Hichki is the story of an aspiring teacher battling her tourette syndrome and a class full of young mischievous students finding ways to prove themselves to the world.
Direction: Siddharth Malhotra
Cast: Rani Mukerji (Naina Mathur), Neeraj Kabi (Teacher), Supriya Pilgaonkar (Sudha, Naina’s mother), Hussain Dalal (Naina’s brother), Harsh Mayar (Aatish), Rohit Saraf (Akshay), Ivan Rodrigues (Principal), Asif Basra (Peon)
Naina Mathur, an aspiring teacher, is finally given the chance to teach a class of 14 students who come from the slums. She struggles between her tourette syndrome and finding a way to motivate these children to study and learn. What follows is a story of 14 children and their class teacher struggling to prove themselves to the world. Facing the school, where these children are discriminated by the students as well as the teachers, their new class teacher, Ms. Naina Mathur help them to learn and discover the different possibilities of education.
Hichki has been inspired from the 2008 film, Front Of The Class, which was an adaptation of the book, Front Of The Class: How Tourette Syndrome Made Me The Teacher I Never Had by Brad Cohen. Rani Mukherjee has returned to Bollywood after her pregnancy. Her last movie, Mardaani was released in 2014.
What To Anticipate:
It all begins with the proverb that there are no bad students, only bad teachers and takes us through the life of Naina Mathur, who wishes to be a teacher, despite having the tourette syndrome. The story falls on two axis and keeps rotating on and about them. On one hand, we have Ms. Naina Mathur, who has been given the chance to teach for the very first time after 5 years and 18 rejections. And on the other hand, we have Class 9F, a section of 14 students who come from the slums, are discriminated by the students and the teachers, and know every mischief to have 7 of their teachers changed. They both set out to prove themselves and attain it finally towards the end.
It’s a story with a good sentimental feeling. The kind of story which will make you nostalgic about your own days at school and your bonding with the teachers. Quickly introduced to the tourette syndrome, a neurological disorder because of which Naina keeps saying chak-chak, waa-waa and even keeps rubbing her chin, Rani Mukherjee wears the character so naturally, that not even once in the movie, you shall feel Naina’s actions as deliberate. Neeraj Kabi has to be appreciated too, for playing the role of a stern and strict teacher so well. The young actors who play the role of students have to be mentioned too for their efforts.
Director Siddharth Malhotra has beautifully moulded the story on screen and what works is the fact that he kept the central character’s romantic entanglements away from the screen and for that matter, also the temptation of putting unnecessary songs with dancing school children. The dialogues have been written well and so is the music of the movie. Jasleen Royal’s songs fit perfectly. The beautiful combination of a good story, well-written dialogues and fine music make this movie worth your time.
The movie does fail to have a strong screenplay with a few scenes that look like straight out of a typical Bollywood drama, with an unnecessary heightened sense of emotions at times. The 116-minute movie also drags a little and takes an unduly long time to establish the characters and the plot of the story. The predictability of Hichki makes it dull and out of fresh ideas, but at the same time, we understand the director’s idea of appealing to the masses.
Hichki is not the usual masala-Bollywood mainstream movie, but it also struggles to reach its zenith by invoking a mild dose of unnecessary teary eyed melodrama. The movie will make you feel nostalgic about your own school days and it perfectly fits for a one-time watch.