Summer 2007 is about the spate of farmer suicides in Maharashtra’s Vidharbha region. Five medical students from an affluent private college, who are caught in messy student politics, escape by going to a village for rural service. There they are confronted by dying farmers; avaricious money lenders and a brutality and corruption that alters their lives. The film’s message is important and relevant but unfortunately good intentions don’t always translate into good cinema. Debutant director Suhail Tatari begins with a farmer immolating himself but then spends the entire first half on the college campus, where our apathetic gang of five smoke dope, play silly pranks on each other, have adolescent conversation about sex and act cooler than everyone else. It’s so amateurishly written that it feels like an older person’s idea of what cool kids must be like – they keep using words like Bro, mate and babes. At one point, one of the girls turns around to another and says: don’t you babes me. I felt exactly the same. The drama improves in the second half when the students are placed in an alien world where death is a daily reality and coolness counts for little. But again, the writing is clunky and the events random – suddenly a Muhammad Yunus-like leader who educates the villagers in micro-credit is rescued from the money-lender’s house. They had kidnapped him but instead of killing him like any sensible villain would have done, they were slowly torturing him slowly to death. The acting veers from good to banal. Sikander Kher builds on the promise he had shown in Woodstock Villa and brings a conviction to his underwritten character. Prashant Narayanan is also very good as the money lender’s vicious son. But they cannot save Summer 2007 from being a bargain basement Rang de Basanti. Watch that again instead.