Director- Saket Choudhary
Starring- Irrfan Khan, Saba Qamar and Deepak Dobriyal
Hi, I am Pia Batra, that little girl you saw in the trailer of Hindi Medium, whose school admission story forms the plot of the film. My mother Mita Batra is an always blaming, spelling shaming and drugs scaring mom. She is a bit…err...weird. For instance, she paints me, first with Odomos and then smears me with sunscreen. And mind you, it’s winters. Sunblock in winters is like logic in Hindi films - pointless. But all of it is imperative. These are the quirks that delude filmmakers into creating a character. My father has special traits too. He has a sari-lehnga shop that he calls a fashion studio; you know the typical middle-class syndrome that we all have. And that’s the reason my mom goes from Mita/Mithu to Honey, an endearing term meant exclusively for the elite.
So before I get admitted into a school, I get admitted to different strata of society; from a humble middle-class house in Chandni Chowk to a villa in Vasant Vihar and then to a slum in Bharat Nagar. I felt like Dev Patel, Slumdog Millionaire in reverse!
My parents even get in touch with an expensive consultant, who conducts classes in various subjects, including English. She is pretty and pretty anglicized. And then I heard her say ‘revert back’ that made the grammar Nazi in me commit suicide.
Our shift to the slums is just a way to get admission in our choice of school through gareebi quota, but hey that can wait! When you are in the slums, what do you do? Tada! Manipulate! Gareebi Dikhao, audience rulao!
I sit in the corner of my dilapidated house. My mother fights some serious fights over ration and paani. There are rats and mosquitoes and dengue and chickungunya and all kinds of poor things that are thrown in, in perfect measure till you reach out for a box of tissues. Aur toh aur, my father even starts working in a factory. I reach a funny, kuchBhiDotCom turn of my life. So does the audience. At this point I can't decide if my parents are sweet or stupid. All this drama so that I can mouth a few lines in English? I wanted to devour the Oxford Dictionary or get my parents introduced to Kangana Ranaut and Kapil Sharma.
Slums are fun because we have Shyam uncle better known as Pappiji from Tanu Weds Manu Returns. He plays his character with such earnestness that it will win your heart. I secretly wished if he was my father, instead of Irrfan-now-with-a-double-R-Khan. He seemed more sorted and integral and tots won my heart when he hugged his son telling him he was the luckiest person ever. Sniff sniff. Actually he reminds me of my father from a decade ago. Deepak Dobriyal is the new humble, poor Irrfan Khan, after all papa can’t play Billo Barber kind of roles any longer. He has done Hollywood films bhai…and even dated Deepika Padukone in a film.
But my father earns applause for putting some sense, some credibility in the climatic speech on Hindi/English medium.
So between a poorly directed Hindi Medium and Arjun Kapoor’s broken English in Half Girlfriend, you really don’t have much of a choice. I feel you buddy.
THE RATINGS MEAN:
5 stars: Loved it. (This could make to top ten movies you must watch before you die!)
4 stars: Liked it. Recommend it. (This will help you sound intellectual and give you stuff to add at water cooler conversations.)
3 stars: Didn’t hurt. Watch it once.
2 stars: It put me to sleep. Watch it if you are an insomniac or a newly wedded couple. Winks!
1 star: Do I even need to explain this?