Verdict: An entertaining film that deals with a relevant subject.
One would agree that over the years, the English language has emerged as one of the most crucial determinants of social status, prestige and employment in our country. For some reason the Angrezi-speaking people are considered cool while the Hindi waale are not. In the 2012 film, English Vinglish, we had a protagonist who was considered less intelligent simply because her langauge of communication was Hindi. Here we are five years later with a flick that explores society's unhealthy obsession with English.
Saket Chaudhary's situational comedy, Hindi Medium is the story of a couple that is hell bent on ensuring that their daughter has the best education. In this case, best being synonymous with English. Raj Batra (Irrfan Khan) is the owner of a Chandni Chowk based fashion studio that sells “original” first copies of designers' creations. His wife, Mita (Saba Qamar), whom he lovingly calls Mithu, is a homemaker. Given that they themselves studied in Hindi Medium, they wanted to save their child, Pia (Dishita Sehgal), from a lifetime of embarrassment by trying to fit into the English speaking world.
The two do everything they can. They move out of their ancestral home into a posh neighbourhood, fix an appointment with a counsellor (Tillotama Shome), visit religious places hoping kahi toh manzoori hogi and abandon their desiness only to look like a brands ki dukaan. Despite all the efforts, the little girl does not get admission in the four schools they apply into.
Raj, who wants to ensure that his wife is happy, tries to get admission into the fifth school through the gareeb quota. To validate the admission status, the couple moves into a poor locality where they take gareebi ki training. It is here that they meet Shyam Prakash (Deepak Dobriyal), a factory worker who helps them set their priorities straight.
Hindi Medium gets many things right. One, of course, is Amitosh Nagpal's interesting use of humor in dialogue. Second, the screenplay. Through his crisp writing, director Saket Chaudhary focuses on the loopholes in India's educational system, the bizarre things one has to endure to get their child the best available eduation in an English school and the class divide the 'language of the priviliged' creates.
The first half of the film is laden with light moments, while the second half has emotions that will easily touch your heart. Despite having a climax that is predictable, the film does not fail to bring to our notice the “iss desh mein angrezi zabaan nahi, class hain” mindset which most of us may be guilty of having.
Credit must be given for the perfect casting. Irrfan is brilliant as the soap opera watching, doting father and his comic-timing is impeccable. The magnificent actor keeps getting better with every film. Debutant Saba Qamar delivers an effective performance and is a delight to watch. Deepak Dobriyal who made us laugh in Tanu Weds Manu Returns (2015), leaves us teary-eyed in this flick.
Why You Should Watch This Movie:
This film gives you much to smile about throughout. It has outstanding performances, significant issues that are conveyed in a light-hearted fashion and a new version of your favorite Sukhbir song – Ishq Tera Tadpave. Go watch Hindi Medium this weekend. It will definitely leave you entertained!