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Hindi Medium is a 2017 Indian Hindi-language comedy-drama film written and directed by Saket Chaudhary. It was produced by Dinesh Vijan, Bhushan Kumar and Krishan Kumar under the banners of Vijan's Maddock Films and Bhushan Kumar's 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
Two persons dressed in two different styles.
Theatrical release poster
Directed bySaket Chaudhary
Produced byDinesh Vijan
Bhushan Kumar
Krishan Kumar
Written bySaket Chaudhary
Zeenat Lakhani
StarringIrrfan Khan
Saba Qamar
Music bySachin-Jigar
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
Budget23 crore[2]
Box officeest. ₹322.4 crore[3]

The film's music and background score was composed by Sachin–Jigar, with lyrics by Priya Saraiya and Kumaar. Laxman Utekar was the cinematographer, and A. Sreekar Prasad the editor. 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.

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.

PlotEdit

Raj Batra (Irrfan Khan) is a rich businessman from Delhi staying with his wife Mita (Saba Qamar). Although Raj and Mita studied in a Hindi Medium school, they want their 5-year-old daughter, Pia (Dishita Sehgal), to be admitted to one of the top schools in Delhi. The top school, 'Delhi Grammar School', has a condition that they will admit students who reside within a 3km radius, so the family moves to Vasant Vihar.

Later they realise that parents are interviewed for the admission. They go to a consultant, Shikha (Tillotama Shome), who grooms them for the interview. However, Raj fails to deliver his tutored answers in the interview and gets exposed. As a result, their daughter gets rejected by all the schools. Raj tries all sorts of ploys but none of his tricks succeed.

Subsequently, Raj and Mita learn from one of their employees how he got his daughter's admission through the Right To Education (RTE) quota. Raj seeks the help of a tout after he assures that he can rig the lottery process through which students are selected. But just as the couple is about to enjoy their success, a news report exposes the manipulation of the RTE quota by rich parents. Raj and Mita panic, as the only option before them is to actually start living the life of a poverty-stricken family at the address which they had filled in the form.

Raj and Mita shift to the locality and start acting poor in order to get the admission. Their neighbours, Shyam Prakash Kori (Deepak Dobriyal) and his wife Tulsi, help them through their ordeals without knowing the truth, despite having limited means. One day a teacher from 'Delhi Grammar School' arrives to conduct a background verification. He catches the bluff of Raj but Shyam saves him by explaining that he may be a victim of circumstances. The couple convinces the teacher on his second visit, who tells them to arrange Rs. 24000 as extracurricular charges. Late in the night Shyam sees Raj in the ATM and thinks he is trying to steal money. Shyam stops him from taking the money and instead gets himself hit by a SUV to extort money from the car owner.

Piya eventually gets admission, but Mohan (Angshuman Nandi), the son of Shyam, does not get selected. Raj and his family leave the home and return to their Vasant Vihar home. The couple goes to the school where Mohan is studying, to sponsor his studies. After watching the state of affairs, they donate a substantial amount to renovate it and get new books. Shyam, after watching his son becoming fluent in English, meets the principal and through him gets the address of the donor. Although he gets angry after knowing the reality, he cools down after watching Pia in the school. Raj's guilt takes over and in spite of Mita's resistance, he meets the school principal (Amrita Singh) to cancel his daughter's admission. The principal, concerned with the reputation of the school at stake, does not agree to his proposal. Eventually, Raj gives a moving speech in the auditorium and walks away from the school. Later, Raj and Mita send Piya to the government run Hindi Medium school where Mohan studies.

CastEdit

Source:[4]

ProductionEdit

Made on a moderate budget, 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 with in 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.[4]

 
It was Khan's choice to cast Qamar in the film

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. The film was shot in actual locations Chandni Chowk, Anand Lok, Karol Bagh and Sangam Vihar. The shooting was completed in October 2016. 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".[11][12] Khan had also moved to Georgia to shoot for a song sequence for the film.[13]

MusicEdit

Hindi Medium
Soundtrack album by
Sachin–Jigar, Guru Randhawa, Rajat Nagpal, Sukhbir and Neeraj Arya's Kabir Cafè
Released21 April 2017
Recorded2016–2017
GenreFeature film Soundtrack
Length21:20
LabelT-Series
Sachin–Jigar, Guru Randhawa, Rajat Nagpal, Sukhbir and Neeraj Arya's Kabir Cafè chronology
Meri Pyaari Bindu
(2017)
Hindi Medium
(2017)
External audio
  Official Audio Jukebox on YouTube

The music of the film is composed by Sachin–Jigar while the lyrics have been penned by Priya Saraiya and Kumaar. The soundtrack was released on 21 April 2017 by T-Series.[14]

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"Ikka Singh, SukhbirSukhbir, Abhijit VaghaniSukhbir, Ikka Singh4:04
4."Ek Jindari"KumaarSachin–JigarTaniskaa Sanghvi4:31
5."Fakiri"TraditionalNeeraj AryaNeeraj Arya5:38
Total length:21:20

Critical responseEdit

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.[15] 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!"[16] Suanshu Khurana of The Indian Express advised the readers to buy an audio CD of Hindi Medium for the song "Hoor".[17]

ReleaseEdit

The film was released worldwide on 19 May 2017.[18] Hindi Medium was declared 'tax-free' in Gujarat, Maharashtra,[19] Madhya Pradesh[20] and Delhi.[21]

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.[22] 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.[23] The film's Chinese title is 起跑线 (Qi Pao Xian), which means The Starting Line.[24]

ControversyEdit

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.[25] 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."[26]

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.[27]

Critical receptionEdit

Hindi Medium received mostly positive response from critics, with particular praise for Khan's and Qamar's performances.[28]

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.[29] 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."[30] 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".[31] 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".[32] 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".[33] 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."[34] 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."[35]

Hindi Medium received positive reviews from critics overseas.[36] 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".[37] 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".[38] Sadaf Siddique of Dawn observed: "Chaudhary gets full marks for novelty, he fails to adequately flesh his ideas out".[39]

Box officeEdit

The film emerged as a sleeper hit at the box office. Its worldwide gross was 108.55 crore (US$16 million) by July 2017.[40] 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,[41] becoming Khan's highest-grossing Hindi film, surpassing The Lunchbox (2013).[42] 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.[43]

DomesticEdit

Hindi Medium collected 2.81 crore (US$410,000) on its opening day.[40] 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.[44] The film grossed 96.65 crore (US$14 million) during its lifetime run in Indian theatres.[40] It was one of 2017's top ten most commercially successful Hindi films in India.[45]

OverseasEdit

The film grossed 14.25 crore (US$2.1 million) overseas in 2017.[46] 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.[43]

ChinaEdit

On its opening day in China, on 4 April 2018, the film grossed 22.05 crore (US$3.2 million).[41] Hindi Medium surpassed Dangal and Bajrangi Bhaijaan to have the second highest opening day for an Indian film in China, behind only Secret Superstar.[47] The film's opening three-day gross was 102.18 crore (US$15 million).[41]

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.[47] The film grossed 223 crore (US$32 million) during its lifetime run at the Chinese box office, which was defeated by the 2018 film Andhadhun released in 2019 in China.[48]

AwardsEdit

SequelEdit

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."[55]

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."[56]

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.[57] On 5 April 2019, the sequel's title was announced as Angrezi Medium and filming began in Udaipur.[58]

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

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External linksEdit