'Hichki' movie review: Is it the best comeback for Rani Mukerji?
Rani will move you with her performance as a teacher with Tourette syndrome.
Rani Mukerji, one of Bollywood's most versatile actresses, makes her comeback this week with 'Hichki'.
Rani, who plays Naina Mathur, a woman with Tourette syndrome, is struggling to get a job as a teacher but fails as her tics are beyond her control. Finally, she gets an opportunity and a bigger challenge in the form of tutoring 14 unruly students, who come from financially weak backgrounds and are struggling to be accepted by their school. How she forms a bond with them and changes their lives forms the crux of the film.
The movie wins you within the initial few minutes as Rani introduces us to Tourette syndrome and walks us through her challenging life from childhood. You can feel her pain and emotions as she keeps it real yet never comes across as a victim. She rather emerges as a fighter in spite of her circumstances.
The job that she finally lands of tutoring the rowdy bunch is expectedly predictable as they go ahead and indulge in ragging and even betting on how long she can last. While we could recognise some familiar faces among the students, most were newcomers and that brings the rawness to the film.
We are briefly introduced into the lives of the children but don't really know their back stories. This makes it difficult to empathise with them and you don't really connect with their struggles. Although they are central to the film, you don't move with their emotions and that is probably the weakest part of the script.
Even Naina's bond with her family seems superficial. We have the Pilgaonkars -- Supriya and Sachin -- playing her parents but the film doesn't invest much time in establishing their ties. Hussain Dalal is rightly cast as a supportive brother but the film just scratches the surface of their relationship. There could definitely have been a tear-jerking moment there!
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.
And you cannot help but think of the much-acclaimed 'Taare Zameen Par', which introduced us to dyslexia and moved us emotionally. Perhaps, it was the direction that created magic in 'TZP'.
'Hichki', beyond doubt, belongs to Rani as she gets into the skin of Naina and stays in the body language of a person with Tourette syndrome throughout the film. Even in the scenes which demand heavy performances from her, she never misses the tic.
One scene in the film particularly stands out as she portrays her vulnerable best, and it is the only two minutes into the film when she breaks down. It is moments like these that keep you engaged in the otherwise average movie.
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.
Starring: Rani Mukerji, Supriya and Sachin Pilgaonkar, Hussain Dalal
Directed by: Siddharth P Malhotra
Now playing at theatres in the UAE
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