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.

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…