Movie Review: Hichki

Hichki: Predictable yet Heart Warming

“Hichki” is a true example of safe film making; it is moulded in an existing mould taking inspirations from various movies international and Bollywood exploring the theme of teacher and student bonding. Starting from Jagruti to Imtehaan to Taare Zameen Par, this theme has been used successfully, and “Hichki” takes the same path, though primarily it is an adaptation of the book, “Front of the Class: How Tourette Syndrome Made Me the Teacher I Never Had” by Brad Cohen.

“Hichki” tells the story of Naina Mathur (Rani Mukherjee) who suffers from Tourette’s syndrome (a neurological disorder which forces the hichki movieindividual to make sounds as and when there is an obstruction in the nerves) who being a part time graphic designer aspires to be a teacher. After a struggle for 5 years she ultimately gets a job at a prestigious school St. Notekar’s as a teacher, wherein she is assigned class 9F which comprises of kids from the nearby slums as per Indian Govt’s right to education. These kids are seen as an outcast who does not blend with rest of the students from elite families which make the kids feel unwanted and they become rebels. Whether Naina is able to regain the kids trust and able to tame them is what the movie is all about.

“Hichki” is written by a team of writers comprising of the director Sidharth Malhotra, Ankur Choudhary, Ambar Hadap and Ganesh Pandit. Though the writing team comprises of five writers still there is nothing new about “Hichki”, and right from the word go you will exactly know how will the movie progress and end. Where the movie redeems itself are a few moments between Naina and her students that make you really emotional. Though the story and screenplay does not anything new but still it makes you smile and cry along with it, in short the premise and writing successfully connects emotionally because it is the characters and their equation, like the father daughter relationship, the mother daughter relationship, Naina’s relationship with her students that makes the difference. Overall the writing is decent but not extraordinary.

“Hichki” is a Rani Mukherjee’s movie throughout, she is in every frame and she just kills it with her performance, again showing what an actress par excellence she is. Rani internalizes Naina and almost lives her on screen, especially when she has bouts of Tourette. Rani carries the entire movie on her able shoulders and does not disappoint us even in a single frame. Rest of the cast like Neeraj Kabi as Wadia does a good job but I felt that his character was too one dimensional for a brilliant actor like him. Amongst the kids it is Harsh Mayar as Aatish who leaves the maximum impact, rest of the supporting cast does a good job.

Though “Hichki” has songs but none of the songs creates any impact.
Cinematography by Avinash Arun captures the moments well and creates the apt premise for the story.

Siddharth P Malhotra, after an unsuccessful “We Are Family” plays it safe this time around, and the best decision me makes is to cast Rani Mukherjee in the lead role, which was half the battle won. Though he gets the emotional quotient bang on but still we want to see more dimensions in his direction.

“Hichki” is a Rani Mukherjee movie throughout and she does not disappoint, I will go with 3 stars.

12 Years Of Black

“Black” which released on 4th Feb 2005, has become an iconic movie for Bollywood..

Written by Sanjay Leela Bhansali & Bhavani Iyer, “Black” was loosely based on the English movie “The Miracle Worker” which released in 1962. It told the story of the bond and relationship of a deaf & dumb girl Michelle McNally (Rani Mukherjee) and her teacher Debraj Sahai (Amitabh Bachchan). Dialogues were written by Prakash Kapadia.

Sanjay Leela Bhansali thought of the idea of “Black” while preparing for his first movie “Khamoshi-The Musical” which released in 1996, but it was only after “Devdas” which released in 2002 that Sanjay actually went ahead with “Black”. It is said that Sanjay Leela Bhansali wanted to make “Bajirao Mastaani” after “Devdas” with the cast comprising of Salman Khan as Bajirao, Aishwarya Rai as Mastaani and Rani Mukherjee as Kashi Bai, but due to personal conflict between Salman and Aishwarya the movie was scrapped, so Sanjay decided to make a low budget quickie and that is how “Black” was made.

12 Years Of Black

 

The principal cast comprised of Amitabh Bachchan, Rani Mukehrjee, Ayesha Kapoor, Dhritiman Chatterjee, Shernaz Patel, Nandana Sen and Mahabanoo Mody-Kotwal. It is said that Rani Mukherjee was initially not very keen to play the role of Michelle as she was not very confident of doing justice to such a difficult role, but it was Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s belief in her that changed her mind and eventually she played the character of Michelle.

“Black” faced many hurdles during its production, one of the major setbacks was a fire which broke on the set of “Black” and destroyed the entire set erected in Film City. The production team had to re-create the sets from a scratch to resume the shoot. Another setback was during the outdoor at Shimla, for a particular sequence snow fall was to be depicted, but though the shooting was happening in January when it snows in Shimla, there was no snow falls that year. So to depict snow fall, snow making machines where used with sacks of salt which substituted for snow, but when you see the sequence you will not realize that it was fake snow. The major setback was when Sanjay did not get teh permission to shoot the indoor sequences in a vintage villa; hence a mammoth task was assigned to art director Omung Kumar to re-create the interiors of a pre-independence vintage villa in Film City, Mumbai.

