Cast: Irrfan Khan, Saba Qamar, Deepak Dobriyal, Swati Das, Tillotama Shome, Amrita Singh
Directed by: Saket Chaudhary
When your full-time job is to watch films, there comes a time when you are frustrated with everything that sees the light of a release. Amidst everything below average that I have watched this year, Hindi Medium is something that I was not expecting to stumble upon so soon in the year, as I had lost all hope. Thank you, Saket Chaudhary, for waking me up from my self-induced coma.
Hindi Medium is glazed with honey and mocks the education system we all live in but at the end of the day, we all want to graduate from affluent schools with a pin of legacy on our collar. The film is a story of Mita and Raj Batra who hail from Chandni Chowk and earn more than enough to afford everything that they want. They have everything on their plate except a good school for their daughter so she can grow up to be a posh woman of substance and can stay far away from drugs in her mother’s words. They are grappling to get their daughter, Pia admitted in Delhi Grammer School which is the oldest school in Delhi so she learns everything about history, heritage, and the likes.
Coincidentally, I have a soft spot for the film as Delhi Grammer School shown in the film is Modern School, Barakhamba Road where I studied for 13 years of my life. Watching my school in every frame of the film got so many memories back that I couldn’t stop smiling for once. The Batra’s want their daughter to be in the school at any cost and the truth is that I have seen parents do anything to put their kids through Modern School which somehow warmed my heart all the more. Sigh! Those were the days!
Leaving my nostalgia aside and coming back to the film, one thing that is worth mentioning is that the makers have done a brilliant job with the writing and the comic timing. It is so beautifully crafted that you feel each and every emotion every character is going through. The length of the role doesn’t matter here, what matters is how much heart all of them have put to stand out and trust me- each one shines.
The Batra’s leave their ancestral home in Chandni Chowk to fit in the posh lifestyle Delhi Grammer School demands. But you can take a man out of Chandi Chowk but cannot take Chandni Chowk out of a man. Batra has all the money in the world but is upset over not being able to play Jatayu in the annual Ram-Leela and jumps around with his daughter on Ishq Tera Tadpave. Does this have a place where talking in Hindi is frowned upon? Didn’t think so!
Amitosh Nagpal has penned the dialogues in the films beautifully and Irrfan Khan’s great timing is a that topping on the cake, where you just sit down and indulge… piece by piece. Saba Qamar as Mita…then Mithu and eventually the high society ‘honey’ is very well crafted as well. She is spot on and is a treat to watch. The one person that just lifts up the mood of the film is Deepak Dobriyal as Shyam Prakash. No one has ever lit up the screen by holding two buckets of water in a basti other than him. Only he knows how to do that.
Like all good things come to an end, this one too has a stretchy predictable climax. But probably that’s the only way one could have ended the film with. The second half of the film could have been a little better as the first half was flawless and I wanted more.
Overall Hindi Medium is where all of you should register with this week and mind you, this class is open to all.