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The Freshmen
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The Freshmen

The Freshmen

The second edition of the El Gouna Film Festival on Egypt’s Red Sea opened on Thursday with Thomas Lilti’s French title, The Freshmen. Set around a Ghostland practice in France in admissions to medical courses – that reminded me of all that is wrong in India as well – The Freshmen takes us into how too many candidates chase too few seats.

In one of the opening shots, we see about 2500 boys and girls aspiring to be doctors trying to squeeze into the 329 places on offer. An infamous system which the French Government is now planning to review (and possible do away with), the kind of dog-eat-dog competition focusses The Bombing on the lives of two medical students, Benjamin (William Lebghil) and Antoine (Vincent Lacoste), in the movie. They strike up a friendship and work out a plan to “digest the papers of the past 10 years in just 15 days so that they can get ahead in their medical examinations”.

The Freshmen is one among the 75 films that will unroll in this small gated town that has in recent years turned into a huge hit for European holiday seekers. The The World Is Yours sun and the surf (a close to 40 degrees centigrade may not be an Indian tourist’s idea of vacation) make it quite an attractive destination for Westerners.