Siddharth P Malhotra, the Director with yet another remake; who previously directed the Dharma Productions’ We Are Family (2010) is back with Yashraj Films’ Hichki (Hiccup). Based on the TV Film Front of the Class (2008) which was based on Brad Cohen’s book by the same name. Also, featuring Rani Mukherji back on-screen after 4 years.
Naina Mathur (Rani Mukherji) turns her biggest weakness into her strength, Tourette Syndrome and lands a job at a prestigious school in Mumbai. She is given the most notorious and trouble-making class, she makes them realize their potential. Writers Malhotra, Anckur Chaudhary, Ambar Hadap and Ganesh Pandit weave a positive narrative which is done-to-death assembling the best of the sympathetic lot. While the original featured students of Class 2 where their innocence was the biggest strength to provoke an empathy; here, the Slumdog Talent angle feels too forced. Hichki looks like a mashed-up version of Aamir Khan’s Taare Zameen Par (2007) and Remo D’Souza ABCD: Anybody Can Dance (2013).
With most random montages and stretched underdog angle, I mean the notorious students from slums – there’s a class divide, okay, but where is Tourette? Looks like the makers have cashed on the syndrome. Pity! Tourette Syndrome just becomes a junior artist, nevertheless the film has its own moving moments. And those moving moments are enough to make you fall for the story, especially towards the end. Front of the Class (2008) presented an intimate biographical story of a Teacher with Tourette Syndrome, here, it is presented as a social sympathy (insert a disability to make it appealing). Having watched the original film, Hichki is an underwhelming affair no where near the former.
Rani Mukherji delivers a solid performance and she is evidently the soul of the film, I’m sure if you shed few tears towards the end- are due to her performance. Neeraj Kabi is terrific in an unappealing negative character role which he makes appealing through his performance. Sachin and Supriya Pilgaonkar are okayish as TV-Soap parents. And the bunch of students lend a good support.
Hichki suffers more hiccups, although it has its moving moments, but is never sufficient enough yet it inspires.
Release: 23 March, 2018
Director: Siddharth P Malhotra
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