Hindi Medium is the story of Raj Batra (Irrfan Khan) and Mita (Saba Qamar), a young, married couple from Chandni Chowk who struggle with their daughter Pia’s nursery school admission. In the hope of clearing parent interviews of some of Delhi's best schools, the Batras try to angrezify themselves by moving from their ancestral home in Chandni Chowk to the posh Vasant Vihar. They enrol themselves with a counselling centre where parents are trained in the art of cracking their children's admission procedure along with some grooming tips. Alas, it doesn't work out and finally their counsellor suggests that the Batras apply under the 'gareeb' quota under RTE (Right to Education Act). In order to look the part, the family Batras shifts to a poor settlement in Bharat Nagar and undertake some gareebi(poverty) training under their new neighbour Shyam Prakash (Deepak Dobriyal) who is unaware about Batras' real motive and financial state. Will this fraud get Pia admission into Delhi’s most top-notch schools?
CAST: Irrfan Khan, Saba Qamar, Deepak Dobriyal
DIRECTOR: Saket Chaudhary
Saket Chaudhary comes as a breath of fresh air and focusses on a topic which has been due for long; the obsession of Indians with the English language. It is a noticeable fact that he likes to produce comedy out of ordinary. Hindi Medium starts with a bang and gives you plenty of reasons to laugh your heart out at the situational humour which each one of us can relate to.
Chaudhary’s casting is spot on as all the actors have done full justice to their roles. Irrfan, Saba and Deepak Dobriyal are perfect fits for their characters. As an understanding father and a supporting husband, Khan is a treat to watch in the film. And so is Pakistani actress Qamar, who delivers her role perfectly in an effective and funny way.
Zeenat Lakhani scores in delivering this serious message in the garb of humour and comedy. The dialogues are catchy and hilarious and keep you entertained throughout.
However, the only let down is that the plot gets a little predictable and preachy towards the end, and we are left wondering if there could have been improvement in that area. The film also points out the plight of government schools and how lack of infrastructure and other basic facilities is a major problem.
Even though the film gets over dramatic in some scenes, it is the message that matters and how it focusses on an issue which affects all of us.
Hindi Medium has its shares of controversies as well. The movie is based on a real-life struggle of a couple to get admission for their child in an English-medium school. It is a dark satire and based on a fact, but the Board wants the makers to issue a disclaimer stating that their movie film is a work of fiction. The makers are being compelled to say that Hindi Medium has no resemblance to the real world.
According to a DNA report, Hindi Medium can find itself in problems from the educational institutions across the country. There could be claims that the film is maligning the reputation of these institutions. A CBFC source said, “We realise this is a true-life situation. Thousands of parents have to go through the financial and emotional ordeal and suffering shown in the film. But if we don’t add a disclaimer stating it’s all fictional, we may incur the wrath of educational institutions across the country claiming the film maligns them. Better safe than sorry.”
It is a breezy light-hearted film and a much-needed comment on how the sacrosanct act of providing education has just reduced to a means of earning money and has turned into a business. Irrfan Khan, Saba Qamar’s Hindi Medium is a must watch this weekend.
Written By Surbhi Misra