A concerned parent asks one of the characters in the film, "Hamara beta merit list mein aa jayega na." To which the latter confidently quips, "Are kaahe nahi ayegaa..Paiswaa laye hain." Well, it's all about the big bucks in Ashwini Chaudhary where a bunch of vile people 'set' up exam paper leaks engineering, medical and other course in exchange of hefty amount.
To begin with, Apurva (Shreyas Talpade) along with his bunch of accomplices handles Bhaiyyaji's (Pawan Malhotra) business of leaking exam papers across the cities. Soon, SP Aditya Singh (Aftab Shivdasani) steps in to nab this group of setters. Turns out Apurva and Aditya are college friends-turned-foes; blame it on the former's wife who was Apurva's crush during their college days.
Aditya recruits a special task force (Sonalli Sehgal, Jameel Khan) to nab the 'setters' red-handed while commiting the malpractices. Will Apurva and his gang take the bait? The rest of the plot holds an answer to that mystery.
First things first, Setter might give you deja vu of Emraan Hashmi's Why Cheat India which released earlier this year. However, Ashwini Chaudhary's film attempts to expose the desperate measures some people adopt to sail smoothly in the competitive exams.
While the film's subject has meat, the director leaves it uncooked with his tepid writing and passable dialogues. He fails to lend depth to his characters leaving them struggling to stay afloat.
Coming to the performances, Shreyas Talpade tries to lend some gravitas but the poorly-sketched role doesn't let him rise above the average. Aftab Shivdasani tries to pull out a tough cop act with a singular expression and a wobbly dialogue-delivery.
Pawan Malhotra tries to pull off an ego-tripper thug but his exaggerated expressions end up inducing unintentional chuckles. Vijay Raaz gets his own shining hilarious moments.
This brings us to the leading ladies of the film. Ishita Dutta doesn't get much scope to display her acting chops and is reduced as the mandatory love-interest. Sonnalli Seygall too doesn't get to sharpen her claws when it comes to performances.
Setters doesn't impress much in the music department. The editing of the film too fails to make the narrative gripping.
What could have been a edge-of-the-seat ride simply ends up a monotonous journey that fails to pass with flying colors. I am going with 2.5 stars.