Hichki (transl. Hiccup) is a 2018 Indian Hindi comedy-drama film, directed by Sidharth Malhotra and produced by Maneesh Sharma under the banner Yash Raj Films. It is an Indian adaptation of Brad Cohen's autobiography Front of the Class: How Tourette Syndrome Made Me the Teacher I Never Had, which Yash Raj Films acquired the rights to, with Cohen himself also giving advice during the film's production.
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Siddharth P Malhotra|
|Produced by||Maneesh Sharma|
|Written by||Ankur Chaudhry (dialogues)|
|Edited by||Shweta Venkat Mathew|
|Distributed by||Yash Raj Films|
|Budget||₹12 crore (US$1.7 million)|
|Box office||₹250 crore (US$35.45 million)|
Hichki stars Rani Mukerji in the lead role of an aspiring teacher having Tourette syndrome, who must prove herself by educating a group of underprivileged students. The film's trailer was launched on December 19, 2017, And Rani Mukerji received her 9th Nomination for Filmfare Award for Best Actress at 64th Filmfare Awards. It was theatrically released on 23 March 2018 to generally positive reviews from critics. Hichki was also screened at the Shanghai International Film Festival on June 16, 2018.
It is Mukherjee's first film released after a four-year hiatus. Produced on a limited budget of ₹12 crore (US$1.7 million), the film has grossed ₹245.79 crore (US$36 million) worldwide, the majority of which came from China. It became one of the top seven highest-grossing Bollywood films of 2018, as well as the third all-time highest-grossing Indian film led by a female protagonist. The film was also the eighth highest-grossing Bollywood film of 2018.
Naina Mathur (Rani Mukerji), an aspiring teacher with a BEd and MSc, suffers from Tourette syndrome. Her condition causes her to make uncontrollable sounds likened to hiccups. Although she has been unsuccessful for the past 5 years in landing a teaching job, she is supported in her ambitions by her mother (Supriya Pilgaonkar) and her younger brother (Hussain Dalal). It is revealed that her father (Sachin Pilgaonkar) divorced her mother several years earlier, which is why Naina's relationship with him is strained.
One day, Naina receives an offer to teach at the prestigious St. Notker's School, a job which she had applied to 5 times before. When asked why she was so persistent for the particular school, Naina explains that she herself graduated from St. Notker's and was inspired by Mr. Khan (Vikram Gokhale), a former principal. He had believed in her and announced that she would never be expelled for being different. Naina's unwavering confidence impresses the current school committee and they assign her to 9F, a new class section. It is revealed that the school was desperate to hire her as all other teachers had failed to get the class to cooperate. Naina notices that the students are unruly, misbehaved and are visibly different. Shyamlal, the school's peon (Asif Basra), discloses to her that the 9F students belong to families from a nearby slum and that they were given admission to fill the government-prescribed quota for the underprivileged.
On the first day of class, Naina's students imitate her sounds and mock her. She decides to teach them in an interactive way, determined to show resilience when dealing with the class. The students prank her with liquid nitrogen and this causes a mild explosion that shatters the classroom windows. Naina prevents the class from being expelled by saying that the prank required lots of thought and planning, and if that thought and planning can be guided in the right direction, the class's potential will be limitless. Mr. Wadia (Neeraj Kabi), the teacher of class 9A, strongly dislikes the 9F students. His class is composed of student prefects, who are academically excellent. Naina challenges Mr. Wadia that students from 9F will earn prefect badges as well.
The school's annual Science Fair project is assigned to 9A, who are prevented from mingling with 9F by Mr. Wadia. They yearn to experience the interactive experiments that 9F gets to partake in but Mr. Wadia dismisses them as inferior to textbook learning. Meanwhile, 9F warms up to Naina and begin wholeheartedly participating in class; she teaches them to be brave in their pursuit of knowledge and helps them realize their individual strengths. Aatish (Harsh Mayar), the sole student who remains cold towards Naina, secretly sabotages 9A's project in his vengeance. This is discovered by Mr. Wadia and the Principal (Shivkumar Subramaniam) decides to expel 9F. Once again, Naina prevents this by promising that the class will pass their final exams, but she is unable to prevent their suspension from attending school till the exams. Dejected, she tells her students that they have shattered her attempt to help them. Aatish's classmates help him realize his mistake and he publicly expresses regret.
All of 9F studies diligently for their exams. Shyamlal supplies Aatish copies of the wrong question paper so they would fail, but when he presents them to his classmates, they refuse to cheat and he gives up on the idea as well. Exam results prove Naina's promise as the 9F students pass successfully. However, the class is accused of cheating as Shyamlal confesses to supplying question papers, and the Principal decides to publicly expel them during the prefect pinning ceremony. Prior to the event, one of Mr. Wadia's students reveals that he bribed Shyamlal into supplying the wrong question papers, and he realizes that 9F did not cheat. Mr. Wadia takes to the stage and announces the he, himself, wrongfully tried to fail the students. He then applauds Naina's transformative teaching and asks her to pin the prefect badge to her students who ranked first. She later tells him that she doubts that he bribed Shyamlal. Mr. Wadia smiles and says that he doubts she caused a liquid nitrogen explosion. With the combined efforts of 9A and 9F, the Science Fair project is rebuilt and wins the competition.
