I recently went to watch Hindi Medium. I didn’t have many expectations as I expected the movie to just glorify Hindi Medium education and be all preachy. But I was in for a surprise. The movie focuses on a lot of core issues that the new age parents are facing, when it comes to their children’s education.
Hindi Medium starts with the most common worry that every parent of a 3 year old undergoes – Getting their ward admitted to one of the best schools in the locality. The movie beautifully showcases the parent’s good intent of ensuring that their child get’s the best that they can offer, however it can be over zealous at times. As the movie is putting forth a thought, they ensure that the movie remains light and humorous while focusing on the core issues that the parents face when it comes to school admission. It touches upon many societal perspectives that we can easily identify around us, one of them being, ‘English communication is directly proportional to your status in society.’
The casting is perfect with Irrfan Khan and Saba Qamar being the financially well-off, struggling with English parents. The movie is a situational comedy and it nails the many ugly truths related to education in our current society. Mithu (Saba Qamar) reads about the “list of top 5 schools in Delhi” and is obsessed about putting her daughter there. The probable ridicule, embarrassment and social stigma that she might have faced is left to the viewer’s imagination through various subtle indications like when she convinces her husband (Irrfan) that their daughter should be educated in the most prominent English School, or when she comes face to face with her ex-college mate who is an alumni of a famous school in Delhi.
Another useful point that the movie makes is, ‘how education has been turned into a money making business.’ Right from counselors who will help groom the child and their parents for the interview, to professional writers who will fill forms and fashion designers who will help pick the right clothes for the school interview. “Schools don’t prefer children of shopkeepers” is another dialogue that portrays the current admission criteria where the school screens the applications based on many unwritten conditions. Being financially well off to pay the school fees is not good enough, the parents and their professional background too is expected to be meeting expectations.
Though the second half of the movie is typical and preachy, it hits the right notes when it comes to putting forth the current problems. It also showcases the other end of the spectrum with RTE quota’s , its misuse and how the RTE children end up being a misfit in schools that are carefully crafting their image of being a school for future leaders of India. Do watch this family entertainer. A refreshing movie which makes each one of us introspect.