Hindi Medium

Hindi Medium is a 2017 Indian Hindi-language comedy-drama film written and directed by Saket Chaudhary. It was produced by Dinesh Vijan and Bhushan Kumar under their respective banners Maddock Films and T-Series. The film features Irrfan Khan and Saba Qamar in the lead roles, with Deepak Dobriyal and Dishita Sehgal in supporting roles. Set in Delhi, the plot centres on a couple's struggle to get their daughter admitted to a posh English school in order to survive in the society.

Hindi Medium
Theatrical release poster
Directed bySaket Chaudhary
Produced byDinesh Vijan
Bhushan Kumar
Written bySaket Chaudhary
Zeenat Lakhani
StarringIrrfan Khan
Saba Qamar
Music by
CinematographyLaxman Utekar
Edited byA. Sreekar Prasad
Production
company
Maddock Films
T-Series
Distributed byAA Films (India)
Zee Studios (Overseas)
Release date
  • 19 May 2017 (2017-05-19) (India)
  • 4 April 2018 (2018-04-04) (China)
Running time
132 minutes[1]
CountryIndia
LanguageHindi
Budget14 crore[2]
Box officeest. ₹322.4 crore[3]

Chaudhary got the idea for the film while he was researching along with his co-writer Zeenat Lakhani for his 2014 film Shaadi Ke Side Effects. After the release of the film, the duo started developing the idea further. The film was shot in Chandni Chowk, Anand Lok, Karol Bagh and Sangam Vihar. The film's soundtrack album was composed by the duo Sachin–Jigar, with lyrics by Priya Saraiya and Kumaar. The score was composed by Amar Mohile. Laxman Utekar was the cinematographer, and A. Sreekar Prasad the editor.

Made on a production budget of 14 crore, Hindi Medium released on 19 May 2017 and received mostly positive reviews, with particular praise for Khan's and Qamar's performances. The film grossed 322.4 crore (US$47 million) at the worldwide box office, becoming one of the highest-grossing Indian films of all time. It won two Filmfare Awards, including Best Film and Best Actor for Khan, at the 63rd Filmfare Awards. Due to the success of the film, a sequel Angrezi Medium is currently in development and is scheduled to be released theatrically on 20 March 2020 during the Holi festival weekend.

Plot

Raj Batra (Irrfan Khan), a rich businessman from Delhi stays with his wife Mita Batra (Saba Qamar). They have their 5-year-old daughter, Pia Batra (Dishita Sehgal). They want Pia to be admitted in a posh English school in Delhi, and thus be a part of and accepted by the elite of Delhi. Raj and Mita are introduced to a consultant named Shikha (Tillotama Shome), who grooms them for the interview to get Pia's application for her admission for various top schools. However, Raj and Mita fail to deliver their tutored answers in the interview. Their application gets rejected as it was exposed that both Raj and Mita are not strong in English.

'Delhi Grammar School' is a top school that has a condition that all applicants for the school will have to live within a three kilometers radius. The Batra family moves to Vasant Vihar. Afterward, Raj and Mita learn from an employee that he has got admission for his daughter through the Right to education (RTE) Quota, which is a scheme for poor parents to send applications for their children to posh schools in Delhi. Raj and Mita decide to apply for Pia's admission through that scheme. They shift to the locality of poor people and start acting poor in order to get the admission. They form a friendship with Shyam (Deepak Dobriyal) and Tulsi (Swati Das), who also apply for their son Mohan (Angshuman Nandi) to study in 'Delhi Grammar School' through the RTE quota.

Piya eventually gets admission, but Mohan's application did not get accepted. The Batra family return to their Vasant Vihar home. Raj and Mita make a donation to the 'Bharat Nagar Government School', where Mohan studies, to renovate it and get new books. After watching their son becoming fluent in English, Shyam, and Tulsi, they burst into tears and went to see the principal. Shyam gets the address of the donor through the principal. Shyam goes to Raj's house in Vasant Vihar and finds out the truth about Raj pretending to be poor for Pia's admission.

Before Shyam could meet the principal (Amrita Singh), Raj and Mita got to meet her. Raj requests her to remove Pia's admission and tells the truth. The principal rejects doing so. Raj gives a speech about education rights to the entire auditorium filled with rich parents and walks away from the school. Later, both Raj and Mita send Pia to the government-run Hindi Medium school 'Bharat Nagar Government School', where Mohan studies as well.

