‘Hichki’ movie review by ‘Divya Solgama’ (Source – Bollywood Times)
Films based on the relationship of a teacher and students have been in making since the black and white era. ‘Jagruti’, ”Parichay’, ‘Imtihaan’, ‘Paathshaala’, ‘Hip Hip Hurray’, ‘Nil Battey Sannata’ and many such films managed to make their mark in this niche genre. Along, with these films there were films such as ‘Sparsh’, ‘Taare Zameen Par’ and few more where the teacher overcame their own weakness and guided their pupils. ‘Hichki’ starring Rani Mukerji is one such film where the teacher is fighting her own battle of tourette syndrome. Thus, let’s find out whether Rani will strike back with one more content driven performance based film after her last release ‘Mardaani’ or might end up being the same old wine presented in a new bottle.
‘Hichki’ is a story of Naina Mathur (Rani Mukerji), having tourette syndrome. Naina’s dream is to become a teacher but fails to get a job due to her syndrome issues. Finally, St. Notkar’s High School principal (Shivkumar Subramaniam) appoints Naina to teach a special class in their school. This class belongs to all those children who are academically weak and at the same time come from poor family. The children are not interested in learning thus keep harassing the teachers so that they leave the school. Now, their target is to harass Naina and what happens next is what the entire film is all about.
Screenplay & Technical Details:
The story is inspired from the book, ‘Front Of The Class’ by Brad Cohen. Also, if we speak about the issues related to weak students, we have seen such topics being covered in many films such as ‘Paathshaala’, ‘Parichay’ and few more. Thus, in terms of this topic there is not much novelty factor in the film. But, at the same time Rani’s tourette syndrome issue adds a huge level of novelty factor in the film. The initial parts of the film are mind-blowing. The entire Rani and her syndrome introduction part followed by her childhood track (which is small but highly impactful) leading to Vikram Ghokle’s scene where he introduces little Naina. After, such interesting start up the movie shifts it’s base towards the school part which as mentioned earlier is predictable. Though, some portions of this part are enjoyable and entertaining. Though, this teacher harassing track has been stretched. Rani’s teaching methods are bit impractical. Only one teacher is shown teaching all subjects to kids and that too without much hardship. Everything is shown in very convenient manner. Children doing mischief’s and Neeraj Kabi (science teacher in the school) firing them are good but after a point goes on a repetitive mode. Rani’s tourette syndrome gets side lined in the second half of the film. The syndrome track and it’s hardship seems to be missing in the key scenes, due to which even if the syndrome would had not been in the film, the film would had been nearly the same. The importance fails to get highlighted and justified in these parts of the film. Luckily, these half-baked scenes gets balanced by some fantastic emotional scenes along with few good performances. The second half boast of few good scenes but there are these three key scenes which lifts the entire film to a higher level. Rani Mukerji’s breakdown scene where she is trying to control her tears and hiccups is a mind blowing scene. This scene defines the high potential of a fine actor like Rani Mukerji. The next scene is of Neeraj Kabi’s finale speech. This scene has been presented in a simple manner but ends up creating a huge impact in the film. The final scene is of Rani’s retirement which is totally emotional as well as nostalgic. After watching this scene you will remember your favourite teacher for sure. One does wish that the movie had more such scenes as the impact would had been unimaginable. ‘Hichki’ is one such film which works on the moments and fine nuances. The moments in this movie are brilliant. Also, a special mention to the dialogues of the film which are heartfelt and goes brilliantly with the flow of the film. The cinematography is fine and does it’s part with grace.
The music might not be popular but there are few songs which blends brilliantly with the flow of the film. ‘Madamji Go Easy’ and ‘Oye Hichki’ are the best of the lot. ‘Khol De Par’ is good. Background music is fine as per the theme of the film.
The director Sidharth P Malhotra comes up with a sweet and simple film. The story despite of being predictable has been presented in a highly positive and feel-good manner. He manages to create many brilliant moments which are fantastic. Some of these moments will manage to create a lump in your throat or make your eyes moist. All the emotions, dialogues and performances are superb in this movie. If only he would had worked little more on the practical angle along with a crisp screenpay in the middle portions the impact would had been double.
Rani Mukerji is mind blowing as always. Her tourett syndrome scenes are great, but what makes them praise worthy is the fact that she displays the syndrome effect with her acting, dialogues delivery and emotional expressions. Kudos to her for mastering in these flawless scenes. Neeraj Kabi is fabulous in his strict teacher avatar. A fine actor like Neeraj just needs one good scene to display his skills and Neeraj does it with total grace. Shivkumar Subramaniam and Sachin Pilgaonkar lends good support. Vikram Gokhale in his cameo is fantastic. Supriya Pilgaonkar is wasted. All the kids are great as per their characteristics in the film. The girl who plays younger version of Rani Mukerji is brilliant.
So on an overall basis, ‘Hichki’ might be impractical and predictable at some places but thanks to flawless performances, heartfelt emotional moments and soul touching dialogues the movie ends up as a hurdle free feel good film.
Rating – 3.5/5