While the entire nation is yet to get over the Baahubali mania with the movie having crossed Rs 1500 crore globally at the box office, there is a Hindi movie that released this week that may not have the grand scope of SS Rajamouli’s movie, but manages to entertain nevertheless. I am talking about Hindi Medium, the social satire starring Irrfan Khan and Saba Qamar in the lead. Directed by Saket Chaudhary and produced by Dinesh Vijan, the movie is about how it is difficult for a little kid to get admission in supposedly good school, and how it adds to the stress of the parents. Amrita Singh, Deepak Dobriyal, Tillotama Shome, Sanjay Suri and Neha Dhupia form the supporting cast.
I watched the movie in a special show for the media, and came out smiling. Sure, it is not a perfect movie by a mile; there are inconsistencies and flaws galore and some of the jokes fall flat. But the movie overall works weel in getting the message right to you. Here are five reasons I feel the movie will turn out to be the sleeper hit of the year…
The relevant theme
Getting an admission for your kid in a good school is a real pain in the a$$, so much that many couples are opting to go childless these days. The various themes in the movie are something every parent in the audience would at some point agree to, even if some scenes are quite exaggerated. Nowadays the kind of school a child goes to has become a status symbol for every family. The movie also touches upon the prevalent practices of corruption in the education system, where the rich robs the poor of their chance to get a good education. Like I said before, the themes are something everyone can relate to.
The right mix of humour and drama
3 Idiots, a movie with a similar social focus, connected well with the audience because of its use of humour to lay down its message, with dramatic moments coming at the right moments. The director of Hindi Medium uses the same idea for Hindi Medium, as she tries to convey what he wants to say through humour. There are a few emotional moments in the second half, but still he doesn’t let the humour seep away from the narrative. And Indians love humour, don’t we?
Excellent performance from the lead cast
Presence of stars can get a good box office opening for your movie, but it’s only the real actors that can hide the flaws of the screenplay and make you invest in the proceedings. Thankfully, after the average response to Shaadi Ke Side Effects, Saket has chosen to go for actors with immense talent to suit the characters. Irrfan Khan is terrific as always be it in the comic scenes, like when he had to bid farewell to his old neighbours in Chandni Chowk, and even in the dramatic scenes, like the final speech. Saba Qamar is a good find and she makes her slightly two-dimensional character relatable. But the real scene-stealer is Deepak Dobriyal. If he made you laugh your guts out in Tanu Weds Manu franchise, here he will make you misty-eyed with some nuanced performance.
Though there is a romantic song at the start of the movie, Hoor, there are no other speedbreaker songs in the narrative. The Takadum song towards the end is required there, while Suit Suit plays for a very short time. There are no unnecessary subplots as well. There is a scene where Mita, Saba’s character in the movie, is seen startled to see Sanjay Suri’s character in her new neighborhood, and there is a mention that they are college friends. Though we have slight doubt that they were more than that, the movie never digresses into this. Instead, Suri and his wife’s presence only goads Mita to push her husband to get admission for their daughter in Delhi’s finest schools.
The right embedding of social message
Hindi Medium talks about the absurdity of the admission process in schools, and the corrupt practices behind this and the poor conditions of government schools. But it does not just blame the administrators for the lapses, but also the parents for allowing this to happen, while putting enough pressure on kids at such a tender age to excel. Ther is a tender scene where a little boy asks his father whether it is his fault that he didn’t get admission to a good school. No, it’s not. Every kid has the right to get good education, and it is the motto that Hindi Medium tries hard to convey, with a fair share of success.