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?