Revolution 2020 is Chetan Bhagat’s fifth book after four successive best sellers. With over 5 lakh pre – orders you could be forgiven for thinking that his latest offering was keenly awaited by his fans after a 2 year drought with his “2 States: The Story of My Marriage” releasing way back in 2009. With a title like “Revolution 2020” and Love.Corruption.Ambition as its tagline / slogan, you expect something different from Chetan Bhagat this time. So does this book succeed? Let’s see!
Gopal is a relatively poor fellow whose barely making ends meet. He’s no stranger to struggles in life whether it is tackling the entrance exams of IITs and NITs or finding his ambition in life. He feels that only money can get you happiness. Raghav on the other hand is ready to mount a revolution against everything corrupt and wrong happening in the society. He believes that someone has to stand up against the system. Aarti is a happy go lucky girl who every guy would dream of having as his soul mate.
The three were the best of friends since school but “Love, Corruption and Ambition” combine together to bring differences between them. As you must have guessed it, both love the same girl and therein lies the main problem.
At its core, this book is a love story like any other Chetan story. But then the expose of the corrupt education system, the profit making private engineering colleges, issue of bribing etc. give the book a contemporary feel. Probably it wasn’t destined since he started writing the book 2 years back, but the issue of corruption has been reignited by Anna Hazare. And for the same reason a lot of readers would associate with the issues mentioned in the book pretty well.
By basing his story in Varanasi, Chetan has shown the willingness to go beyond the metros he has generally portrayed in his story and probably strike a cord with the semi urban populace. His descriptions of each and every ghat are fantastic which goes to show the amount of research he has put in for the same. Another interesting fact different from his earlier books is that the main protagonist is shown (at least in the first half) as someone who isn’t rich but generally has to save money to make do with things in his life.
But the book is predictable and ridden with cliches as usual. You normally know what to expect next. But nonethless the ending was a bit of surprise though yeah it does complete the melodrama pretty well. The premise of the story is interesting but many a time you feel as though things have been a bit extended. A crispier editing job could have made things a lot better.
The characters are pretty well etched it. Actually so well etched out that you can associate movie which actor would be portraying that particular role. The narrative and flow of the story is pretty good as it moves effortlessly from their childhood in Varanasi to Gopal’s coaching classes in Kota to them becoming adults.
Considering the title and the different set of expectations I had, its a bit of a disappointment. But for crazy Chetan fans, go for it! As a matter of fact if I am not wrong, this is Chetan’s most expensive book till date at an MRP of Rs 140. Wonder the reason behind such a hike? Was the content really worthed this hike?
Spoiler Alert: Book version of Hazaaron Khwaishein Aisi (Mostly), Rajneeti / Guru(Some parts). It sometimes reminds you of “If God was a Banker” by Ravi Subramanian as well.
Rating – 2.5/5 (Light breezy read as usual)
Update – For people who ask, the poor rating has been given because of the following reasons: –
1. Predictable, cliched and melodramatic script
2. Not too great editing
3. Nothing much with respect to the title other than a few instances (The title is important because a Chetan Bhagat book is keenly awaited. And with a title like Revolution 2020, you associate something more than just rehashed versions of movie scripts)