STARRING: IRRFAN KHAN, SABA QAMAR, DEEPAK DOBRIYAL
DIRECTOR: SAKET CHAUDHARY
Every year there is a list of films which spring a surprise at you. They may be small films without any expectations but they win you over with their heart warming and strong content. Hindi Medium is one such film.
It is an extremely relevant film. It talks about the things which we notice around us all the time but no one ever really talks about. The pretentiousness that has gripped our upper middle class and upper class and our obsession with the English language and the unfortunate status symbol attached with it. The film also sheds light on the absolute mad admission procession of schools these days and how it affects the parents and children alike. And there is so much more in the film.
The credit goes to the writers for having the courage to talk about the subject and at the time making it so thought provoking and heart-warming. Despite that the film successfully delivers a strong message it never gets preachy or speech heavy until the climax. The reason for this is the smartly woven plot which is immensely entertaining and engrossing. The screenplay is filled with bitter sweet moments and has plenty of laugh out loud moments. It finely balances the emotion with the humor and manages to make you laugh and cry. The writers have managed to delicately show the elitist snobbery prevalent in India today and beautifully draw the contrast between the two strata of society. The first half is light and fun whereas the second half is the spine of the film.
However, the writers have not done a flawless job. There are plenty of portions where you feel that the makers could have done so much better. Sometimes the problem they are trying to project feels exaggerated and bloated which takes away from the intensity of the film. The sequences once the family has gone poor also sometimes go overboard and feel a bit awkward at times. The climax is the weakest link in the film. The writers could have resisted the need for the usual speech by the protagonist climax which feels jaded and does not fully compliment whatever preceded.
Director Saket Chaudhary had shown his quirky sense of humor with Pyaar ke Side Effects and he proves that it was no fluke the first time. Even when the film goes into the far-fetched zone or when the writing stumbles, his unusual sense of humor and energy he infuses in the proceedings saves the day. The ambience and the setting is so naturally fun and easy going that you are constantly entertained. He amalgamates the different themes expertly in his narration and there are not many jarring shifts in the storytelling. For the most parts, he succeeds in not being preachy and deliver a thought provoking yet enjoyable experience.
The film also works on many levels because of the superb performances. Irrfan is the whole and soul of the film. He lifts up every sequence he is in and keeps you in his total control. Even the jaded climax is so much watchable because of his flawless performance. The man can do no wrong as long as he gets well written role. Saba Qamar makes a stellar debut in Bollywood. She is unconventionally pretty and takes full advantage of her expressive face. She lends able support to Irrfan and they make an adorable couple. Deepak Dobriyal is top notch and deserves more such meaty roles.
Hindi Medium is the first surprise of this year. It’s a fun film with great performance and a message that makes so much sense. What else do you need to make it worth a watch? Go for it.