Rani Mukerji, Supriya Pilgaonkar, Sachin Pilgaonkar, Harsh Mayar, Shivkumar Subramaniam, Neeraj Kabi
Siddharth P. Malhotra
Ever been denied something that was rightfully yours? If not by birth but by virtue of your hardwork and aptitude? Perhaps many people might have at least at some point in time thought that they didn’t get their fair share, but many more have left the chase and settled. Naina (Rani Mukerji) with her gorgeous eyes, tells you she isn’t giving up on the one thing she knows she is born to do – TEACH!
The film begins with Naina giving a room of trustees a lesson on Tourette Syndrome. She doesn’t get the job, like the 18 other times she has been failed by people who refused to give her a chance because she 'suffers' from a challenge. Naina is used to the hiccups (pun intended) for too long now, she has had to fight to get things in life, and she is not someone who backs off from a challenge.
She gets the chance to finally have her dream realised when she lands a job at a convent, whose founder had a speech disorder, thus making him the torch bearer for those who were told they can’t. But the school has come a long way, boasting of upper middle class students but 14 students from Naina’s class are considered nothing more than municipal garbage. Why? Because they are from the government quota, and clearly don’t fit into the school. Not only do the students refuse to mesh with them but the snobbish teachers of the school also refuse to give the kids a chance. Knowing all too well how it feels to be rejected, dismissed and disregarded without even being given a chance, she takes them under her wing.
There are many moments in the film, where you will have a lump in throat, there are times when you will smile… there are some sweet laughs too hidden behind the hiccups. You come out the theatres feeling lighter, because you have been the emotional turmoil along with Naina…. It is only when you are out of the theatre that you realise that you have played along with Naina simply because of Rani Mukerji’s phenomenal prowess as a performer. She is so casual and effortless that you are swept into the film without much ado.
As an audience you spent the two odd hours in the theatre only reacting to her, which is not a compliment to the director Siddharth Malhotra. When the crux of the film is simple, and you are loaded with an extraordinary talent like Mukerji, you should load the film with more instances where you leave your audience breathless. Instead Malhotra has taken the easy way out and not really pushed the envelope. With a predictable graph, this winning effort slips a notch because it is not a daring attempt. While Rani Mukerji impresses, it seems like the entire exercise of Hichki was to once again remind the audience what a phenomenon Rani Mukerji is as an actor. There is nothing beyond her in this film, which is the filmmaker being extremely lazy.
There is really no sense in mentioning the co-actors, the cinematography or the music, because everything other than Rani in the film are only accessories, and appear like accessories. They exist but don’t accentuate the premise of the film.
All in all Hichki is a small film, and its success will be grand in that small film. It is all Rani’s exuberance that gets the movie up there. It marks the comeback of a Queen - but not necessarily the best movie to do it.