HINDI MEDIUM (2017)

Hindi Medium is a delightful little film that will have you in splits for the duration of its runtime. It’s a film about our own superficiality. It’s a film about our take on a flourishing future and it’s a film about the extents we are ready to stoop down to ensure a blossoming career for our wards. What I loved the most about the film was its earnest albeit a tad bit stretched approach on the subject matter. The film has its share of excesses but they never for once come in the way of the overall likeability of the film. To top it all up you have a stupendous Irrfan Khan and an equally stunning Saba Qamar.

Raj and Meeta are a happily married couple with a sweet girl. They are rich and have a loving household. The little girl is about to start school and the big question for the couple is where to admit her. Meeta is obsessed with sending her daughter to the best English medium school in the city and draws up a list of top schools. They try their best to get their ward admitted but Raj’s background and inability to speak proper English proves to be a deterrent to getting her admitted to any of the schools. Distraught, the parents resort to a trippy plan to get through the Right to Education (RTE) quota in the best English Medium School of the city. Little do they know that this trick would go on to shape their future and open their eyes to the real world around them which they had for so long ignored.

Hindi Medium is a fresh looking film with fresh jokes, situations, and gags. As the film moves from one point to the another, you never for once have a feeling of Déjà vu. I hear that it is a remake of a Bengali film and thankfully, I had not seen that film. Hence this film appeared to me as a standalone film with no priors. The jokes and gags are very subdued and are done aesthetically. They are beautifully stitched to the narrative and you never question their credibility. The director does well to ensure that there is a sense of seriousness to the tale without which the gags would be rendered useless. After all, what we have here is a film about parents trying their best to get their ward admitted in a good school. In spite of having money and doing all it takes for them to get her admitted, they are cornered owing to their background and inability to speak proper English.

The film takes a whole new track when Raj and Meeta shift over to Bharat Nagar and come into contact with the poorest of the poor and start getting affected by their way of life. This is also the most thoughtful hour of the story and is also the time where you will be teary eyed at atleast a couple of junctures. Deepak Dobriyal plays a character who befriends Raj in Bharat Nagar and he is just as comic as he is heart-wrenching. He turns in a powerful performance that will affect you in more than one way. It is during this time that even Irrfan takes a backseat and lets him flourish.

Speaking of Irrfan, it would be useless to say that he has acted well. We all too well know that he always does. What I loved about his act here was the fact that he oscillates so well between comedy and drama that he practically thins the line between the two. His character’s mood changes abruptly but it never comes as a bump to you. He beautifully transcends between the two moods. His chemistry with Qamar is just as refreshing. For once Bollywood persisted with a Pakistani actress who is an actress first and a pretty face later. She suits the multiple facets of her character to a ‘t’. She turns in a better act in the second half when she has to enact the part of a poor lady, desperately trying to hide her true self. A brief prelude shows the love story of the couple played by two young actors and they do a terrific job as well.

Hindi Medium is a character driven and performance oriented film which scores well on the story and the performance fronts. I was not really in the mood to watch this film but it proved to be a hilariously entertaining and superbly thought-provoking film at the same time. It’s the kind of film that one can watch at any time and be entertained by it. It is also the type of film that has for once put the fingers towards one of the biggest hypocrisies plaguing our society today. We are not too well versed in being called hypocrites but this film successfully calls us that and backs it all up with evidence. It doesn’t show its protagonists in a positive light and that is probably the best things that it is able to do. Watch Hindi Medium for sure.

Rating : 4/5 (4 out of 5 Stars)

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