Naina Mathur (Rani Mukherjee) is a highly qualified lady searching a teaching job for the last five years without any success. The cause of her failure is credited to her unexpected hiccups (or hichki in Hindi) due to Tourette syndrome which makes her presence obstreperous and thus overpowers her qualification. However, one day she gets a call from a school which hires her to teach a certain section F of the 9th standard on probation. Little does she know that she is going to face a rebellious gang of kids who have forced 8 teachers to resign in the last 7 months.
How will Naina handle the situation? How will her vocal tics or hiccups create a problem in it?
Positive Points: –
- Rani Mukherjee’s alluring performance along with the wonderful support the kids have provided her with.
- Sublime direction and screenplay.
- The film showcases social stigma against the minorities (in every form) in a pretty convincing and powerful manner.
- Hickhki’s humane premise makes it rise above its cinematic values.
Negative Points: –
- A lot of things happen just for the sake of carrying the film forwards and have been shown to take place too easily.
- A half-baked father-daughter story angle.
Direction, Script & Other Technicalities: –
Though not perfect, Sidharth P. Malhotra’s direction is wonderful. He not only brings out the best from each actor but also makes sure that their chemistries are developed efficaciously. His screenplay co-written with Ankur Chaudhary is equally excellent and handles the discriminative attitude towards minorities (of any form) pretty well. The emotional connect of Hichki is endearing and at times can give you goosebumps. Surely there are many obvious flaws in the premise but its emotional and philosophical overtones outweigh them. However, I do feel that Hichki could have done away with its mawkishness and been more realistic. It could have been a To Sir With Love kind of film for us but stays away from it thanks to its narrative cliches.
The editing by Shweta Venkat Mathew is perfect and Avinash Arun also shines in the cinematography department. Hitesh Sonik and Jasleen Royal’s score and music match with the film’s mood.
Rani Mukherjee, who picks up the perfect film for her comeback, gives a blinder as the protagonist. She acts naturally and is completely believable in her character which wasn’t anyone’s piece of cake to act upon. A lot of the flaws of the movie are actually abated due to the irresistible charm she emanates as Naina Mathur. Though it’s too early to predict, I can sense where the awards would be going the next year for The Best Actress. *Winks*
All the kids have done a great job but the ones to shine the most were Harsh Mayar (of I Am Kalam fame) and Sparsh Khanchandani (of Uttaran fame).
Neeraj Kabi gives an extremely measured and balanced performance as Wadia.
On the other side Shivkumar Subramaniam, Supriya and Sachin Pilgaonkar, and Asif Basra have done justice to their respective roles.
Final Verdict: –
In spite of its reliance on mawkishness, Hichki is a movie with which every one of us can relate to at times because we have been discriminated against at some stage of our life for certain reasons. Carried by a beautiful premise and terrific performances especially that of Mukherjee, it’s both educational and inspirational. Hichki isn’t just a good film but a great one which deserves your viewership because you deserve such films, and so does Bollywood!