsh Kale, The Ghalat FamilyAnkur Tewari03:29
Total length:32:42

Season 2Edit

The second season's soundtrack is also composed by Karthik Rao and Simran Hora. It features nine original compositions with two songs "Tere Jaisa" sung by Vaibhav Bundhoo and Kamakshi Khanna and "Umbilical" sung by Jazim Sharma and Alok Ranjan Srivastava. The soundtrack album was released on 24 September 2021.

Kota Factory: Season 2 (Music from the Netflix Series)
 
Soundtrack album by
Karthik Rao, Simran Hora
Released24 September 2021 (2021-09-24)
Recorded2021
GenreSoundtrack
LanguageHindi
LabelContagious Online Media Network Pvt Ltd
Kota Factory: Season 2 (Music from the Netflix Series)
No.TitleMusicSinger(s)Length
1."All India Rank 1"Karthik Rao, Arpit Mehta, Simran HoraInstrumental02:12
2."21 Days Later"Simran HoraInstrumental02:42
3."Pasara Pasara"Simran HoraInstrumental00:43
4."Noire"Simran HoraInstrumental02:38
5."Tere Jaisa"Simran HoraVaibhav Bundhoo, Kamakshi Khanna05:11
6."The Gentleman (Orchestral)"Simran HoraInstrumental02:48
7."Umbilical"Simran HoraJazim Sharma, Alok Ranjan Srivastava02:43
8."All India Rank 2"Karthik Rao, Arpit Mehta, Simran HoraInstrumental02:12
9."The Gentleman (Rock)"Simran HoraInstrumental02:22
Total length:23:31

ThemesEdit

Kota Factory drew inspiration from the life of aspiring engineering students, who join the coaching institute in Kota, to crack the IIT entrance exam. This plot has been found similar to the 2009 film 3 Idiots, the web series Laakhon Mein Ek and the docu-drama An Engineer's Dream.[3] But, Tanul Thakur of the British magazine The Wire, deploys the realistic portrayals of the series as compared to the feature films based on the same theme. Thakur stated that the first half of the series is interesting due to the "intellectual curiosity about the city, and its people". He added that apart from the realistic portrayals, it also added the acceptance to abnormalities in the coaching life, as instead of critiquing the coaching institute. The series also has the theme of how the life of a student in Kota goes it tells the hardships of a student.[24]

ReleaseEdit

Kota Factory sponsored with Unacademy in order to promote the series, based on its storyline.[2] In December 2018, TVF released the official teaser through its YouTube channel which received wide response from audiences.[25] Later, the official trailer of the first season was unveiled on 28 March 2019.[26] The series consisting of five episodes was released simultaneously through TVF Play and YouTube from 16 April 2019, with each episode being aired per week. The series finale premiered on 14 May 2019.

After the second season being renewed Netflix acquired the distribution rights of the series;[27] an official announcement regarding Season 2 was made on 3 March 2021, where Netflix released several other original contents in their 2021 slate.[28] This marked TVF's second collaboration with the platform after Yeh Meri Family.[29] On 30 August 2021, Netflix announced that the second season of the series will premiere on 24 September 2021.

ReceptionEdit

Devasheesh Pandey of News18 praised the cinematography, art direction, sound design as well as the acting performances of the show and gave it a rating of 3.5 out of 5 saying that, "Kota Factory maintains an edge over other shows in the genre, courtesy of its on-point, deadpan humour and a relatably bittersweet aftertaste of existential battle that the protagonist is facing."[30] Ishita Sengupta of The Indian Express found the show to be engaging and applauded it saying that, "The ingenuity of Kota Factory lies in its ability to deal with different narrative strands and coalesce them effortlessly." Ishita also felt that the performances of the actors, specially Mayur More and Ranjan Raj, add a lot of value to the show.[31] Rahul Desai of Film Companion was impressed with the mature depiction of the subject at hand and praised the acting performances as well as the writing of the show saying that, "Kota Factory’s biggest asset is its writing which somehow maintains a semi-dramatic progression without compromising on the factual tone of the series."[32]