The film shows Naina's last day at St. Notker's where she has served for 25 years and has been Principal. As she walks out of the school, the school's students bid farewell. The last to happily bid her adieu are the students of 9F who are now successful adults.
- Rani Mukerji as Ms. Naina Mathur
- Naisha Khanna as Young Naina Mathur
- Shiv Kumar Subramaniam as Principal
- Neeraj Kabi as Mr. Wadia
- Supriya Pilgaonkar as Sudha Mathur, Naina's mother
- Sachin Pilgaonkar as Prabhakar Mathur, Naina's father
- Hussain Dalal as Vinay Mathur, Naina's brother
- Harsh Mayar as Aatish
- Sparsh Khanchandani as Oru
- Ivan Sylvester Rodrigues as School Principal
- Benjamin Yangal as Ashwin
- Kalaivanan Kannan as Raghu
- Swaraj Kumar as Killam
- Rohit Suresh Saraf as Akshay
- Vikram Gokhale as Mr Khan
- Asif Basra as Shyamlal
- Riddhi Arora as Sunidhi
- Suprio Bose as Mr. Pereira
- Jannat Zubair Rahmani as Natasha
- Kkunal Shinde as Senior Pankaj
- Aman Gandotra in a cameo
After acquiring the rights of Brad Cohen's book Front of the Class, director Siddharth P. Malhotra approached multiple production studios over the next four years but none of them were willing to back his project as they couldn't see any commercial scope in it. Finally Siddharth met Aditya Chopra who approved the project after a narration and directed him towards Maneesh Sharma as he himself was busy with his own directorial venture Befikre. Siddharth's original draft of the script had a male as its central protagonist which he changed into a female on the suggestion of Maneesh Sharma.
In October 2016, it was reported that Rani Mukerji had signed Yash Raj Films' next venture being directed by Siddharth P. Malhotra. In February 2017, Rani Mukherji herself confirmed that she would be playing the lead role in Siddharth P Malhotra's next film titled Hichki. In preparation for the role, Mukerji interacted with Cohen, who gave her advice over Skype, and she trained to make her character's motor and vocal tics appear spontaneous and not rehearsed.
The principal photography commenced on 4 April 2017 and the final scenes were shot on 5 June 2017 at Mehboob Studios in Bandra, Mumbai. The crew wrapped up the patch up shoot with Mukerji on 12 November 2017.
|Soundtrack album by|
|Released||20 February 2018|
|Genre||Feature film soundtrack|
|Label||Yash Raj Music|
|Jasleen Royal chronology|
The music of Hichki is composed by Jasleen Royal and the Background score is composed by Hitesh Sonik. The lyrics have been penned by Raj Shekhar, Jaideep Sahni, Neeraj Rajawat, Aditya Sharma and David Klyton. The music album of the film features 7 tracks and was released by Yash Raj Music on 20 February 2018.
All music composed by Jasleen Royal.
|1.||"Oye Hichki"||Jaideep Sahni||Harshdeep Kaur||2:34|
|2.||"Madamji Go Easy"||Raj Shekhar, David Klyton||Benny Dayal & David Klyton||2:48|
|3.||"Khol De Par"||Raj Shekhar||Arijit Singh||3:13|
|4.||"Teri Dastaan"||Neeraj Rajawat||Jasleen Royal||3:43|
|5.||"Phir Kya Hai Gham"||Aditya Sharma, Neeraj Rajawat||Shilpa Rao||2:59|
|6.||"Soul of Hichki"||Jaideep Sahni||Harshdeep Kaur||2:00|
|7.||"Naina's Theme (Instrumental)"||Jasleen Royal||Jasleen Royal||3:15|
|India||₹59.24 crore (US$9.1 million)|
|Overseas||US$25 million (₹174 crore)|
|China||US$21.83 million (₹153.13 crore)|
|Hong Kong||HK$2,869,318 – US$369,650 (₹2.41 crore)|
|Taiwan||NT$3,595,273 – US$119,238 (₹71 lakh)|
|Russia||US$20,157 (₹13.1 lakh)|
|Other territories||₹17.3 crore (US$2.66 million)|
|Worldwide||₹233.24 crore (US$36 million)|
By 17 May 2018, prior to the film's release in Chinese and Russian markets, the film had grossed ₹76.54 crore (US$12 million) worldwide, including ₹59.24 crore gross (₹46.21 crore nett) in India, and ₹17.3 crore (US$3 million) overseas. In Russia, where the film released on 6 September 2018, the film grossed $20,157 (₹13.1 lakh) as of 30 September 2018.
