This 5-Star Hindi Drama on Amazon Prime Will Tug at Your Heartstrings from Start to Finish
Even based on the trailer alone, I knew Hichki was going to be something special. Perhaps it was look of joy on Ms. Mathur’s face when she insisted that she was “born to be a teacher”—even as she hiccupped uncontrollably. Or maybe it’s just the fact that I’m a huge sucker for underdog movies (and this Hindi drama definitely fits the bill). Either way, I sensed that this movie would tug at my heartstrings from start to finish, and my prediction was spot-on.
For those who are unfamiliar with the film, Hichki (Hindu for “hiccup”) is a heartwarming tale that speaks to the power of hope and determination in spite of the odds. Based on the true story of Brad Cohen, a teacher and author who has severe Tourette syndrome, the movie centers on Ms. Naina Mathur (Rani Mukerji), an aspiring educator who struggles to find a teaching job due to her speech impediment. When she finally lands a job at her alma mater, she’s assigned to teach a group of troublesome, underprivileged students who are treated like outsiders. Will her positive spirit and enthusiasm be enough to turn things around?
Now available on Amazon Prime, the Hindi-language film starts off with Naina going through multiple interviews and facing rejection after rejection, and though this clearly takes an emotional toll, she continues to carry herself with confidence and dignity. Skeptical employers who try to plant doubt in her mind are met with clever comebacks, proving that Naina’s disorder has nothing to do with her intellect or teaching ability. And just like that, I’m already taken by Naina’s character. Not only does she deal with countless job rejections, but there’s also her unsupportive father, who insists that she switch fields for a better-paying career. Still, she persists, going as far as to apply at her alma mater, St. Notker's School, six times before she’s finally given a chance.
Naina’s sheer resilience and optimism is awe-inspiring throughout the film, but it’s not the only aspect that makes this movie so captivating. Hichki also touches on relevant issues like classism and the many effects of poverty on education. For instance, upon arriving at St. Notker’s, Naina takes notice of class divisions among the students, where high-class elites are accepted and groomed as top scholars while poor students, who were only admitted to fulfill a government quota, are largely ignored. And when none of her pupils’ parents show up for a parent-teacher conference, Naina visits their homes and is stunned to see their harsh living conditions in the slums.
But even with its tearjerker scenes and timely commentary about poverty, Hichki maintains a hopeful tone. While the students lash out and attempt to push their teacher away, it’s clear that they want to learn and be treated like their rich peers—and Naina expertly builds on that. It’s impossible to not burst with pride as she instills confidence through her unique teaching methods and helps these students grow.
Simply put, this film is not just a love letter to those who struggle with rejection, but also, a powerful reminder that many of us wouldn’t be where we are today without an inspiring teacher like Ms. Naina Mathur.
PUREWOW RATING: 5 out of 5 stars
Hichki not only sheds light on the very real effects of poverty on education, but it will also give you a deeper appreciation for the educators in your life.
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