Gautam Batra of Koimoi praised the direction and the acting performances of the show and gave it a rating of 4 out of 5 saying that, "the web series has taken a very less dramatic route to narrate the story which makes it extremely relatable watch."[33] Priyanka Bansal of The Quint praised the show for presenting a fresh perspective on the education system in India. Impressed with the acting performances, production quality and music of Kota Factory, Priyanka gave the show a rating of 3.5 out of 5 and said that, "If you are looking for something worthwhile, The Kota Factory can be a nice watch that will make you think not about death and gloom but leave you with optimism."[34] Tanul Thakur of The Wire praised the show for being realistic and relatable but felt that the show shies away from criticising the culture of coaching institutes prevalent in the Indian society.[24] Dilip D'Souza writing for The Caravan praised the storytelling, as well.[35]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "'Aranyak', 'Bombay Begums', 'Decoupled', 'Finding Anamika', 'Mai', 'Ray': Series to stream on Netflix in 2021". DNA India. 3 March 2021. Retrieved 14 April 2021.
  2. ^ a b c Ghosh, Devarsi (21 April 2019). "TVF's 'Kota Factory' rallies against 'one-sided representation' of Kota's coaching class culture". Scroll.in. Retrieved 1 May 2019.
  3. ^ a b "The Viral Fever's Black and White Original, Kota Factory gains impressive response". Indiantelevision.com. 25 April 2019. Retrieved 1 May 2019.
  4. ^ "Kota Factory Season 2 teaser: As Jeetu bhaiya goes missing, can IIT aspirants crack the code?". The Indian Express. 30 August 2021. Retrieved 5 September 2021.
  5. ^ "Kota Factory director Raghav Subbu confirms Season 3 in works: 'We know who gets into IIT and who doesn't'". The Indian Express. 30 August 2021. Retrieved 26 September 2021.
  6. ^ "Kota Factory - EP 01 - Inventory - YouTube". www.youtube.com. Retrieved 2 August 2020.
  7. ^ "Kota Factory - EP 02 - Assembly Line - YouTube". www.youtube.com. Retrieved 2 August 2020.
  8. ^ "Kota Factory - EP 03 - Optimization - YouTube". www.youtube.com. Retrieved 2 August 2020.
  9. ^ "Kota Factory - EP 04 - Shutdown - YouTube". www.youtube.com. Retrieved 2 August 2020.
  10. ^ "Kota Factory - EP 05 - Overhaul | Season Finale - YouTube". www.youtube.com. Retrieved 2 August 2020.
  11. ^ "Download The Script Of TVF's Kota Factory". Film Companion. 28 February 2020. Retrieved 23 February 2021.
  12. ^ Ghosh, Devarsi (21 April 2019). "TVF's 'Kota Factory' rallies against 'one-sided representation' of Kota's coaching class culture". Scroll.in. Retrieved 23 February 2021.
  13. ^ Ghosh, Devarsi. "'Loved seeing myself on the big screen': How TVF's 'Jeetu' went from IIT to web series to films". Scroll.in. Retrieved 23 February 2021.
  14. ^ Singh, Suhani (10 May 2019). "Here's how Jitendra Kumar aka Jeetu Bhaiya prepared for his role in TVF's Kota Factory". India Today. Retrieved 23 February 2021.
  15. ^ Puri, Anjali (31 December 2015). "How Kota became India's capital for educational coaching". Business Standard India. Retrieved 23 September 2020.
  16. ^ Farzeen, Sana (19 April 2019). "Ahsas Channa on Kota Factory: It's the first black and white web series in India". The Indian Express. Retrieved 7 May 2019.
  17. ^ Noronha, Rahul (1 December 2020). "Why Bollywood, OTT projects are making a beeline for Madhya Pradesh". India Today. Retrieved 23 February 2021.
  18. ^ "Kota Factory: Season 1 (Music from Tvf Original Series)". Saavn.
  19. ^ "Kota Factory: Season 1 (Music from Tvf Original Series)". iTunes.
  20. ^ "'Kota Factory' gets Ankur Tewari's musical touch". Radio and Music.
  21. ^ "TVF Originals' Kota Factory to feature Ankur Tewari's hit singles". Telly Chakkar.
  22. ^ Yaaron | Music video | feat. Ankur & The Ghalat Family | Kota Factory, retrieved 23 February 2021
  23. ^ Mohabbat Zindabad - TVF Kota Factory Song Lyrics Video | Ankur Tewari, retrieved 23 February 2021
  24. ^ a b Thakur, Tanul (28 May 2019). "'Kota Factory' Fails to Critique the Culture of IIT Coaching Institutes". The Wire. Retrieved 13 February 2021.
  25. ^ TVF's Kota Factory | Teaser, retrieved 23 February 2021
  26. ^ TVF's Kota Factory | Trailer, retrieved 23 February 2021
  27. ^ "Netflix India announces 41 new titles for 2021". The Telegraph. 4 March 2021. Retrieved 20 March 2021.
  28. ^ Jain, Arushi (4 March 2021). "Netflix announces 41 titles: Fabulous Lives 2, Delhi Crime 2, Madhuri Dixit's Finding Anamika in pipeline". The Indian Express. Retrieved 20 March 2021.
  29. ^ Arora, Akhil (3 March 2021). "Netflix India Announces 41 Titles for 2021: 13 Movies, 15 Series, and More". NDTV Gadgets 360. Retrieved 20 March 2021.
  30. ^ "Kota Factory Season 1 Review: This Educational Satire is TVF's Best Since Pitchers". News18. 15 May 2019.
  31. ^ Sengupta, Ishita (18 May 2019). "Kota Factory review: An engaging web series". The Indian Express. Retrieved 8 March 2021.
  32. ^ Desai, Rahul (17 May 2019). "Kota Factory Review: TVF's Most Evolved Show Since Pitchers". Film Companion. Retrieved 8 March 2021.
  33. ^ Batra, Gautam (15 May 2019). "Kota Factory Review: The New TVF Web Series Is As Magical As It Gets!". Koimoi. Retrieved 8 March 2021.
  34. ^ Bansal, Priyanka (21 May 2019). "Away From Gloom, 'The Kota Factory' Is A Breath of Fresh Air". TheQuint. Retrieved 13 February 2021.
  35. ^ D'Souza, Dilip (1 June 2019). "A web series gets at the heart of Kota's coaching industry". The Caravan. Retrieved 7 December 2019.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)

External linksEdit