“Black” was critical and a box office success, though being an unusual concept. Amitabh Bachchan was seen in a completely different avatar in the movie, far removed from his super star persona. “Black” fetched Amitabh Bachchan his second National Award for Best Actor, earlier he got his first National Award for Agneepath. Additionally Amitabh won all the major awards for Best Actor including Filmfare for that year. Since “Black” Amitabh has done some path breaking roles in Cheeni Kum,  Paa, Piku and Pink out of which Amitabh Bachchan has received National Awards for Paa & Piku.

“Black” catapulted Rani Mukherjee to the league of good actresses and also consolidated her position in Bollywood. She won all the major awards for “Best Actress” including the Filmfare Award for “Black”. Another actor who created a mark with “Black” was Ayesha Kapoor who played the kid Michelle. Ayesha received the Filmfare award for Best Supporting Actor Female category.

Ravi K Chandran will be remembered for his brilliant cinematography of “Black”. He swept all the awards for Best Cinematography for that year including a Filmfare award.

“Black” won 11 Filmfare awards, making “Black” the movie which has received the maximum no. of Filmfare Awards till date.

Sanjay Leela Bhansali who is famous for his music and extravagant song sequences, surprisingly did not have a single song in Black, but still it captured the hearts of the audience till today.

“Black” I think is the best movie that Sanjay Leela Bhansali made till date. The movie had the correct emotional content which was shot with technical finesse and the performance from the entire cast was just magical.

“Black” is and will remain a cult classic for Indian Film Industry, and it is one of the “Must Watch” movies of Bollywood…

Watch the movie trailer of “Black”

Movie Review Mardaani

Mardaani: A Celebration of Woman Power

There are some movies which are made just to entertain but there are some which makes you think, Mardaani falls in the latter genre.

Human Trafficking is a business which is growing at an alarming rate worldwide and India is a hub of Child Movie Review MardaaniTrafficking and Mardaani deals with this topical subject.

Gopi Puthran chooses a controversial topic of Human Trafficking for his story and the risk with such subjects is that it becomes preachy. But thankfully Gopi’s screenplay refrains from doing so and tells the story in a thriller format of a crime branch Inspector Shivani Shivaji Roy (Rani Mukherjee) who has a soft spot for an orphan Pyari (Debutant Priyanka Sharma). Life takes a turn for Shivani when Pyari goes missing, how Shivani busts the Human Trafficking nexus and finds Pyari constitutes the rest of the story.

Gopi’s screenplay captures the modus operandi of how human trafficking is done in a thriller format which is engaging and keeps you at the edge of the seat; not much time is spent on the emotional quotient. It is the climax which looks a bit too convenient. The characters are realistic and so are the dialogues. But I thought the Thriller quotient could have been much better as the surprise element is missing in most part of the movie.

The performances are the biggest highlight of the movie. Rani as Shivani gives a crackling performance, everything from her body language to the way she speaks everything is spot on. Rani Mukherjee again proves that you cannot keep a good actor away for too long. Another brilliant performance is of the debutant Tahir Raj Bhasin who plays the antagonist Karan, he is so good that you start hating him, truly a brilliant debut. Tahir’s portrayal of Karan is a perfect complement to Rani’s portrayal of Shivani. Mona Ambegoankar gives a superb performance, though her role is small but she shines even in a brief role, sad to see that a brilliant actress like her is underutilized. Another debutant Priyanka Sharma as Pyari shows spark. Jishu Sengupta the Bengali actor is wasted in a brief role. Rest of the cast is cast well and they do a good job. I should mention Shanoo Sharma the casting director who has done a brilliant job of casting.

The second highlight is the cinematography by Artur Zurawski who captures the bylanes of Mumbai and Delhi well and keeps the tone as realistic as possible in lieu of the narration.

With “Mardaani” Pradeep Sarkar resumes his original form which was seen in “Parineeta” (2005). Though a dark and sensitive subject, but Pradeep handles it well and keeps the narrative simple though a bit of twists would have been better. But Pradeep is successful is extracting some brilliant performances from the cast which is commendable.

Kudos to Pradeep Sarkar for taking up such a sensitive issue for a movie and showing how women can defend themselves against odds. This movie is a true celebration of woman power, I will go with 3 and a half stars…

Movie Rating: (3.5 / 5)

Trailer Mardaani

Rani Mukherjee is back with YRF’s “MARDAANI”……Directed by Pradeep Sarkar (Of Parineeta Fame) this is his second movie with Rani after “Laaga Chunri Mein Daag”released in 2007…..the movie is based on the organized crime of Human Trafficking and Rani plays a tough cop Shivani Shivaji Roy a departure from her previous roles….the movie releases 22nd Aug’14….Below is the trailer which looks interesting…