Cast-- Priyanshu Painyuli, Chandrachoor Rai, Shadab Kamal, Rajeev Siddhartha
Director-- Udai Singh Pawar
Upstarts, now streaming on Netflix, is packaging human emotions in its truest form. From start-up struggles to alcohol de-addiction, and from bubbling ambition to search of hope and reason, there are various conflicts at play here, both internal and external, and the resultant is an easy watch film, which might seem to offer solutions rather easily but does not waiver off realism in the moment.
The film features Priyanshu Painyuli, Chandrachoor Rai and Shadab Kamal as three friends Kapil, Yash and Vinay, who are although thick as thieves but their relationship has to stand the test of time and changing circumstances. Kapil has a knack of looking for entrepreneurial ideas in day-to-day conversations and scenarios. However, he strikes gold when he manages to sell his start up idea Carry Karo, a medicine supply- delivery mechanism, to an emerging businessman Veer Diwan, played by Rajeev Siddhartha.
Upstarts is constantly trying to put forth a good vs bad, moral vs amoral narrative, with the help of well rounded characters and their changing traits and outlooks towards the cause of their own start up. In doing this, the director, Udai Singh Pawar, also wants us, the audiences, to have an inward journey of soul searching, while we confront our own weaknesses and strengths, much like Kapil, Yash, Vinay and Veer.
It is easy to pass up on Upstarts as a fable tale but Udai Singh uses realism and his grip on understanding of human nature to simply not make it one. The four lead actors put in various shades throughout the two hour runtime, which not only entertains us but also keeps the script from falling flat at certain areas. Yash's (Chandrachoor) impending doom, aggravated by alcoholism and his distrust in others, is complimented by Kapil's (Priyanshu) rise to the top in his company. Things such as these hint not only at smart work by the writers (Ketan Bhagat, Udai Singh), but also reveal a more than decent attempt at storytelling by the makers. I say this because post last Netflix original Bard of Blood, Upstarts is a major relief.
Not just that, Upstarts is very contemporary and contemplative take on our times. In the start up ecosystem, where investors are looking for blind profits and entrepreneurs are desperate for funds, it's easy to compromise with one's ideals. However, not all seem to be toeing the profitability line. We see another character running a suicide prevention helpline app, and another one delivering medical services to flood affected areas. These affirmative actions combined with good performances makes Upstarts a Netflix film worth investing your time in this week.
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