Rani Mukerji’s last outing was ‘Mardaani’ and we all saw the kind of potential that’s still unexplored in this powerhouse of talent. Portraying characters with a certain kind of disability has always required extra efforts to make sure it doesn’t go over the top. This is one reason why ‘Hichki’ will be remembered; for Rani Mukerji’s memorable performance.
‘Hichki’ is the story of a part-time animator and an aspiring 18-times rejected teacher Naina Mathur (Rani Mukerji). Suffering from Tourette Syndrome, she has a speech defect that makes her feel imperfect in this society of so-called perfect people. She has grown up with an unsupportive father but a loving family otherwise. After 18 trials, she finally gets a job at the same school she studied.
Every school has a group of rebellious students and Naina was appointed to teach one such group. Students of the infamous division 9F try every possible attempt to annoy her. But Naina, after getting a job after such hard work, is in no mood to break down. Uniting the entire class together, she tries to abolish the discrimination these students are facing. The rest of the story is about how Naina tries her best to overcome her weakness by converting it into her strength.
The first half tests one’s patience because the vocal tics get on the nerves as they’re used in every scene. We totally understand the sensitivity of the syndrome but the makers should’ve edited out some portions to tone the first half down. The second half is where the drama gets properly executed and the missing pieces fit in to complete the puzzle.
There are loopholes but the presence of a stellar cast helps to maintain the balance. A major thing which the film lacks is humour. Many jokes and comical situations fall flat and could’ve been improved. There is so much scope of infusing hilarious comedy but unfortunately the makers miss this golden opportunity.
Rani Mukerji rides the film with her unmatchable talent and surely writes this down as one of her best performances. She gets ample support from the stellar supporting cast but it’s her, holding the fort throughout, till the last frame. Neeraj Kabi looks sharp as the student’s council head and Shiv Subrahmanyam justifies his role as the principal of the school. Sadly, Sachin and Supriya Pilgaonkar don’t get much to do and are badly missed throughout. Special mention for the little gems in the students as everyone is better than the rest.
The album by Jasleen Royal is very average as just a couple of songs such as Harshdeep Kaur’s “Oye Hichki” and Arijit Singh’s “Khol De Par” live up to the mark. The rest of the songs just doesn’t click and works situationally. The story penned by Sidharth P Malhotra and Ankur Chaudhry includes a string of clichés. The movie suffers from an immense pop-melodrama which breaks the link set by few good scenes.
On the whole, watch ‘Hichki’ only for Rani Mukerji. Watch without any huge expectations because it’s not a ‘Taare Zameen Par’. Just a sweet take on the syndrome symbolizing the win over your weaknesses.