Director Ananth Narayan Mahadevan who was consistently sharpening his story telling arc from MEE SINDHUTAI SAPKAL (2010) to GOUR HARI DASTAAN last year maintains the honesty in the seed of this revolutionary thought in ROUGH BOOK but in the process loses the edge due to a underdeveloped script and disappoints. ROUGH BOOK fails to get a 'fair' note.
Ananth and his co-writer Sanjay Chauhan fail to get the necessities for a proper script for this story which tries to highlight the difference between the need and greed prevailing in the education systems. An obvious inspiration from Aamir Khan starrer 3 IDIOTS and Shabana, Juhi's CHALK-N-DUSTER is seen.
The teacher Santoshi (Tannishtha Chatterjee) takes the role of Ranchhoddas from 3 Idiots and Shabana Azmi's character Vidya from CHALK N DUSTER at one go. Emphasizing on excellence Santoshi also finds pleasing and engaging ways of learning.
Santoshi joins a new school after a break up with her well placed husband. The honest teacher gets the weakest class to teach physics and how Santoshi reforms the disinterested students who google for every answer forms the crux of the story.
Santoshi gives a ray of hope and her students experience a new lease of life in the film but we don't feel the same. The much required bonding between the students amongst themselves and their teacher is half baked and that's quite off putting.
Further the writer and the director fail to engage and inspire us from the transformation and change in the idea and belief of students. It happens so easily and conveniently to make any impact.
Ananth's earnest thought only gets full support from Tannishtha who delivers a fine performance. Theatre actors Amaan Khan, Joy Sengupta, Kaizaad Kotwal and Suhasini Mulay are competent but a talent like Ram Kapoor is wasted.
Juvenile handling and lazy ending adds further to the wounds.