Hichki: A Cliche-Ridden Film that Underserves Rani’s Comeback

Bollywood

Hichki: A Cliche-Ridden Film that Underserves Rani’s Comeback

Illustration: Shruti Yatam

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here’s a scene halfway through Siddharth P Malhotra’s Hichki that is a fine example of the vivid vulnerability that Rani Mukherji is capable of. Rani plays Naina Mathur, a newly appointed teacher with Tourette Syndrome tasked with teaching – rather surviving – the “notorious” bunch of 9F, a class of 14 slum kids enrolled at the elite St Notker’s High School.

The scene comes in the aftermath of her unruly students destroying the science fair project and being suspended from the school premises until the final exams. After conveying their predicament to the punished students, a defeated Naina runs to the farthest corner of the school, struck by a severe case of vocal tics that result in her making involuntary loud grunts that sound like hiccups. As she vigorously tries to quieten down, the helplessness of the situation grips her and she breaks drown, hitting the window railings in her anger. It is to the actress’ credit that she easily infuses her breakdown with flashes of frustration and sadness solely through her expressions.

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