The middle story of Aspirant traces Sandeep’s own journey, from his childhood in Prayagraj to his own struggle with the UPSC entrance exam attempts and their preparation.
It’s Review Time: 8
Cast and Crew:
Director: Parijat Joshi
Sandeep Ohlan is played by Sunny Hinduja.
Aarushi Valmiki is played by Deepali Gautam.
Prince Mishra, Sandeep Bhaiya’s roomate is played by Punit Tiwari.
Yogesh is played by Abhinav Anand.
Alok Verma, coaching institute owner is played by Happy Ranajit.
Sandeep’s Father is played by Rajendra Gupta.
Nanku Valmiki, Aarushi’s Father is played by Mukteshwara Ojha.
Bhimji, tea shop owner is played by Yogendra Shrivastava.
The series continues the story of TVF Aspirants and tells us the story of Sandeep Bhaiya, who was the perfect candidate for becoming an IAS Officer but kept on failing at his UPSC attempts. The story shows the time period when Abhilash Sharma (Naveen Kasturia) cleared his attempt and Sandeep failed again and left for Prayagraj, Uttar Pradesh in the year 2014.
In Prayagraj, Sandeep is checking the sheets of various other aspirants who are preparing for the UPSC Exam for a living, but the current state of Sandeep is of a person who is depressed, broken, and tired of his life. As Sandeep goes to a tea stall to get more cigarettes for himself, he meets a young girl, Aarushi Valmiki has a small business of lunch box service, she is also forced to prepare for the UPSC exam by her father, Nanku.
As Aarushi is too poor to take up classes to prepare for UPSC, and has other aspirations to grow her business, she takes the help of Sandeep Bhaiya who guides her to clear the exam.
As Sandeep Bhaiya helps Aarushi to prepare for her exam, he also learns that the Government of India soon increases the number of attempts for UPSC from 4 to 6. Soon we see him giving another attempt as well along with Aarushi. But when the results are announced, we learn that Sandeep Bhaiya could not clear his exam for the 5th time and now has given up on his dreams of even becoming an officer, on the other hand, Aarushi clears her Prelims exam.
From there the story continues where we see how Aarushi goes ahead to become an IAS Officer, and how Sandeep gets motivated to become an Assistant Labour Commissioner.
Sandeep Bhaiya has been a series that has been ignored and disregarded by every reviewer, influencer, or even meme pages. No matter how well the Aspirants performed and how the people connected with Sandeep Bhaiya in Aspirants, most of the reviewers have not even checked out this gem of a series.
The story begins back from the place where Abhilash cleared his exam, and we saw Sandeep Bhaiya standing depressed in the rain. Sandeep gets to Prayagraj and starts living with his friend to get away from everyone. And from there the story in the series continues.
Sunny Hinduja delivers again with the character of Sandeep Ohlan. He nails everything to perfection and does not even gives us a single chance to point out a flaw in his preparation towards the character. Yes, we can talk about the character development of other characters except Sandeep and Aarushi, as other characters hardly did anything significant in the series, but it will be nitpicking as the story is much more about Sandeep and his student.
The way the story discusses the emotions and struggles a man goes through was explored so wonderfully that it leaves a long-lasting impact on the audience as it makes us think about even our life and the struggle we go through. As Sandeep struggles through the lack of facilities and monetary privileges which he has always been worried about for his family, we deep dive into the problems of a lower-middle-class guy who has a dream to become an officer one day, or maybe even have a stable life. The way the writers discuss the crisis of a middle-class person was heart-breaking to watch. Even if a person does not have a stable source of income, they have a hope which they live upon of someday they will fix everything. That is the emotion that hits us hard in the entire series. And even the father-son relationship Sandeep has with his father was gut-wrenching.
5 things I liked about Sandeep Bhaiya:
Considering all the things I liked about the series, here are a few things I think stood out for me while watching it.
- The show itself narrates the story that was left in the middle of Aspirants. It was great a move from TVF to develop an entire series on a side character that shined bright in TVF Aspirants. After the success of the Aspirants, and especially the love Sandeep Bhaiya got from the audience, TVF took a bold move to consider creating an entire series on a particular character who did not achieve much in his life regarding his peers that were around him. But that is why underdog stories are loved so much.
- The emotional sensibility, humility and wisdom shown in the series from the perspective of most of the characters were beautiful to watch and acknowledge. Whether it is Sandeep Bhaiya shining with his wisdom and knowledge every now and then, or the way he trains others around him like Aarushi, Nanku, and others as well.
- The pressure and struggles we witness through the perspective of Sandeep are something that a man goes through in his 20s and 30s. This is the aspect that is not talked about a lot in any movies or series. We do see movies and series based on the problems that a girl or woman faces throughout her ages, but the cinema industry hardly explores the side of what a man goes through in the time period when he is trying to build his career and future.
- The acting of Sunny Hinduja was again a top-notch performance for the role of Sandeep Ohlan, but this time in his stand-alone series. Sunny picks up his performance right where he left it in Aspirants. Whether it was the body language, expressing his emotions through his expressions and eyes, or picking up the Haryanvi accent better than anyone could in Bollywood. We saw the accents of top actors like Aamir Khan in Dangal, and Salman Khan in Sultan, who absolutely murdered the dialects themselves.
- The father-son relationship explored in the series has a long-lasting impact on the audience. The problem of Sandeep trying to achieve at least some success in his life, the way Sandeep’s entire family is waiting for him to become an officer and return back home, the way his father could not hold onto Sandeep’s love Kusum any longer against her parent’s wishes, the problem Sandeep faces for money, and even more. These things make the series even more relatable and grounded, unlike the rest of the movies and series currently released in India.
5 things I disliked about Sandeep Bhaiya:
Although the series was fantastic to watch, here are a few things I disliked about the series.
- We still don’t know how Sandeep Bhaiya becomes the Assistant Labour Commissioner. However, we see that Sandeep gets motivated by IAS Officer at Labour Department. As Aarushi gets back to pursuing her and her father’s dream to clear the UPSC Exam further, we don’t get to see how Sandeep Bhaiya seeks the exam of Labour Commissioner.
- The acting of Deepali Gautam, who plays the role of Aarushi Valmiki was pretty underwhelming with her acting performance. Whether it was picking up the part of a poor girl who delivers lunch boxes door-to-door, pursuing UPSC for her career, her struggles and suffering in her life, or even when she becomes an officer. Her acting lacked the impact to make the audience feel connected to her character, or something like Sunny Hinduja did for himself.
- The continuous preaching of knowledge and wisdom from all the characters in the movie feels good at the beginning, but it starts to get dull and sluggish as the series progresses. And yes, it is much more acceptable to listen to it from Sandeep Bhaiya, who has been suffering and learning from every path in his life, but random and other characters make it boring.
- The music we hear in the entire series was basic and disappointing considering the standards of TVF that they have released and used past in their other series. We have seen real gems of music and songs from them in various other series like Aspirants, Pitchers, Trippling, and many more. Whenever the background music starts in the background feels way too simple and repetitive.
- It can be nitpicking from my side but the thing that could have been better was if the previous cast could reappear in this series as well. Whether it was anyone we saw in Aspirants, it would have been heart-touching for us as an audience to see Sandeep Bhaiya interacting with anyone. Even a tiny series like “SK Sir Ki Class” had many reappearances from Aspirants.