Hichki Film Review: Goregaon Highway Pulse
Cast – Rani Mukerji, Sachin and Supriya Pilgaonkar, Neeraj Kabi
Director – Siddharth Malhotra
Rating – 2.5/5
The HICHKI story
Naina Mathur (Rani Mukerji) suffers from Tourette syndrome, a neuro-psychiatric condition that results in sudden jerks, causing hiccups. Despite having this speech defect, she’s determined to become a teacher. After multiple desperate attempts, she finally bags the post of a full-time teacher in the renowned St. Notkar’s school, where she had studied as a child. However, the only hiccup is that the students she is hired to teach are a bunch of rebellious, underprivileged miscreants who will go to any length to avoid studying. The plot revolves around her rock-solid conviction of being able to transform their lives and rise as an underdog to win her own battle.
The HICHKI effect
The story begins with numerous explanations of Tourette syndrome. Ranu Mukerji’s sudden interruptions may seem amusing or even slightly annoying at times, but throughout the movie we are shown how it feels to have a disorder that just can’t be controlled. It makes one wonder of the things we generally take for granted. Not once was there a sign of helplessness on Naina’s face because of her speech defect, proving that it’s not the challenge itself, but how you overcome it, that matters. The film ends on a light hearted note and there will be scenes which make you reach out for your handkerchief, but there are some major hiccups in the narration of the story.
HICHKI is predictable
While Naina battles the bully’s in her class head-on, the events leading up to the conclusion are simply predictable. The trailer of the film itself is a dead-giveaway of this underdog movie and there’s nothing unique we haven’t already seen before. For instance, in one scene, Naina challenges the principle (Shivkumar Subramaniam) and the head teacher (Neeraj Kabi) that she can get her students to score more than 90 percent in their exams, and walks off in a huff trying to make a dramatic point. Needless to say, she did prove her point (Well, don’t tell me you didn’t see that coming).
Similarly, the unruly students in her class eventually end up realising that she was right all along and get recognized for their hard-work in school towards the end. (You have had to see this one coming though!) Towards the second half the film drags on and some scenes seem a little forced.
Coming to performances, Rani as Naina Mathur was effervescent and full of life. Standing by her students tenaciously, she excels with every scene and her nuances grow on you. There’s no denying that she’s an actor par excellence and has proved her acting prowess over the years.
Neeraj Kabi is laudable in his character as the antagonist who later comes around. Sachin and Supriya Pilgaonkar play Rani’s parents in the film but unfortunately couldn’t stand out in their limited scenes. Shivkumar Subramaniam does justice to the authoritarian figure he portrays in the film.
Director Siddharth Malhotra got the child actors to perform well, giving them each their own distinctive identities. However, their back stories could have been explored a little more through sub-plots.
#SupriyaSays: HICHKI is a typical underdog film with some brilliant performances. Despite some hiccups in the story, it is certainly a one-time watch.
Film reviewed by Supriya Nair
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