Cast

Credits adapted from Bollywood Hungama:[4]

Production

Made on a production budget of ₹14 crore, Hindi Medium was produced by Vijan of Maddock Films and Bhushan Kumar of T-Series. The film was directed by Chaudhary, his third directorial after romantic comedy films Pyaar Ke Side Effects (2006) and Shaadi Ke Side Effects. Chaudhary came up with the idea of making a film about India's education system while he was researching along with his co-writer Zeenat Lakhani for his film, Shaadi Ke Side Effects. The duo found the idea too big to include in the film, so after the release of the film, they started developing the idea further. Stating the reason to make Hindi Medium, Chaudhary said, "The subject is so relevant. We realised that today irrespective of the background of the parent, they still want to have the best education for the children."[5]

Pre-production work began after the release of Shaadi Ke Side Effects. Chaudhary began working in the story at that time, and he chose Delhi as the film's key location.[6] The production crew consisted primarily of people Chaudhary had worked within Pyaar Ke Side Effects and Shaadi Ke Side Effects, with the exception of production designer Mustafa Stationwala—they are film editor A. Sreekar Prasad; dialogue by Amitosh Nagpal; and cinematographer Laxman Utekar. The score was composed by Amar Mohile.[4]

On 29 May 2016, News18 reported that Khan will star opposite Qamar in Chaudhary's Hindi Medium, which marked Qamar's Bollywood debut. It is Khan's first film with Qamar.[7] Khan had recommended to cast Qamar to the makers of the film. He said, "When I saw her YouTube videos, I recommended her to the director and producer and they really liked her".[8] It was reported that Khan will play the role of a rich Punjabi businessman and clothes store owner from the famous Old Delhi precinct, Chandni Chowk, while Qamar will play the role of his wife. Speaking about her role, Qamar said, "I play a person who didn’t get an opportunity to fulfil her dreams so she comes up with a scheme about giving the daughter a life that she didn’t have". Khan found the topic grave but found that the script has been written niftily. Khan also added that "the crew and cast worked on the script a lot before starting work, as there was always a possibility that such topics could end up being preachy".[9]

The other actors who were signed up for the film include Dishita Sehgal who played the daughter of Khan and Qamar; Tillotama Shome, who played the role of education consultant; Amrita Singh, who played the role of Principal of Delhi Grammar School; and Deepak Dobriyal, who played the role of neighbour of Khan and Qamar.[10]

Qamar flew to Mumbai from Pakistan in July 2016 and the film's principal photography began in the same month.[11][12] The film was shot in actual locations Chandni Chowk, Anand Lok, Karol Bagh and Sangam Vihar.[6] The shooting was completed in October 2016.[13] Qamar enjoyed working with Khan and felt safe while shooting in Delhi. Qamar sharing the entire shooting experience, said that her experience wasn't affected by MNS' hostility towards Pakistan. She said to Dawn, "The team made me feel very safe. We (Qamar and Khan) often hung out with each other and they made me feel very much at home".[14] Khan had also moved to Georgia to shoot for a song sequence for the film.[15]

Soundtrack

Hindi Medium
Soundtrack album by
Released21 April 2017
Recorded2016–2017
GenreFeature film Soundtrack
Length21:20
LabelT-Series
Sachin–Jigar chronology
Meri Pyaari Bindu
(2017)
Hindi Medium
(2017)
A Gentleman
(2017)
External audio
Official Audio Jukebox on YouTube

The soundtrack consists of four compositions — two original: "Hoor" and "Ek Jindari", and two recreated: "Suit Suit" and "Oh Ho Ho Ho". Sachin–Jigar has composed the original songs. "Suit Suit", the first song, is written and sung by Guru Randhawa and Arjun and composed by Randhawa and Rajat Nagpal. The second track "Hoor" was composed by Sachin–Jigar and sung by Atif Aslam with lyrics by Priya Saraiya. The track "Oh Ho Ho Ho", was composed by Sukhbir and Abhijit Vaghani, sung by Sukhbir, rapped by Ikka Singh and written by Kumaar. The fourth, "Ek Jindari" was written by Kumaar and composed by Sachin–Jigar. It was sung by Taniskaa Sanghvi. The album rights of the film were acquired by T-Series, and it was released on 21 April 2017.[16][17]

