movie reviewHindi Medium

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Critic's Rating:

Star Cast:

Irrfan Khan


Wriiten by Saket Chaudhary and Zeenat Lakhani, Hindi Medium is a satire. It deals with the importance of English in our soceity. 

Movie Review

By Noyon Jyoti Parasara

Saket Chaudhary chooses his subject well. The country’s obsession with English is not unknown. Rather it is possibly one of the loudest facets of our social lives. Your ability to communicate in the language of colonial past has often dictated our social status. With an emphasis on job creation in a developing country, the importance of English is deemed stronger than ever. Often eclipsing the mother tongue!

Given the complexity of the subject, it’s refreshing that Saket chooses a satirical approach to tell his story. He sets the story in the capital city, which has always been a potent ground for the most interesting screen characters. Raj Batra, his protagonist is from Chandni Chowk. He is the owner of the garment shop and runs his business basis his street-smart acumen. His heart takes over his brain when he deals with his wife, his childhood sweetheart. The wife really wishes their daughter does not face similar social stigma as them for not being able to project themselves as one of the elite, albeit driving expensive cars and wearing branded clothes. And she believes getting admission into a posh English school is the only way for the daughter to indeed make into the social bracket, and not spend their lives being a forced outcast.

The writers, Saket Chaudhary and Zeenat Lakhani, toss in an extremely relevant legislation brought in by the Government of India. Back in 2009, Right To Education was introduced which ensured public and private schools have 25% seats reserved for poor kids, for which they need not pay any fee. While there is no study on how well this law was put to act at schools across the country, around July 2016 there were reports of how parents procure fake BPL documents to get their kids admitted to a school in the ‘poor kids quota’.

Known for the funny dialogues from his earlier films - Pyaar Ke Side Effects and Shaadi Ke Side Effects - Saket gets some great dialogues for this film as well, and they keep you smiling if not laughing. Amitosh Nagpal has written the dialogues. Aiding the director’s cause is Irrfan Khan as the hassled parent. He adds an effortless charm to his ‘Chandni Chowk ka tycoon’ character, something he does to most of his roles. Equally impressive, almost to a degree of stunning, is Saba Qamar who plays Irrfan’s wife. It’s a tragedy that this wonderful discovery is from across the border, considering she might not be seen in any more Bollywood fare. At least things settle down a bit between the two countries. And then there is the ever-so-dependable Deepak Dobriyal, as the poor guy who really wishes his son could receive better education.

Not all is fine though. There are moments towards the end when the screenplay takes a dip. Like Irrfan’s monologue in the climax. Also, a rather black and white world is presented. ‘Rich people are heartless, poor people are always helpful and full of love’ kind of skewed world. Also, the film is not an example of technical finesse.

Thankfully none of that dampens the fun. Hindi Medium is a very entertaining watch, which drives home a rather important fact of life. This little film deserves an audience.