This is expressed nicely when she takes Prem into her own memories of how she met his late father Suresh (played by Utkarsh Ambudkar, who also co-wrote the screenplay), who Prem is shocked to learn was a local legend in the underground hip-hop scene. This is where “World’s Best” reveals itself to be a hip-hop musical. Suresh begins visiting his son and passing on his evangelical passion for hip-hop.
Much to Priya’s dismay, Prem enters himself in the talent show, and his interest in performing threatens to usurp his passion for math. At this point, “World’s Best” also seems to borrow ever so slightly from the superhero film, particularly the origin story. Prem’s daddy issues are reminiscent of most of the MCU’s characters, particularly his struggle to reconcile what his parents want for him versus what he wants for himself. Along the way, there are the usual bits of middle school drama, specifically the betrayal of friends who drift away from each other and into opposing cliques.
“World’s Best” succeeds thanks to the brisk pacing at 100 minutes and Roshan Sethi’s deft handling of the ups and downs of ‘tweenhood. The emotions are earned, and the playful tone accommodates the more serious reveals and complications nicely. Ambudkar and Magnus’ chemistry goes a long way toward making the film work. You believe them as father and son, and their joy at making music together is infectious.
Now on Disney+.