Released Date : Mar 23, 2018
Directed by : Siddharth P. Malhotra
Box Office : 38.4 Crores
Genre : Drama
Tourette’s Syndrome, as with all smart films tackling disability, is just a motif here, running across the film’s gorgeous pillars and idle playgrounds, curling gently about the scenes like creepers and scuttling into the background conveniently and often.
I warn you, this movie is sugar. Here, melodrama has gently coaxed logic out of school. Scenes never become the sum of their parts. And yet, you hang on tight to the film.
Mainly, the most realistic aspect of the movie, the lead, works. Rani Mukerji’s ‘Naina Mathur’ doesn’t try to be special. After 18 rejections, she gets an offer to teach. It is the same school where she had studied and been inspired by a teacher who had transformed her life by accepting her condition. But there’s a catch. 9F is not a regular batch. Previously, the students have been in a municipality school which got absorbed into St. Notkar’s playground. Because of Right to Education, they get to study at St. Notkar’s. They are slum kids who have not just been dealt rough blows by life, they have also been made to feel they do not belong in the school by teachers and students alike. Naina Mathur’s biggest challenge is if she could gain their trust. As an actor, Mukerji’s greatest challenge is if she could enable me to overlook the persistent tics and pay attention beyond. And yes she does.
The movie tells an underdog story. The narrative unfolds quite predictably and the drama tropes are familiar. Ultimately, you reflect on education as a concept. You remember the teachers who shaped your thoughts. I grew up in a time where teachers could bully or smack you. And before corporal punishment was banned, they used to rap with canes. Frankly, I never had a teacher like Naina Mathur but I do wish I had one! This is also a film for anyone who may have struggled to belong or had identity issues ever in life.
The movie spends its runtime in the school and the slums. And, Yashraj has its signature on the production design. The school, with its old British architecture, has appeal and character, like a wrinkled wise man who quietly observes everything. But when it comes to slums, these are the ones you saw in Lafangay Parinday which had Yashraj version of Mumbai slums. I just hated the shallowness of art direction. More so because, I have seen the slums myself and have happened to pass by and stop by several times. My question is: Why do we need this dolled up version or does the art director not know any better?
The cast is tailored. Everyone, however superficial, has been given a backstory. This gives credence to the proceedings. Rani Mukerji is full of conviction. I think motherhood gives a woman an ineffable maturity and a knowing smile. Rani, who has always been a delight to watch, delivers an impeccable emotional punch with her performance. I can now stick my neck out and say Rani is not just India’s, but one of the world’s finest actors. If this is how your 2nd innings will be, we are fortunate as film lovers – Just keep them coming Rani!
Harsh Mayar, if you remember the ‘I am Kalam’ wonder, has got a significant part and enacts it wonderfully. The actors playing schoolchildren and Neeraj Kabi as the teacher who challenges Naina have hit the right notes throughout.
Cinematography by Avinash Arun who is also a brilliant director is very reminiscent of ‘Killa’ and ‘Drishyam’, both of which have a distinct soft palette which he prefers. He makes use of natural light impressively, almost like European cinematographers. The music is soft and fresh, wispy on the ears, a welcome breeze at various points of the film. But the background score could be a little subtler.
I do congratulate the crew of Hichki for making a film with so much heart and it does seem like a lot of good and great is on the horizon. But I can’t say the same for direction because all that falters in here is for the lack of that. Siddharth has a Malhotra surname and I am sorry to offend but I wonder how well he knows Indian reality.
I am going with 3 out of 5 for Hichki. Have no hiccups making it to theatres for this one!
