What is life without a hiccup or two!

What is life without a hiccup or two!

CAST: Rani Mujherjee, Neeraj Kabi, Supriya Pilgaonkar, Shivkumar Subramaniam, Asif Basra

DIRECTOR: Siddharth Malhotra

Rating: 4/5

After a brief hiatus of four years, Rani Mukherjee surprises her fans with a Hichki.

Rani plays Naina Mathur, a fierce young woman who believes that she was born to be a teacher. Armed with an MSc, a double BEd, and Tourette's Syndrome a neuropsychiatric disorder - she chases her dreams with all the confidence in this world. Naina does not let the sounds and involuntary tics, courtesy Tourette's, stop her, but 'ignorant' people do. Several schools reject her on the basis of her condition but then hope shines bright. She lands at an elite school with a bunch of underprivileged children in her care.

It is now Naina's responsibility to help the black sheep of class 9F overcome the discrimination and circumstances they are up against. The film reminds you a little of the 1967 movie, To sir with love and you won't complain.

Hichki is inspired by Brad Cohen's memoir, Front of the Class. Cohen is a teacher and a motivational speaker today who faced his share of hurdles due to the Tourette's Syndrome.

While Rani's tics sound out of place in the beginning of the movie, she soon eases into a zone of effortlessness. The tics look very natural and involuntary that they no longer shock you. To her credit, Cohen himself said how she did the tics better than him. The child artiste who plays young Naina is equally brilliant. Her innocent face and natural acting will melt your heart.

The cast of the film is spot on. Supriya and Sachin Pilgaonkar as Naina's parents are good, while Hussain Dalal plays the supportive brother to perfection. Neeraj Kabi, who plays the fellow teacher of a privileged class of students, makes you believe in his detest for the 'municipality school kids.'

The young actors playing the slum children, who will stand together no matter what hiccup they face, are a refreshing sight. The good background score complements and maintains the mood of the movie till the end.

There are some special moments in the film which will stay with you long after you have left the theatre. Like the one where Naina's class looks to their teacher - the pole star of their life - for direction.

The film treats disability without any awkwardness and looks at Tourette's Syndrome as a mere 'hiccup' in Naina's life that she learns to brave. Of course, there are clichs and predictable twists, but in the end, Hichki is a feel-good movie. You might just walk out of the theatre inspired to face your hurdles like Naina does, for in her own words, "You can't hear every hiccup," but you can very well learn to overcome it.

Farheen Hussain

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