Critical response

Joginder Tuteja of Bollywood Hungama, rating the music album a 3 out of 5 stars, said that "the music of Hindi Medium turns out to be better than expected. He added that the songs "Suit Suit" and "Oh Ho Ho Ho" would make the most impression.[17] V Lakshmi of The Times of India wrote a positive review and said that "the film has four short tracks that are far from thematic." In addition, she said that "by the time the album ends, the listeners are left humming the tunes!"[18] Suanshu Khurana of The Indian Express advised the readers to buy an audio CD of Hindi Medium for the song "Hoor".[19]

Track listing
No.TitleLyricsMusicSinger(s)Length
1."Suit Suit"Guru Randhawa, ArjunGuru Randhawa, Rajat NagpalGuru Randhawa, Arjun3:10
2."Hoor"Priya SaraiyaSachin–JigarAtif Aslam3:57
3."Oh Ho Ho Ho (Remix)"KumaarSukhbir, Abhijit VaghaniSukhbir4:04
4."Ek Jindari"KumaarSachin–JigarTaniskaa Sanghvi4:31
Total length:15:43

Release

The film was released worldwide on 19 May 2017.[20] Hindi Medium was declared 'tax-free' in Gujarat, Maharashtra,[21] Madhya Pradesh[22] and Delhi.[23]

In February 2018, following the success of Dangal (2016) and Secret Superstar (2017) in China, it was announced that Hindi Medium was to be released in China.[24] Following the successful release of Bajrangi Bhaijaan (2015) in China, it was announced that Hindi Medium will release in China on 4 April 2018, for Qingming Festival.[25] The film's Chinese title is 起跑线 (Qi Pao Xian), which means The Starting Line.[26]

Controversy

The makers of the Bengali film Ramdhanu (2014), directed by the duo Nandita Roy and Shiboprosad Mukherjee, had launched a copyright case against Hindi Medium with claims of the story-line having a strong resemblance.[27] In response to this, Chaudhary said,

"We have researched our script over a year and it is based on original material. I would request everyone involved to not rush to a judgement without ascertaining the facts. And the facts can easily be confirmed by watching Hindi Medium on May 12."[28]

Hindi Medium eventually won the case by providing the appropriate facts and arguments. With the verdict going in favour of Hindi Medium, the makers of Ramdhanu withdrew all the charges made in their plagiarism and copyright claims against the film.[29]

Critical reception

Hindi Medium received mostly positive response from critics, with particular praise for Khan's and Qamar's performances.[30]

Rohit Bhatnagar of Deccan Chronicle giving full rating to the film, said that "the film is an experience. The film might come across as a children's film but it is recommended to each and every strata of society." He recommended the readers to watch the film.[31] Rachit Gupta of Filmfare rating the film 4.5 out of 5 stars, said that the "film is refreshingly funny and brilliantly insightful on parenting and education." At the end of his review, he said that "the film is definitely one of the best of the year."[32] Madhureeta Mukherjee of The Times of India giving the film a 4 (out of 5) rating, found the script "good" and encouraged the readers to "watch the film".[33] Rohit Vats of Hindustan Times giving 3.5 stars out of 5 stars, commented that "Khan asks the viewers to take a stand against faulty Indian education system".[34] Samrudhi Ghosh of India Today gave 3 out of 5 stars, praising Khan's and Qamar's performances, said "Hindi Medium may use over-dramatised events to make its message hit home, but in spite of its hiccups, the film is not bogged down because of the performances and the humour".[35] Smrity Sharma of India.com rated the film 2.5 out of 5 stars, and wrote: "Decent story, humour, a few heart tugging moments and effortless performances by Irrfan Khan, Saba Qamar and Deepak Dobriyal make the movie watchable."[36] Shubhra Gupta of The Indian Express giving 2 out of 5 stars, described Khan's performance as "glorious", saying that "Khan delivers a fine performance in this film which puts the difference between Bharat and India in sharp focus."[37]

Hindi Medium received positive reviews from critics overseas.[38] A reviewer of Time Out gave it 4 (out of 5) stars: "With all its merits, though, the film stumbles near the end with its overly sentimental conclusion." The reviewer concluded that "the film is one of the best Bollywood films".[39] James Marsh of South China Morning Post rated it 3.5 stars out of 5 stars, calling it "a classical comedy of manners full of humour and playful performances".[40] Sadaf Siddique of Dawn observed: "Chaudhary gets full marks for novelty, he fails to adequately flesh his ideas out".[41]

