The first episode of The Viral Fever’s latest web series Aspirants is out on YouTube and judging by the first episode, the Hindi web series ticks all the boxes that have now become a staple of TVF. It’s emotionally mature, has that spark of comedy and, more than anything, it feels like a relatable story.
Starring Naveen Kasturia, Abhilash Thapliyal, Sunny Hinduja and Shivankit Parihar, Aspirants follows UPSC aspirants who often spend years studying for the exams as they chase coveted bureaucratic positions. The monologue by Thapliyal, in one of the earlier scenes, establishes why these exams are almost sacred in our country, forcing the characters to put a stop on their lives as they give the exam. It is this monologue that draws you into the aspirants’ universe and keeps you involved for the next 40 minutes.
Much like Kota Factory, this series too follows the fragile dreams of students who aim to change their life. Here, that centre is Delhi’s Old Rajendra Nagar and the makers manage to capture the vibe of the locality almost instantly.
The first episode moves in two timelines. The first timeline has the three lead characters – Abhilash, SK and Guri, trying to prep for the exam — and the other timeline, which takes place six years on, has them navigating their friendship due to a past trauma.
Kasturia’s Abhilash is sincere and it is his earnestness that instantly gets you in his corner. His rooftop conversation with Hinduja’s Sandeep bhaiya in the first episode gives Aspirants an emotional heft. The characters appear vulnerable as they face this monster of an exam. It’s too soon to say but there is an ominous vibe to Sandeep which hints at a darker storyline.
Overall, the 45-minute episode is impressive enough for the audience to come back next week.
Created by Arunabh Kumar and Shreyansh Pandey, Aspirants has been written by Deepesh Sumitra Jagdish and directed by Apoorv Singh Karki. The next episode drops on April 14.