Hichki

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Hichki
The poster features Rani Mukerji Rabdi and the title appears at bottom.
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Siddharth P. Malhotra
Produced by Maneesh Sharma
Written by Ankur Chaudhry (dialogues)
Screenplay by
  • Ankur Chaudhry
  • Siddharth P. Malhotra
  • Ambar Hadap
  • Ganesh Pandit
Story by
  • Ankur Chaudhry
  • Siddharth P. Malhotra
  • Ambar Hadap
  • Ganesh Pandit
Based on
Starring Rani Mukerji
Music by (Songs)
Jasleen Royal
(Score)
Hitesh Sonik
Cinematography Avinash Arun
Edited by Shweta Venkat Mathew
Production
company
Distributed by Yash Raj Films
Release date
  • 23 March 2018 (2018-03-23)
Running time
116 minutes
Country India
Language Hindi
Budget 20 crore[3]
Box office 130.56 crore[4][5]

Hichki (transl. Hiccup; Hindi pronunciation: [ɦɪtʃkiː]) is a 2018 Indian Hindi comedy-drama film, directed by Sidharth P Malhotra and produced by Maneesh Sharma under the banner Yash Raj Films. The film is an adaptation of Brad Cohen's autobiography Front of the Class: How Tourette Syndrome Made Me the Teacher I Never Had, of which Yash Raj Films acquired the rights.[6]

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,[7] and it was theatrically released on 23 March 2018 to generally positive reviews from critics.[8] Hichki was also screened at the Shanghai International Film Festival on June 16, 2018.[9][10]

Plot[edit]

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 taking the blame and saying that it was a badly executed chemistry example. 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.

Cast[edit]

Production[edit]

Development[edit]

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.[11] 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.[12] 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.[13]

Casting[edit]

In October 2016, it was reported that Rani Mukerji had signed Yash Raj Films next venture being directed by Siddharth P. Malhotra.[14][15] In February 2017, Rani Mukherji herself confirmed that she would be playing the lead role in Siddharth P Malhotra's next film titled Hichki.[16][17]

Filming[edit]

The principal photography commenced on 4 April 2017[18][1][19] and the final scenes were shot on 5 June 2017 at Mehboob Studios in Bandra, Mumbai.[20][21][22] The crew wrapped up the patch up shoot with Mukerji on 12 November 2017.[citation needed]

Soundtrack[edit]

Hichki
Soundtrack album by Jasleen Royal
Released 20 February 2018 (2018-02-20)[23]
Genre Feature film soundtrack
Length 20:32
Language Hindi
Label Yash Raj Music
Producer Aditya Chopra
Jasleen Royal chronology
Fukrey Returns
(2017)
Hichki
(2018)
External audio
Audio Jukebox on YouTube

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.[23]

All music composed by Jasleen Royal.

Track listing
No.TitleLyricsSinger(s)Length
1."Oye Hichki"Jaideep SahniHarshdeep Kaur2:34
2."Madamji Go Easy"Raj Shekhar, David KlytonBenny Dayal & David Klyton2:48
3."Khol De Par"Raj ShekharArijit Singh3:13
4."Teri Dastaan"Neeraj RajawatJasleen Royal3:43
5."Phir Kya Hai Gham"Aditya Sharma, Neeraj RajawatShilpa Rao2:59
6."Soul of Hichki"Jaideep SahniHarshdeep Kaur2:00
7."Naina's Theme (Instrumental)"Jasleen RoyalJasleen Royal3:15
Total length:20:32

Controversy[edit]

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.[24][25] 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.[26] 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.[27]

Critical reception[edit]

Hichki received generally positive reviews from critics. Praise was directed at Mukerji's portrayal of Tourette's Syndrome, but critics criticized the lengthiness and predictability of the script.[28][4] On review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds an approval rating of 80% based on 5 reviews, and an average rating of 6/10.[29] 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."[30] Rajeev Masand gave the film a rating of 3 out of 5 and said that, "Hichki is inconsistent but well-intentioned.[31] 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."[32] 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."[33] 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."[34]

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."[35] 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."[36] 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."[37] 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."[38] 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."[39]

Awards and nominations[edit]

