Angrezi Medium opens with a slate that defines a parent as “a strange creature with the profound ability to love its offspring irrationally”. It’s a fitting description, as pretty much anyone who’s raised a child will tell you, and an especially accurate one in the case of this film’s protagonist.
Irrfan Khan plays a sweet-shop owner in Udaipur named Champak Bansal, a single parent committed to raising his only daughter Tarika (Radhika Madan). Theirs is an affectionate, endearing relationship; the scenes between the two actors are charming and feel authentic. Tarika, who is just shy of 18, has wanted to go abroad since she was little, but Champak has somehow always managed to put it off. When she works hard to land a scholarship to a top London university, he finally relents. But he also unintentionally causes her scholarship to be revoked. Consumed by guilt over potentially shattering his daughter’s dream Champak vows to send Tarika to university, although he can ill afford the cost of a seat.
As many as four writers are credited with developing the story, and yet the script of Angrezi Medium is largely a mess of meandering subplots and contrived conflicts. Directed by Homi Adajania, the film’s first hour is especially a slog. Champak and his brother Gopi (Deepak Dobriyal), who runs a rival sweet-shop across from his, are at loggerheads over the rightful use of the family name for their respective businesses. Their acrimony spills into a legal battle that has little bearing on the film’s main plot, and hence feels needless and distracting even if it is played out strictly for laughs.
The incident that leads to the film’s pre-interval cliffhanger is also a stretch. The writers choose convenience over logic to create one obstacle after another in Champak’s way, and by the time the lights come on at intermission Angrezi Medium feels like it has fully lost its way. But then something surprising happens in the film’s second half – it’s the reason film critics don’t give up on films mid way – the humour becomes sharper, the dialogues start to crackle, the Irrfan-Deepak chemistry hits its stride, and despite the still sloppy screenplay the rock solid ensemble of actors vastly improves this average film.
Pankaj Tripathi shines even in a single-scene cameo as a Dubai fixer tasked with helping Champak and Gopi to enter England illegally. When they balk at each of his risky suggestions, he says to them, exasperatedly: “Yeh koi saree shop nahi hai, ‘Koi aur option dikhao!’” Radhika Madan has a natural presence on screen, and Kareena Kapoor plays a perennially angry London cop whose first encounter with Champak and Gopi is flat-out hilarious. In smaller roles, Kiku Sharda, Ranvir Shorey, and Dimple Kapadia round out the cast nicely.
In the end I feel like Angrezi Medium is one part clunky, and one part enjoyable. It’s not a perfect film – far from it – but I will admit I came out with a smile. I’m going with a generous three out of five.
हिंदी मीडियम में दिखाया गया था कि किस तरह अंग्रेजी मीडियम और महंगे स्कूलों में एडमिशन पाने के लिए पैरेंट्स जतन करते हैं। अंग्रेजी मीडियम में छात्रों के विदेश में पढ़ने के मोह को दर्शाया गया है।
फिल्म के ये माइनस पाइंट्स कुछ हद तक प्लस पाइंट्स के नीचे छिप जाते हैं। फिल्म में ऐसे कई सीन हैं जो खूब हंसाते हैं। वन लाइनर शानदार हैं। चंपक और गोपी (दीपक डोब्रियाल) की जुगलबंदी शानदार हैं। इन्होंने कई कमजोर लिखे सीन को अपनी एक्टिंग के बूते पर दमदार बनाया है।
फिल्म का सबसे बड़ा प्लस पाइंट है इसके लीड एक्टर्स की एक्टिंग। एक्टर्स कमाल के हो तो वे अपने अभिनय के दम पर फिल्म का स्तर ऊंचा उठा लेते हैं। इरफान खान ने यही किया है। बीमारी के कारण वे लंबे समय बाद स्क्रीन पर नजर आए हैं। यह दर्शकों का दुर्भाग्य है कि वे इरफान की कुछ फिल्मों से वंचित रह गए।