Director: Saket Chaudhary
Cast: Irrfan Khan, Saba Qamar, Deepak Dobriyal, Amrita Singh
Education of children in India has been a sensitive issue forever. It is no secret that education has become more of a money-making business and underprivileged kids are suffering due to quota system, especially in private schools. Director Saket Chaudhary's film ‘Hindi Medium’ talks about such issues.
Raj Batra (Irrfan Khan), a boutique owner in Chandani Chowk, Delhi, lives happily with his childhood sweetheart and now wife Mita (Saba Qamar) and daughter Pia. Raj is a simple guy whereas Mita is fashionable and an extrovert. The two want Pia to get admission in one of the biggest schools in Delhi. They both try hard but to no avail.
Later, they find out that Pia could get admission in RTE (Right to education) quota in a posh school for which they decide to act poor. Along with Pia, the two leave their sprawling bungalow in South Delhi and move to Bharat Nagar, which is a slum. Shyam (Deepak Dobriyal), Raj's neighbour meets them and their life changes upside down. Will Pia get into the school her parents want her to study through RTE quota or will they get caught in their self-weaved game?
Director Saket Chaudhary, who earlier directed ‘Pyaar Ke Side Effects’ and ‘Shaadi Ke Side Effects’, ‘Hindi Medium’ is his third directorial and undoubtedly the best one too! He dealt with such an arguable subject with so much ease. Many directors have tried making films on India’s education system, be it ‘Paathshaala’, ‘Faaltu’ or ‘Chalk and Duster’, but ‘Hindi Medium’ is by far the finest film on the aforementioned theme. Aamir Khan's ‘Taare Zameen Par’ might be an exception since it is brilliant in its own ways.
But Saket has definitely arrived in 2017 and should be given his due as a director. This film is a big slap on those who brutally panned him for making ‘Shaadi Ke Side Effects,' which also was a box office disaster. Way back in 2006, PKSE was a good attempt for his debut and the film was declared a sleeper hit. The plot and screenplay by Zeenat Lakhani and Saket Chaudhary is interesting. Also, the length of the film is 133 minutes which is apt for the film and A. Sreekar Prasad should be rewarded for this. The writers remain successful in telling a story so beautifully that one would want to see more of it. It is a rare occasion where a critic finds it difficult to find a flaw in the movie. How nicely the narrow streets of old Delhi are shot. The only flaw if one could spot is during the climax when a bunch of government school kids perform in English school, there school dress changes to white from blue. But again, when the film is a masterpiece, then such blunders can easily ignored.
Three cheers to producer Dinesh Vijan of Maddock Films for putting finances in such an honest script. It is very important for a producer to choose a saleable subject and invest moolah in a secured film. ‘Hindi Medium’ is the best amalgam of the two. Though there aren’t any songs in the film but the recreation of ‘Oh ho…’ and ‘Suit Suit’ is groovy. The only song ‘Hoor’, featured in the opening credits, is soulful.
Irrfan Khan isn't an actor, he is an institution of acting. He is so flawless and natural that you won't move your eyelids even for a second when he is on screen. His transformation from a romantic husband to a sobbing and helpless father is breathtaking. Saba Qamar shines bright in her Bollywood debut. She is hot, beautiful and most importantly, a great actor. Known for his perfect comic timing, Deepak Dobriyal makes you laugh less and cry more in this one. As a man who is dealing with poverty, he plays an applauding role in the film. Amrita Singh plays this brash and strict principal of a posh English school with so much conviction. From kids to the rest of the cast, is exceptionally good. Shout out to the casting director Taran Bajaj who made this film look even more relatable and interesting.
‘Hindi Medium’ is not a film, it is an experience! The film might come across as a children's film but it is recommended to each and every strata of society. A must watch! You will surely come out of the theatres with tears of joy....