Date of Ceremony Awards Category Recipient(s) and nominee(s) Result Ref.
21 April 2018 Dada Saheb Phalke Excellence Awards Socially conscious performance of the year Rani Mukerji Won [40]
10 August 2018 Indian Film Festival of Melbourne Best Film Hichki Nominated [41]
Best Director Siddharth P Malhotra Nominated
Best Actress in a leading role Rani Mukerji Won
Excellence in Cinema Rani Mukerji Won
26 August 2018 WCRC International Pride Award Actor Of The Year Rani Mukerji Won [42]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Sharma, Priyanka (27 February 2017). "Rani Mukerji on her comeback film Hichki: Wanted a script that would challenge and excite me". The Indian Express. Retrieved 1 March 2017.
  2. ^ PTI (27 February 2017). "Rani Mukerji to make comeback with 'Hichki'". The Hindu. Retrieved 1 March 2017.
  3. ^ Taran Adarsh [@taran_adarsh] (22 March 2018). "#Hichki screen count... India: 953 Overseas: 343 Worldwide total: 1296 screens #Hichki economics... Cost of Production: ₹ 12 cr Prints & Advertising: ₹ 8 cr Total: ₹ 20 cr" (Tweet). Retrieved 23 March 2018 – via Twitter.
  4. ^ a b "Box Office: Worldwide collections and day wise break up of Hichki". Bollywood Hungama. Retrieved 2 April 2018.
  5. ^ http://www.bollywoodhungama.com/news/box-office-special-features/china-box-office-hichki-collects-usd-730k-day-7-china-cross-rs-50-cr-mark/
  6. ^ Deccan Chronicle (20 December 2017). "The makers of Rani Mukerji's Hichki rebuff the claim of plagiarism". Deccan Chronicle. Retrieved 20 December 2017.
  7. ^ India TV Entertainment Desk (19 December 2017). "Hichki trailer launch: Rani Mukerji comfortable romancing younger actors on screen, see pics". India TV. Independent News Service. Retrieved 21 December 2017.
  8. ^ PTI (15 September 2017). "Thugs of Hindostan, Tiger Zinda Hai, Hichki release dates announced by YRF: Here's when they come to theatres". Showsha. Firstpost. Retrieved 23 March 2018.
  9. ^ "Rani Mukerji's Hichki China-Bound, Will Be Screened At Shanghai Film Fest". NDTV.
  10. ^ "Rani Mukerji starrer Hichki receives standing ovation at Shanghai International Film Festival". The Indian Express.
  11. ^ "Hichki director Siddharth P Malhotra on the struggle to get the film made, and how YRF, Rani Mukerji came on board". First Post.
  12. ^ "Director Siddharth P Malhotra: Hichki's first script had a male central character". The Indian Express.
  13. ^ "Hichki was supposed to be a male-centric film: Sidharth P Malhotra". Hindustan Times.
  14. ^ "Rani returns". DNA India.
  15. ^ "Rani Mukerji Reportedly Signs Next Film". NDTV.
  16. ^ "Rani Mukerji plans her comeback with YRF's Hichki". Hindustan Times.
  17. ^ "Rani Mukerji Returns To Acting With HICHKI". Yash Raj Films.
  18. ^ "Hichki: Rani Mukerji starts shooting. Is she playing a teacher in her comeback?". The Indian Express.
  19. ^ Rakshit, Nayandeep (4 April 2017). "Yay! Rani Mukerji kickstarts shoot for her comeback film 'Hichki'". Daily News and Analysis. Dilligent Media Corporation. Retrieved 4 April 2017.
  20. ^ "Rani Mukerji wraps up shoot of her next film 'Hichki'". Mid-Day.
  21. ^ "Rani Mukerji wraps up Hichki in lightning fast speed!". DNA India.
  22. ^ "Hichki: Rani Mukerji wraps up shooting for comeback film under YRF". First Post.
  23. ^ a b "Hichki (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)". iTunes.
  24. ^ "Rani Mukerji's Hichki: Writer accuses Yash Raj Films of taking away his writing credit; goes on Twitter rant". First Post.
  25. ^ "YRF fights twin hiccups for 'Hichki', says it's an official adaptation; no writer shortchanged". Scroll.
  26. ^ "Hichki director Sidharth P Malhotra responds to writing credit accusations, says they are baseless". First Post.
  27. ^ "Who wrote Rani Mukerji's Hichki: The curious case of missing credits". Hindustan Times.
  28. ^ "Hichki movie review: This is what critics, celebs say about Rani Mukerji-starrer". International Business Times.
  29. ^ "Hichki - Tomatometer". Rotten Tomatoes.6/10 stars
  30. ^ "Hichki Movie Review". The Times of India.3.5/5 stars
  31. ^ "Against all odds". Rajeev Masand.3/5 stars
  32. ^ "Hichki Movie Review: Rani Mukerji Gets Full Marks But This Film Is Not A Class Act". NDTV.2.5/5 stars
  33. ^ "Hichki movie review: Rani Mukerji's well-intentioned film could have been so much more". Hindustan Times.2.5/5 stars
  34. ^ "'Hichki' review: a pile of clichés". The Hindu.
  35. ^ "Hichki movie review: The Rani Mukerji film earns an A". The Indian Express.3.5/5 stars
  36. ^ "Hichki Movie Review: Rani Mukerji Delivers Her Best In An Otherwise Hiccup-ridden Film". News18.2.5/5 stars
  37. ^ "Hichki Review: An out-and-out Rani show!". Rediff.2.5/5 stars
  38. ^ "Hichki movie review: Tale of an underdog made well". Deccan Chronicle.3/5 stars
  39. ^ "Hichki Movie Review". Film Companion.2.5/5 stars
  40. ^ "Dadasaheb Phalke Excellent Awards 2018".
  41. ^ "Indian Film Festival Melbourne". www.iffm.com.au. Retrieved 2018-07-13.
  42. ^ "WCRC INTERNATIONAL 2018".

External links[edit]