Following the rise and success of dark police content on streaming platforms such as Sacred Games and Paatal Lok, Class of 83 attempts to follow in their footsteps, but fails to evoke any meaningful sentiment or self-reflection at the end of its around 90-minute runtime. It features a grizzled veteran Bombai Police cop (Bobby Deol) who has been charged to head a police academy by the CM of Maharashtra as a ‘punishment posting’ for moving against the notorious and well-connected gangster, Kalsekar. On seeing the jaded and by-the-book nature of his students, he reminisces with follow ex-cop (who is the physical trainer at the academy) about their own rebellious idealism when they were students and decides to train 5 students to clean up the rotten system from the inside and finish Kalsekar and his gang.
Class of 83, The premise is interesting, but the movie’s runtime is nowhere near sufficient to flesh out 5 characters and their personalities well, so it gives up on fleshing them out at all. The 5 trainees are basically interchangeable, and the shift in their motivations gets more random as the movie progresses. It often comes off as dark without reason, as the makers appear to forget the no. 1 rule of storytelling: Show, don’t tell; and keep dumping exposition on the audience’s heads. The movie touches upon interesting topics like the debate between communism/socialism and capitalism, the impact of the job on the mental health of cops, suicide, single parenthood and the inertia in the system that opposes any sort of change, but fails to follow up on even a single one of them to any meaningful degree.
Class of 83 is a movie that tries to be about everything and ends up being about nothing. The climax of the movie is anti-climactic and unsatisfactory and leaves the viewer wondering as to what was the message this movie was trying to send. The only diamond shining in this coal mine of a movie is Bobby Deol’s performance as the jaded instructor, who adds realism and gravitas to every sentence he utters. Even this is contrasted by the utter lack of belief and conviction in everyone else’s dialogue delivery and acting, so the quality of Bobby’s performance shines an even brighter light on the lack thereof in everyone else’s.
If you are a fan of Bobby Deol and want to see him play a new and unique role, you should watch the movie. Apart from that, I cannot think of any other saving graces.