September 26, 2021 8:34:12 am
TVF’s Kota Factory created quite a storm with its first season. The show, which is set in the student town of Kota, focused on the lives of young adults who aspire to become an IIT-ian but considering the show’s popularity, one can surely say that the fan base of this series is well beyond just the engineering students. In a conversation with indianexpress.com, director Raghav Subbu revealed that even though he created quite a tangible world in Kota Factory, he was never a part of this world in his formative years.
Raghav wanted to show Kota in a way that people who don’t know the city “feel the depth of Kota, understand what the world is like.” But, at the same time, he wanted to remind people of certain ideas that they might have “forgotten along the way.” “This city is about determination, it is about being better than who you are and making it. Our goals might be different but our journeys, pretty much are the same,” he said. Aside from making an entertaining show, Raghav wanted to present Kota in a way that makes you “feel the drive behind being in a city like Kota.”
Every year, thousands of students flock to the city to prepare for the entrance exam that can possibly lead them to IIT and while not every student can achieve that goal, some are severely affected by the immense pressure. The show is set in a young-adult world, yet the treatment of its characters is quite mature and delicate. Director Raghav Subbu calls this a “humanistic approach” in trying to tell the story of these teenagers. In his opinion, “It is very common and very easy to exploit a young adult, 16-18 space that we see on the internet or other channels. it’s very easy to go that way because that world is extremely effervescent. You expect teenagers to break bad.” Raghav shared that the creators at TVF wanted to create a world that is similar to the one they have experienced, that “feels like home.” “That feels Indian, not American at all, where you can go out for parties. It just does not resonate with an Indian audience and that’s precisely where we come from,” Raghav said.
The year 2020 affected the world in many ways and the city of Kota was not spared either. Like many other businesses and industries, the coaching industry of Kota suffered heavily, students left the town for a significant period of time, resulting in severe losses for local businesses and also heavily affected the way they prepared for the JEE exams. But Kota Factory has consciously made a choice to not address the pandemic and Raghav explained the reason for that. “We wanted it to be timeless,” he said.
Raghav shared that this is a “fictional show” so they had the liberty of creating the world they wanted and their aim was to create a show that is relevant “even sixty years later”. Adding the pandemic would have “close off certain narratives,” he said that “by putting in the pandemic, we thought that it would not resonate very well and it would not be a natural progression for the characters.”
While the first season got great feedback, one can expect that the second season might follow suit. Talking about upcoming seasons, Raghav shared that they have already started writing the third season. “We know how the story progresses. What happens to the characters, what is each character’s journey. Who makes it to IIT and who doesn’t,” he concluded.
Kota Factory Season 2 is streaming on Netflix.
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