'Hichki' Review: A must-watch film if you are a teacher, parent, or a student

A Potpourri of Vestiges Review

By Murtaza Ali Khan

Featured in IMDb Critic Reviews

Rani Mukerji as Naina Mathur in Hichki
Rani Mukerji as Naina Mathur in Hichki
Can a school teacher perform well despite having a speech disorder? Well, if Stephen Hawkin could achieve so much despite his medical condition why a teacher with a speech disorder can’t fulfill her duties to the fullest? An adaptation of the Brad Cohen book Front of the Class: How Tourette Syndrome Made Me the Teacher I Never Had, Hichki tells the story of a teacher, named Naina Mathur, suffering from Tourette syndrome—a neuropsychiatric disorder marked by tics i.e. sudden, repetitive, non-rhythmic movements and utterances that involve discrete muscle groups—who takes it upon herself to teach a class of under privileged students studying at a leading private school as part of government of India’s right to education scheme. But years of rejection and isolation have tuned them rogue. Having lost all hope, these students now come to the school merely out of compulsion. But, Naina is not someone who easily accepts defeat. Will she succeed in reforming them while battling her own condition? 

Every now and again there comes a movie which reinstates our faith in the education system. Regardless of the attention we pay to education, it remains a neglected sector and so it is important that the debates around education reach far and wide. And, perhaps, there is no medium better than cinema when it comes to propagation of a social cause. Hichki is a powerful reminder of what education can help achieve. That innovative methods employed in teaching can often deliver better results than conventional techniques. 

Directed by Sidharth P Malhotra, Hichki marks Rani Mukerji’s comeback to the big screen after a hiatus of four years. And despite all the complexities of plot and characters, Hichki is all about Mukerji’s brilliance that convinces us beyond doubt that her character in the movie does suffer from Tourette syndrome. Minutes into the movie we stop seeing Rani; all we see is a determined teacher who just doesn't believing in quitting, no matter how big the odds are. 
Neeraj Kabi in Sidharth P Malhotra's Hichki
Neeraj Kabi in Sidharth P Malhotra's Hichki
Mukerji delivers a real tour de force performance in Hichki. The acting process is as physical as it is mental and yet physical excursion is something that usually goes unnoticed as far as acting is concerned. All we talk about are methods, expressions, and gestures. But watching Rani one can’t help but wonder about the kind of physical toil she would have put in so as to prepare herself for the role. Rani is well backed up by the film’s supporting cast, led by Neeraj Kabi who is barely recognizable in the role of a no-nonsense teacher. 

Overall, Hichki is a well-made film that despite its shortcomings has enough to keep the viewers of different age groups engaged. The movie's plot is clichéd and certain plot developments towards the end make it less convincing. Here is a film that is a must watch if you are a teacher, parent, or a student. And, so, if you do choose to watch it then you better be prepared to shed a few tears. 

Rating: 6.5/10

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