After a break of four years, Rani Mukerji makes a comeback with a different theme and an inspiring story. Rani and director Siddharth P. Malhotra collaborate to tell a story of an aspiring teacher who has speech disorder called Tourette Syndrome along which the film also shows how the different types our society’s Hichki effect an individual’s growth or development of a section of the society.
To be a teacher is a dream for a girl who changed 12 schools during her schooling days due to her neuropsychiatric disorder plus she faced other daily life challenges along with the thing that her own father feel embarrassed due to her disorder. In spite of her double B. Ed and M.Sc degree, she was rejected from 18 schools for a teaching job but after five years rigorous hunting, Naina finally gets her dream job as a teacher in city’s most reputed school. But, her struggle doesn’t end here because she got the class 9 F (class of 14 underprivileged, angry, rebellious students). Like many other Bollywood film, the story of this film is also very predictable except the dramatic and unnecessary twist in the plot at end of the story.
First of all Rani Mukerji’s outstanding acting performance is the best part of the film. Unlike some other Bollywood films which are based on such themes, in this film, the disorder is not just used as a tool to manipulate the audience. From the beginning to the end of the story, Naina’s hichkis are consistent. From Naina’s first job interview, where she educates other teachers about her syndrome to her crying scene, Rani played her part very well. There is not much humour used in the story but some dialogues or lines are cleverly used at some places like… Mere speech me Tourette hai… mere intellect me nhi, Kab tak sote rhenge hum dono, Kutta bhok rha h…
But the negative part of the film is that Naina Mathur’s character overshadowed the other characters of the film. The life of 14 underprivileged students is briefly explained during one scene when Rani visits the basti to meet their parents. Unlike we connect to the Rani’s charcter, the audience is unable to connect with students of class 9 F and their story. Other supporting actors like Naina’s brother played by Hussain Dalal is ok and forgettable. The filmmaker also wants to display the social-economic divide within our society but the writing part is not that impressive. There are no layers or shades added to the characters in the films, for example, the rich students are evil and bad who always try to take down the students of class 9 F (except one girl played by Jannat) which is not very new in our films. The writer does not invest much time and effort to write the story. The acting performance of other supporting actors like Neeraj Kabi, Supriya Pilgaonkar, Sachin Pilgaonkar, Harsh Mayar, Shivkumar Subramaniam is good but their characters don’t have much to do in the film.
Talking about the music, there are some rap songs like Madamji Go Easy used in the film which somewhat reminds you DIVINE’s songs but these are not that much impressive and also easily forgettable. Other songs like Khol De Par by Arijit Singh, Teri Dastaan, Phir Kya Hai Gham are light-hearted songs but you forget them also, right after you left the theatre.
In the end, It’s a delight to watch Mukerji playing Mathur’s character who turns her weakness into her biggest strength. It’s a one-time watch type of film for me. 3/5 for me.