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Hindi Medium: Movie Review

Release Date: May 19, 2017
Cast: Irrfan, Saba Qamar, Deepak Dobriyal
Director: Saket Chaudhary
Genre: Comedy, Drama
Duration: 2 hours 12 minutes    

Discrimination by caste, color, religion, sex, and yes, English; it’s the reality of our times and it’s difficult to ignore it. Hindi Medium is essentially a story that most parents in India can easily relate to. Getting their kids admitted into a reputed school is a big challenge, and often the social and economic background of parents is used as assessment criteria for the admission of their kids. This appears quite irrational, but the practice is widespread and there’s no relief in sight. Parents make great efforts to get their child admitted to the best school, but one thing that poses a challenge is not the English proficiency of the child but that of the parents. It’s a sad legacy that we carry from our colonial past and movies like Hindi Medium may help bring some changes in the current system.

Raj (Irrfan) owns a thriving garment business in Delhi’s Chandni Chowk and he can easily afford the high fees charged by the reputed school he is trying to get his daughter Pia (Dishita Sehgal) admitted to. The only problem is that their Hindi lifestyle may not be able to impress the school authorities. So, Raj and his wife Mithu (Saba) upgrade their lifestyle, even choosing to live in a plush neighborhood in place of their ancestral home. They sport designer wear, listen to Western beats, and embrace many other aspects of an English lifestyle, but still it fails to get admission to their daughter in the top school. However, they refuse to give up. Next, they turn their plan upside down and try to get admission for their daughter under the ‘gareeb’ quota. They shift to live in a slum area and try to appear as poor as possible. But, will this new trick work to get their daughter admitted in the top school?

The dialogues are quite interesting and humorous, and delivered with the perfect tone and pause by Irrfan Khan. He also deserves credit for seamlessly portraying the internal conflict of a common man, who is expected to take up a new wannabe avatar. Saba Qamar has also delivered a good performance.

Hindi Medium comes across as a refreshing change from the usual commercial Bollywood cinema, so you may not want to miss it.

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