Rajeev Masand’s Film Review Of Hichki

Cast: Rani Mukerji, Neeraj Kabi, Sachin Pilgaonkar, Supriya Pilgaonkar, Harsh Mayar

Director: Siddharth P Malhotra

There is nothing original, nothing surprising, nothing even remotely unpredictable in Hichki. This Rani Mukerji starrer about a teacher who employs unconventional methods to get through to her class of tough, rebellious kids is formula filmmaking to a T. Even the fact that the teacher in question has Tourette’s – a neurological disorder that causes her to break into loud, involuntary noises – works as a trigger to push the cliché that who better to recognize the potential in a bunch of misfits than someone who’s been misfit all her life.

Yet it’s a testament to the winning performance of its leading lady that the film doesn’t collapse under the weight of that predictability. Despite borrowing ideas from a slew of films including Dead Poets SocietyDangerous Minds, and Taare Zameen Par, director Siddharth P Malhotra somehow manages to give us characters that we care for, and a story that offers comfort in the familiar.

After being passed up for jobs routinely because school authorities are skeptical of her ability to handle students given her condition, Rani’s character, Naina Mathur, a trained and qualified professional, finally lands a job at a fancy school. But she’s assigned to a class comprising students from the nearby slums; a clutch of unwelcome, disinterested kids who earned their seats due to the Right to Education mandate, but who’d rather spend their time betting, smoking, picking fights, or playing pranks to drive their teacher away.

Naina has her work cut out for her. She’s got to win over the students, find an alternate way to teach them, plus she’s got to convince the school authorities – particularly an elitist colleague (Neeraj Kabi) – that the misfits from Class 9F don’t deserve to be written off without giving them a fair shot.

It’s a film overstuffed with good intentions and multiple messages. Some of these are communicated with the subtlety of a sledgehammer. Like a scene in which Naina visits the slums where her students live, a revealing exercise which puts things into perspective for her. Other ideas, like the stigmas and the embarrassment attached to a condition like Tourette’s are conveyed, frequently without the crutch of dialogue, through the relationship between Naina and her father (Sachin Pilgaonkar).

You could argue that conflicts are resolved a tad conveniently, and that everything ties up too neatly in the end. It makes for rousing montages and a bunch of lump-in-your-throat moments. But make no mistake this is broad-brushstrokes filmmaking. Surprisingly, it works. And much of it is because Rani Mukerji is in solid form, cutting a convincing portrait of an empathetic young woman who knows what it’s like to be unfairly given up on. She never turns Naina into a victim, while portraying her condition with great sensitivity. Watching her bring the character to life is one of the film’s great joys.

Hichki is inconsistent but well-intentioned. More than once I found myself tearing up during the film. That kind of manipulation, I’m willing to live with. I’m going with three out of five.

Did you like this blog?*
How did you find this blog?*
What kind of articles would you like to read on the blog?*

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

More in Rajeev Masand

  • Rajeev Masand’s Review of Omerta

    Cast: Rajkummar Rao, Keval Arora, Rajesh Tailang, Blake Allan Director: Hansal Mehta In his new film Omerta, director Hansal Mehta seeks to dive into...

    BMS EditorMay 5, 2018
  • Rajeev Masand’s Review of 102 Not Out

    Cast: Amitabh Bachchan, Rishi Kapoor, Jimit Trivedi Director: Umesh Shukla Let’s just face it Hindi cinema doesn’t know what to do with senior...

    BMS EditorMay 5, 2018
  • Rajeev Masand’s Review of Avengers: Infinity War

    Cast: Robert Downey Jr, Chris Hemsworth, Mark Ruffalo, Chris Evans, Scarlett Johansson, Chris Pratt, Benedict Cumberbatch, Don Cheadle, Tom Holland, Chadwick Boseman, Zoe...

    BMS EditorApril 26, 2018
  • Rajeev Masand’s Film Review of Beyond The Clouds

    Cast: Ishaan Khattar, Malavika Mohanan, Goutam Ghose, Tannishtha Chatterjee, GV Sharada, Amruta Santosh Thakur, Shivam Pujari Director: Majid Majidi Iranian master Majid Majidi,...

    BMS EditorApril 21, 2018
  • Rajeev Masand’s Film Review of October

    Cast: Varun Dhawan, Banita Sandhu, Gitanjali Rao Director: Shoojit Sircar October, directed by Shoojit Sircar, is a thoughtful, meditative film about...

    BMS EditorApril 13, 2018
  • Rajeev Masand’s Film Review of Blackmail

    Cast: Irrfan Khan, Kirti Kulhari, Arunoday Singh, Divya Dutta, Pradhuman Singh, Anjula Sathe, Gajraj Rao, Omi Vaidya, Vibha Chibbar, Neelima Azim Director: Abhinay...

    BMS EditorApril 6, 2018
  • Rajeev Masand’s Film Review of Baaghi 2

    Cast: Tiger Shroff, Disha Patani, Manoj Bajpayee, Randeep Hooda, Deepak Dobriyal, Prateik Babbar, Darshan Kumaar, Vipin Sharma Director: Ahmed Khan. A distraught young...

    BMS EditorApril 5, 2018
  • Rajeev Masand’s Film Review Of Pacific Rim Uprising

    Cast: John Boyega, Scott Eastwood, Rinko Kikuchi, Charlie Day, Cailee Spaeny, Burn Gorman Director: Steven S DeKnight I’m one of those who thoroughly...

    BMS EditorMarch 24, 2018
  • Rajeev Masand’s Film Review of The Square

    Cast: Claes Bang, Elizabeth Moss, Terry Notary, Dominic West, Christopher Læssø Director: Ruben Östlund The Square, the new film from Swedish writer-director Ruben...

    BMS EditorMarch 16, 2018

All articles/blogs are intended to inform, entertain and amuse. We make no representations or guarantees about the truth, accuracy or quality of any content.

Copyright 2018 © Bigtree Entertainment Pvt. Ltd. All Rights Reserved

Subscribe To Our Newsletter
Subscribe to our email newsletter today to receive updates on the latest news!
Thank You For Subscribing To Us!

Now get regular updates on the latest entertainment news and style trends.

Providing you with the best of Bollywood, Hollywood, style and more.
Get the best in entertainment, while keeping yourself entertained!
We respect your privacy. Your information is safe and will never be shared.
Don't miss out. Subscribe today.
WordPress Popup