Hostel daze: Review, cast, A fine show that normalizes social problems
Saurabh Khanna and Abhishek Yadav created Hostel Daze, an Indian Hindi-language comedy-drama streaming television miniseries. Adarsh Gourav, Luv, Shubham Gaur, Nikhil Vijay, and Ahsaas Channa feature in the film, which is directed by Raghav Subbu. On December 13th, 2019, Hostel Daze debuted on Amazon Prime Video. The series consists of five 30-minute episodes.
Hostel Daze Cast
Nikhil Vijay as “Jhantoo” Jatin who has been in college since very long time
Shubham Gaur as Rupesh Bhati, who got admission in college by the large donation from his father
Adarsh Gourav as Ankit “Dopa” Pandey, who’s smitten with a girl
Luv as Chirag Bansal, a shy and over-eager kid
Ahsaas Channa As Akanksha
Shivankit Singh Parihar as PhD student 4
Sameer Saxena as Hostel Manager
In a program with a huge cast, it’s difficult to make individual characters stand out, yet the authors use strong personalities to showcase the intellectual and entrepreneurial variety on campus. In ‘Intro,’ we meet Jatin aka Jhantoo (Nikhil Vijay), an ex-hostel squatter and current student, host elite, and resident kingpin who emerges as the proprietor of a campus empire of cigarettes, alcohol, and forgery, while episode two (‘Proving Identity’) sees Bansal set up an online platform to prove his identity even as students struggle to establish their footing in clubs, seeking for an official badge of belonging to be connected with their still-learning names, he uploads videos of college lectures.
As the program nears its conclusion (‘End Sem,’) Jhantoo, Pandey, and Jaat demonstrate their ingenuity in solving issues as they occur, even if they are human enough to fail, whilst Bansal and fellow topper Ravi Teja (Harsha Chemudu) are on different ends of the O grade spectrum. As the program develops as hackers, musicians, and environmentalists alike find their footing, Hostel Daze sways away from the clichés of college dramas in this regard, laying the stage for a diverse group of individuals to claim their peculiar talents.
Hostel daze Review
A parent complains about their child being bullied by the hostel management (Sameer Saxena) at the National Advanced Technical Training Institute (NATTI). We hear him exclaim, “Ma’am, aapka beta professor hai (Ma’am, your son is the professor),” amid a flurry of surprised pupils.” Over the course of the five-episode series, fans of Amazon Prime Video’s latest comedy-drama Hostel Daze will discover that living at this engineering college is not easy for anyone.
Hostel Daze is a humorous dive into the trivialities and defining moments of engineering students’ experiences as they settle into hostel life, directed by digital entertainment platform The Viral Fever (TVF) and the creative team behind this year’s summer release Kota Factory (Raghav Subbu serves as the director, while Saurabh Khanna and Abhishek Yadav penned the script).
Ankit Pandey (Adarsh Gourav), Chirag Bansal (LUV), and Rupesh Bhati nicknamed Jaat (Shubham Gaur), the three hopeful freshers and main characters, are welcome to the boy’s dormitory with an “Intro” aka a hazing session by their seniors. What follows is a fast-paced, testosterone-fueled, quick-witted, but hazy trip through the first semester of the three roommates as they confront all that NATTI hostel life has to offer, with episodes covering hazing, labels, birthdays, examinations, and, of course, love.
Repetition of style
Vaibhav Bundhoo’s soundtrack, which includes Hindustani dubstep, hip-hop scratches, electro-rock, reggae-pop, and dazzling pop ballads, serves to humanize Hostel Daze’s characters for a major portion of the screen time. The program has a few hitches, as the dialogue veers toward reductive comedy, and the plot quickly becomes myopic in the sketch-like structure of the five episodes, wasting the talents of young, competent performers.
Through its depictions of topics such as ragging, to which TVF gained street cred with early releases (such as 2015’s Pitchers and April’s Kota Factory), the series loses TVF’s street cred. As the roommates settle into life as hostelites, their initiation becomes a regular event, with ragging shown even in episodes where it is not the major topic (‘F.O.S.L.A,’ ‘GPL’).
In Hostel Daze, ragging is depicted as a staple of male hostel culture rather than as an occurrence to be avoided and reported, raising questions about normalization and the director’s approach to the subject.
Treatment of women characters
Any potential of criticism on the lopsided but progressively improving student gender ratio at technical colleges is tossed out the window in favor of hypersexualized references to female students in the series. As the narrative proceeds and Pandey develops a love for fellow student Akansha (Ahsaas Channa), Hostel Daze abandons exposition entirely in favor of repetition as speculation and imaginations spread like wildfire across the hostel wings.
In episode three (‘F.O.S.L.A.,’) a male student characterizes Akansha as follows: “Akansha kaun – woh badey…vicharon wali (Akansha who — the one with huge thoughts?)” This line is repeated numerous times until the last episode, which is long enough for anyone who missed the euphemism before to pick it up.
While one female character is treated as a ‘prized catch’ at college (regular reminders about the rarity of female presence at NATTI are provided), we’re soon introduced to Nabomita (Ayushi Gupta), the only other female character with dialogue, who is led by heart-eyes and simmering jealousy to provide Pandey with a shoulder to cry on.
After Pandey goes through another round of hazing and struggles with the consequences of his crush on Akansha, he and Nabomita chat about love, sex, and dating, with the latter giving the show’s longest dialogue. Akansha and Nabomita are sexualized and infantilized in Hostel Daze, which disrupts their on-screen agency.
Unless they try to pass off toxic masculinity as the basis of the perfect college experience, portraying and bordering on praising it as the single way to survive in male hostel culture, the series might make everyone who has ever lived in a hostel reminisce for the good old days. These scenes may elicit nostalgia among males. They are traumatic for women.
Normalizing social wrongs
The show strives to reflect the realities of engineering students’ life in India, but it eventually normalizes what can’t be dismissed as ludicrous, because abuse has never been normalized. Every episode is narrated by an adult who works in the college or dormitory world – a custodian, security guard, chemistry professor, cafeteria manager, or xerox shop owner— Through the underbite of comedy, their remarks and quips serve to further condone the poisonous society. Even allusions to Mr. Robot (2015) and The Shawshank Redemption (2004), both films with significant social satire, aren’t enough to overcome the show’s flaws.
Rather than tackling students’ very genuine problems, Hostel Daze trivializes them to the point of tradition, normalcy, and acceptance. And, despite the genre’s trappings, there’s an affirmation in its presentation of the truth that seems both endemic and deadly.
Watch it on Amazon prime
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