Hichki movie review: The Rani Mukerji starrer earns an A

Mar 23:There have been several films before on the difference a teacher can make to the lives of underprivileged students given up as lost causes in schools. Almost always, as they capture the transformation of these students on screen, the films work. Hichki does well in placing this story within a uniquely Indian context: of an old, establishment school being forced to take in children from the slums next door out of sheer need for space; of a well-meant law such as the Right to Education Act coming up against the stark, unsaid reality of class difference; of the meritocracy-determined hierarchical system that can be as rigid, in a society driven by competition; and of small aspirations that die within those walls every day. Is the added layer, of the teacher (played by Mukerji) hindered by an encumbrance of own, needed? Perhaps not. But in how Hichki handles teacher Naina Mathur's Tourette's Syndrome - for the most part - it at least doesn't take away from the film's central premise. Director Malhotra also avoids other temptations, such as the usual romantic entanglements or songs, get in the way - so that despite Hichki being Mukerji's 'comeback vehicle', it doesn't feel or play like one. For that matter, neither does Mukerji, who dresses down and ordinary, sometimes even more than her colleagues. That and her Scooty open many doors for her in the slums that her students inhabit. While Mukerji is good as always, the actors who play the students are also natural and without any artifice, with the film cleverly dodging stereotypes just when you suspect one around the corner. Ria Shukla, who was so good in Nil Battey Sannata, is one of those faces in that crowd. Naina Mathur enters into their lives when, after 18 rejections of own from schools where she applies for a teacher job, she finds an opening in her former school. The schools are understandably sceptical of Mathur's ability to handle students, given the nervous tics, including hiccups, that she breaks into because of Tourette's. Agencies
Source: Agencies



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