Hindi Medium is the name of actor Irrfan Khan's much-awaited comedy-drama film about a Chandni Chowk couple trying desperately to get their daughter admitted to an English medium school in Delhi. The film is about their struggles amidst the widespread corruption and nepotism prevalent in the admission process.
The Saket Chaudhary-directed film co-stars Pakistani actress Saba Qamar, Deepak Dobriyal, and veteran actress Amrita Singh. The film also features cameo appearances from Sanjay Suri and Neha Dhupia. Last weekend, the makers had scheduled a special screening of Hindi Medium for the Deputy Chief Minister of Delhi, Manish Sisodia, who is also the in charge of the state's Education department.
The much-publicized event was also attended by the star of the film, Irrfan Khan. While Hindi Medium has a noble idea at its heart, it, unfortunately, fails in its endeavour to propagate it. Let's look at the various factors that work against the film.
It is a cardinal sin for a film to try and preach in the name of entertainment. Hindi Medium loses its path half way owing to a preachy narrative that gets worse at the story progresses ahead. Towards the end, it feels like some public service announcement than a movie.
Hindi Medium climaxes in an ending that appears to be straight out of some street play. Everyone suddenly appears to be morally transformed--a facet that greatly reduces the movie's level of conviction and plausibility.
We all are aware that Irrfan Khan is a gifted actor with remarkable range. His exploits are not just limited to Bollywood but he has essayed pivotal roles in Hollywood blockbusters like Jurassic World and Inferno as well as international productions like Slumdog Millionaire (winner of 8 Oscars) and Life of Pi (winner of 4 Oscars).
Every time the shape shifting Irrfan play a new character we expect him to get lost in the character. Alas, in Hindi Medium he fails to essay a Chandni Chowk businessman with the usual conviction! The mistake is not just Irrfan's for the real weakness lies in the screenplay that fails to do justice to a performer of Irrfan's pedigree.
Deepak Dobriyal has a great comic timing as we have seen in films like Tanu Weds Manu, Prem Ratan Dhan Payo, and Tanu Weds Manu Returns. In Hindi Medium his role isn't supposed to be inherently funny and that's what ruins the character played by Dobriyal. While Dobriyal seems to have tried his level best to deliver a convincing performance the end result falls short of his best by some distance.
Saba Qamar has made a name for herself as a serious actress in Pakistan but her role in Hindi Medium demanded the exact opposite. By looking at her performance in the movie one can easily tell that she was trying a bit too hard to get the comic moments right and as a result ended up delivering an over-the-top performance.
Hindi Medium is an attempt to take swipes at the class divide. But its representation of the poor and the needy is rather disappointing. Instead of highlighting the plight of the poor it seems to be taking pleasure out of their abysmal state.
Hindi Medium portrays Delhi's private schools in a negative light. Yes, corruption is omnipresent but the film's view that the entire education machinery in the country is corrupt comes across as not only pessimistic but also deeply disturbing. To make a sweeping generalization that all the private schools in Delhi are run by good-for-nothing, corrupt administrators is demeaning, to say the least.
WittyFeed Rating: 2/5