Box office

The film emerged as a sleeper hit at the box office.[42] Its worldwide gross was 108.55 crore (US$16 million) by July 2017.[43] Within three days of its April 2018 release in China, Hindi Medium crossed 100 crore (US$14 million) at the Chinese box office, crossing the 200 crore (US$29 million) mark worldwide,[44] becoming Khan's highest-grossing Hindi film, surpassing The Lunchbox (2013).[45] By April 16, 2018, Hindi Medium had crossed the 300 crore (US$43 million) mark worldwide, becoming one of the top 20 highest-grossing Indian films of all time.[46]

Domestic

Hindi Medium collected 2.81 crore (US$410,000) on its opening day.[43] It clashed with a much bigger budget film, Half Girlfriend (2017), which earned 10.27 crore (US$1.5 million) on the first day. Gradually, the film turned to be more successful than the former. After one week, the film grossed 25.21 crore (US$3.6 million) at the box office.[47] The film grossed 96.65 crore (US$14 million) during its lifetime run in Indian theatres.[43] It was one of 2017's top ten most commercially successful Hindi films in India.[48]

Overseas

The film grossed 14.25 crore (US$2.1 million) overseas in 2017.[49] Following its April 2018 release in China, the film crossed 200 crore (US$29 million) overseas, becoming the seventh Indian film to cross the $30 million mark at the overseas box office. It also surpassed the overseas gross of 2018's highest-grossing Indian film Padmaavat.[46]

China

On its opening day in China, on 4 April 2018, the film grossed 22.05 crore (US$3.2 million).[44] Hindi Medium surpassed Dangal and Bajrangi Bhaijaan to have the second highest opening day for an Indian film in China, behind only Secret Superstar.[50] The film's opening three-day gross was 102.18 crore (US$15 million).[44]

The film's success is attributed to strong word-of-mouth, helped by a 9.1 rating at Maoyan, as well as Khan's recognition among Chinese audiences from international films such as Jurassic World, The Amazing Spider-Man, and Life of Pi.[50] The film grossed 223 crore (US$32 million) during its lifetime run at the Chinese box office, which was surpassed by the 2018 film Andhadhun released in 2019 in China.[51]

Awards

Award Date of ceremony Category Recipients Result Ref.
Filmfare Awards 20 January 2018 Best Film Hindi Medium Won [52]
Best Actor Irrfan Khan Won
Best Actor (Critics) Nominated
Best Actress Saba Qamar Nominated
Best Director Saket Chaudhary Nominated
Best Supporting Actor Deepak Dobriyal Nominated
International Indian Film Academy Awards 22–24 June 2018 Best Film Hindi Medium Nominated [53]
[54]
Best Director Saket Chaudhary Won
Best Actor Irrfan Khan Won
Best Supporting Actor Deepak Dobriyal Nominated
Mirchi Music Awards 28 January 2018 Music Composer of The Year Sachin–Jigar for "Hoor" Nominated [55]
Screen Awards 2 December 2017 Best Actor Irrfan Khan Won [56]
Zee Cine Awards 30 December 2017 Best Film (Viewer's Choice) Hindi Medium Nominated [57]
Best Film (Jury's Choice) Nominated
Best Director Saket Chaudhary Nominated
Best Actor – Male Irrfan Khan Nominated
Best Actor in a Supporting Role – Male Deepak Dobriyal Nominated
Best Screenplay Saket Chaudhary, Zeenat Lakhani Nominated

Sequel

After the success of Hindi Medium, a sequel to the film was planned. Regarding the success of the film, Vijan told Mid Day, "The response we have got is phenomenal. The entire unit of Hindi Medium, including Irrfan and Saba, who look cool as a couple on-screen, should be repeated in a film. There is definitely scope for a sequel. We would certainly explore it."[58]

On 24 January 2018, Vijan confirmed the sequel to Times Now. He said, "We have just finished typing the second part", with "Just finishing touches are being put", however, "I think you will have to wait for an official announcement for that."[59]

On 30 March 2019, it was announced that Kareena Kapoor has been added to the cast of the sequel to play the role of a police officer and filming will start from April.[60] On 5 April 2019, the sequel's title was announced as Angrezi Medium and filming began in Udaipur.[61]

See also

References

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