In China, where it released on 12 October 2018, the film grossed US$21.13 million (₹153.13 crore) by 9 November 2018, making it the fifth highest-grossing Indian film in China after Dangal, Secret Superstar, Bajrangi Bhaijaan, and Hindi Medium. As of 10 November 2018, the film has grossed US$21.83 million in China. Hichki became one of the top five highest-grossing Bollywood films of 2018, after Padmaavat, Sanju, Race 3 and Baaghi 2. Hichki is also the third all-time highest-grossing Indian film led by a female protagonist, after Secret Superstar and Padmaavat.
In Hong Kong, where the film released on 8 November 2018, it grossed HK$1.11 million ($143,000) in its opening weekend (ending 11 November 2018), equivalent to ₹1.02 crore. As of 14 December 2018, it has grossed HK$2,869,318 (US$369,650), equivalent to ₹2.41 crore. As of 23 November 2018, the film has grossed ₹232.2 crore (US$36 million) worldwide.
Hichki has received positive reviews from critics. Praise was directed at Mukerji's outstanding portrayal of Tourette syndrome, but critics criticized the lengthiness and predictability of the script, and the film's somewhat generic nature. On review aggregation website Rotten Tomatoes the film has an approval rating of 56% based on 9 reviews, with an average rating of 6/10.
Rachit Gupta of The Times of India gave the film a rating of 3.5 out of 5 saying that, "For all its shortcomings, the movie still has plenty of freshness, insights and emotional intelligence." Rajeev Masand gave the film a rating of 3 out of 5 and said that, "Hichki is inconsistent but well-intentioned. Saibal Chatterjee of NDTV gave the film a rating of 2.5 out of and said that, "A novel plot idea is buried under an avalanche of narrative cliches in Hichki. The tale at the heart of Hichki is definitely inspirational. If only it had been a tad more inspired, it might have hit home with far greater force." Rohit Vats of Hindustan Times gave the film a rating of 2.5 out of 5 and said that, "It’s well-intentioned and will move you, but it could have been so much more." Namrata Joshi of The Hindu reviewed the film saying that, "Rani Mukerji lords over a film that plays out predictable, pontificatory and manipulative by turn."
Shalini Langer of The Indian Express gave the film a rating of 3.5 out of 5 saying that, "While Rani Mukerji is good as always, the actors who play the students are also natural and without any artifice, with the film cleverly dodging stereotypes just when you suspect one around the corner." Kriti Tulsiani of News18 gave the film a rating of 2.5 out of 5 and said that, "while Rani strikes the right chord and gets the intricacies of her hiccups right, the film doesn’t elevate much from its hiccups and remains only partly engaging." Sukanya Verma of Rediff gave the film a rating of 2.5 out of 5 saying that, "Hichki's greatest handicaps are its predictability and sentiment." Rohit Bhatnagar of Deccan Chronicle gave the film a rating of 3 out of 5 saying that, "Hichki, a story of acceptance in the world of intolerance is a decent watch! It's a Rani's show all over but don't expect an extraordinary plot." Anupama Chopra of Film Companion gave the film a rating of 2.5 out of 5 and said that, "Hichki is a genuinely earnest film made with heart. But it doesn’t take enough risks and consequently doesn’t touch a raw nerve in the way that Taare Zameen Par did." Shilpa Jamkhandikar of Reuters also criticized the film, saying, "Even if you ignore the core issues in the screenplay, Hichki doesn't even get the underdog winner story right." and also specifically criticized the film's similarity to Dead Poets Society.
|Awards||Date of Ceremony||Category||Recipients||Result|
|Dada Saheb Phalke Excellence Awards||21 April 2018||Socially Conscious Performance of the Year||Rani Mukerji||Won|
|Indian Film Festival of Melbourne||10 August 2018||Best Film||Hichki||Nominated|
|Best Director||Siddharth P Malhotra||Nominated|
|Best Actress in a Leading Role||Rani Mukerji||Won|
|Excellence in Cinema||Rani Mukerji||Won|
|WCRC International Pride Award||26 August 2018||Actor of the Year||Rani Mukerji||Won|
|Star Screen Awards||16 December 2018||Best Actress||Rani Mukerji||Nominated|
|Filmfare Awards||23 March 2019||Best Actress||Rani Mukerji||Nominated|
|Zee Cine Awards||19 March 2019||Best Actress||Rani Mukerji||Nominated|
|Maharashtra Achievers Awards||14 March 2019||Most Powerful Performer of the Year 2018||Rani Mukerji for Hichki||Won|
After the release of Hichki's official trailer, a Melbourne-based author Nishant Kaushik accused director Siddharth P Malhotra of not giving him the credit for his contribution in the script writing process. In his response, Siddharth said that after acquiring the rights of Brad Cohen's book, several writers including Amole Gupte and Abbas Tyrewala were contacted with regards to adapting the book into a Hindi film and all of them were credited for being the "creative contributors" of the film. Siddharth also mentioned that they did not mention Nishant in the credits because none of his ideas were used in developing the screenplay of the film.
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