Director: Siddharth P. Malhotra
Cast: Rani Mukherji, Sachin, Supriya, Neeraj Kabi, Shivkumar Subramaniam
A dedicated, driven teacher willing to walk the extra miles, who ultimately wins over an unruly class of underprivileged students …. Now, haven’t we seen these settings in many movies before? For more than fifty years the ‘To Sir With Love’ formula has provided the template for most teacher-student themed movies and it has already been successfully employed in Hindi cinema in films like Imtihan (1974) and Sir (1993).
Hichki uses the same basic template but adds another angle by showing the teacher to be afflicted with a neurologic disease. So how does the experiment work?
What’s the plot?
Tourette’s syndrome is a neurologic condition where the affected individual involuntarily keeps making noises and movements, without being able to control them. There is no cure for the condition. So imagine the surprise on the faces of the interviewers when a young lady with Tourette’s (Rani Mukherji) sits in front of them making weird noises, coolly educating them about her illness and calmly telling them that she wants to be a teacher!
After facing many rejections, she is finally appointed in her old school on a temporary basis but there is a catch. She is given the responsibility to teach the class 9F, which has 14 worst performing students of the school. Coming from a nearby poor hutment area, these students are a total misfit in the posh school and they have only seething resentment for the system, which seems only to favour the rich kids! The new teacher, who herself has faced prejudice all her life, will need all her never-say-die spirit and some out-of-the-box teaching methods to turn things around. With some vested interests constantly undermining her efforts, it is not going to be an easy task!
Despite its predictability and clichéd melodramatic story-line, Hichki comes out a winner. It is an enjoyable, heartwarming film, which touches the right chord and gives some sincere messages. Rani Mukherji’s central character gets the most brownie points here; in fact Hichki cannot be imagined without her!