Site: Bollywood Hungama Review By- Hungama
Overall, HICHKI is a simple, meaningful and an inspiring film that stays with you. Rani Mukerji is back in full form and her fans will be immensely impressed. At the box office, the film will mainly appeal to the younger audiences. Source : Visit site for more
Site: HindustanTimes Review By- Rohit
Rani Mukerji takes a cue from these films and blends them with a contemporary issue. To Malhotra’s credit, he has got the formula correct. Hichki is good enough to make you cry multiple times. Also, the film’s is well paced. At 118-minutes, there are not many dull scenes. Then there is Rani Mukerji, sassy, confident and completely aware of her circumstances. She operates within the boundary and tries her best to not let the film deviate from the central theme. Source : Visit site for more
Site: Indian Express Review By- Shalini Langer
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 contex Source : Visit site for more
Site: NDTV Review By- Raja Sen
This kind of To Sir With Love/Dead Poets Society/School Of Rock setup would be enough, but Hichki goes for more. Based on the true-life story of Brad Cohen, Rani Mukerji plays a teacher with Tourette's Syndrome, punctuating her life with uncontrollable vocal tics and wrist movements. A fine actress, Mukerji does well to make her condition appear natural and entirely involuntary, but the story pivots too far away from the students' (and teachers') acceptance of the syndrome. Soon it becomes merely an actorly affectation, with hardly any bearing on the storytelling. Source : Visit site for more
Site: Filmcompanion Review By- Anupama Chopra
the first half plays out engagingly. Naina’s situation is presented with empathy. Her spirit and determination feel authentic. However, as the conflict moves from Naina and her condition to Naina and her students, the writing becomes more literal and predictable. Hichki is a genuinely earnest film made with heart. But it doesn’t take enough risks and consequently doesn’t touch a raw nerve in the way that Taare Zameen Par did. But it’s always nice to see a talented actress with all guns blazing. Source : Visit site for more
Site: Twitter Review By- Taran Adarsh
Some stories are difficult to narrate... #Hichki blends emotions and entertainment seamlessly... Director Siddharth Malhotra delivers a meaningful film that handles characters with care, understanding and maturity...A simple, straight-forward film that stays with you... Make time for it! Source : Visit site for more
Site: News18 Review By- Rajeev Masand
There is nothing original, nothing surprising, nothing even remotely unpredictable in Hichki. This Rani Mukerji starrer about a teacher who employs unconventional methods to get through to her class of tough, rebellious kids is formula filmmaking to a T. Hichki is inconsistent but well-intentioned. More than once I found myself tearing up during the film. That kind of manipulation, I’m willing to live with. I’m going with three out of five.
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Site: firstpost Review By- Swetha Ramakrishnan
Hichki would be incomplete without the talented performance of Neeraj Kabi. He starts off by playing the antagonist and ends up teaching us all a thing or two. Speaking of which, performances are the strong suit of this film. One can sense the careful deliberation with which each actor has played their part, and added to the endearing charm of Hichki. True to its name, there are some flaws in the film: it could have been a tighter story, and by the end of the second half the plot points seem to drag, and feel forced; the tonality of the film is confusing — does it want to be a drama or a slice-of-life, or an inspiring black sheep story? However, ultimately you will walk out of Hichki with a smile on your face. Because everything else apart — Rani Mukerji is back in our lives. Source : Visit site for more
Site: Khaleej Times Review By- Anita Iyer
Overall, the film is predictable as it follows the story of underdogs whose lives are changed with a stubborn teacher rooting for them. Did the director, Siddharth P Malhotra, manage to effectively translate the script into the big screen? We doubt. Watch it for Rani, she won't disappoint you. But leaving the cinema hall might make you wonder if this was the best comeback film for her. Source : Visit site for more
Site: Gulfnews Review By- Manjusha
While Hichki is intent on communicating life-affirming philosophies such as ‘there are no bad students, but just bad teachers’ and ‘conquer your fear and fly free’, there were moments in this drama which are laboriously didactic. The climax, which includes cheating and a painful examination as one of its plot twists, is also unnecessarily dramatic. But that’s a minor hiccup — or should I say Hichki — in an otherwise engaging feel-good drama. Be ready to be schooled by Mukerji who’s in top form. Source : Visit site for more