Irrfan Khan, Saba Qamar, Deepak Dobriyal
From the very beginning, HINDI MEDIUM has too many rights on its part to fail. There’s Irrfan – the man is an institution in himself. He makes movies an experience to be cherished. Then there is Hindi, our rashtriya bhasha that is losing its battle in convent schools across india. The issue needs to be addressed, and Chaudhary has a penchant for doing it with humour that leaves one tickled but pondering.
HINDI MEDIUM is all about a typical Delhi couple, Mita (Saba Qamar) and Raj Batra (Irrfan) from Chandni Chowk. They are wealthy, well-placed and reaching the higher rungs of the social ladder. The only problem is they are not fluent in English. Right when they want to reach higher, their Hindi Medium roots seem to be pulling them down. But like every parent they want the best for their child, Pia (Dishita Sehgal) and the only way to give her the best is to ensure that she goes to a good English school. Something upmarket despite their Chandni Chowk upbringing.
What starts simply turns into a hilarious series of exaggerated misfortune for the parents, when everything that they try fails miserably. From posing to be more affluent than their social standing to deciding to relocate in the slums -- everything just to ensure their daughter goes into an English school. In the course of their mad race to get their child places, they meet Shyam Prakash (Deepak Dobriyal)… who changes their course eventually.
Given the standard of actors Saket Chaudhary has gathered for the film, you can rest assured that the film is pitch perfect. Little Dishita too appears completely in sync with the film. Of course, with screen parents like Saba and Irrfan, she could hardly fall short. The family sequences are so real, that despite their bizarre conversations, they seem like people we could meet across the hallway. For someone debuting in Bollywood, Saba Qamar is stunningly refreshing. She has an aura around her and does her part with poise and confidence. Though, there are parts her nagging and squeaks get a little redundant.
Deepak Dobriyal is one actor who really deserves a round of applause for his part, and the efficiency with which he delivers. If he was jittery to act alongside Irrfan, he doesn’t show it. There are parts in the film, wherein his take of the situation fill you up more than any of his costars managed. That leaves us with the inimitable Irrfan. Irrfan is what Irrfan does, he is seamless in his interpretations of Raj but somewhere, Irrfan does overshadow his character. Be it the poise with which he likes to deliver his dialogues or the play with words with which he makes an ordinary dialogue phenomenal. We really are looking forward to seeing Irrfan do something that makes us forget we are seeing Irrfan, and knowing his caliber, it is only the script that needs to come around.
Talking about the dialogues of the film, if the first half of the film leaves you in splits, it is singularly thanks to the dialogues. Amitosh Nagpal really set the mood for the film, it does feel like through his words the films did get its aura which in itself is a huge credit to his work. Small nuances like the ‘original copies’ that Raj sells, the way Mita who is fondly called Mithu becomes Honey, when she decides it is time to get Anglo-sized - many moments like these tell Saket had an able support in Nagpal.
Which brings us to Saket himself. For someone who has a great narrative going, along with phenomenal actors, plus a fabulous crew, you would expect Saket to have touched the skies and gone beyond. For his part, he does soar high but doesn’t quite reach the skies. With the tools he had at his disposal, he had no excuse for a contrived climax that he doled out. We have seen him fumble before with SHAADI KE SIDE EFFECTS! Climaxes are his Achilles’ heel, something perhaps Chaudhary should consider reconsidering!