By Omair Alavi
In the age of superheroes, there is hardly any place for real-life heroes or heroines who achieve what others only think of doing. Hichki is one such film that pays tribute to the many teachers around the world who jump over obstacles to teach to the best of their abilities. Here, Rani Mukerji plays one such individual who is handicapped yet determined to prove her worth, despite the many hurdles that might come in the way.
Hichki is about Naina (Rani Mukerji) who suffers from Tourette syndrome and can’t complete a discussion without either a hiccup or saying wa-wa, cha-cha. She wants to be a teacher and when her alma mater gives her the chance, she believes that all her problems are solved when in reality they have just begun. She gets the class no one wants to teach but with her will, she transforms the students into toppers. How does she do that, is what makes this film one of the best in recent years from Bollywood.
Rani Mukerji is excellent as the teacher who suffers from a neurological disorder and fits the part well; no one else except Vidya Balan would have been able to do justice with the role. She looks the part and makes the audience connect with her which is nothing short of brilliant. The students are played mostly by newcomers and that’s why the audience is able to relate to them. Then there is the supporting cast that keeps the story moving, providing fill in the blanks, wherever required. The script and the dialogues are extremely well done which are one of the many reasons the film is a must watch.
The film centres on Rani’s character with the rest of the cast sharing the remaining time; there is no romantic interest in the movie making it more of an art film than a commercial one. It is the Indianized version of an American TV movie rather than based on a real-life incident which would have been even better. It is nonetheless a better attempt at raising awareness against those who don’t get to do what they want because of the misconceptions of the society.
The Verdict 4/5
With no time to recollect our memories, Hichki provides you with the chance to go back in time and remember your school days for a change. The crowd applauded when the film ended because it clicked with them. Through this film, Rani Mukerji does an Aamir Khan and surprises all by being good at it. If such films are made, the audience’s trust in Bollywood will revive because in the past few months, some below average films have been released and that has dented the reputation of the biggest film industry in the world.
Story first published: 2nd April 2018