If Hindi Medium Was Fabulous,
Angrezi Medium Is Opposite.
Call me stingy but when filmmakers do really stupid things like write the movie wearing blinders whilst under a rock and get carried away on fame earned by their earlier film, then it’s tough to give them a pass (gradewise and otherwise). This film has a great cast, some ‘dil ko touch kar gaye’ scenes but the rest are like vomit emoji. Many times over.
Half a star for the awesome motichoor laddu placed on our seats at the screening of the film. Despite my fears about the corona virus, I picked up the box from the seat and licked my fingers after eating. Delicious.
Now for the film.
So we realise that Ghasitaram is a name many mithai shops use and they’re all related to one another. They’re fighting to use the name and they take one another to court. What’s fun is that they go to court in a bus together. Because, family.
That itself is a great idea, and the court scene is funny where the court proceedings are derailed because they start discussing daru and chakhna instead. But that’s one scene.
The other best part of the movie is this fabulous trio of Irrfan Khan who plays Champak Bansal, Deepak Dobriyal is Gopi Bansal and Kiku Sharda as Gajju Bansal. Three men who are not just related to one another but are friends who get drunk on the terrace at night. Their conversation is so good you are immediately endeared to the characters (that weird laugh Deepak Dobriyal indulges in is forgiven)
Everyone is going to tell you how heartwarming Irrfan Khan is with his daughter Radhika Madan. One scene where she comes home drunk and accuses her dad is wonderful. After that, her insane need to study in England is a ‘bachpan mein maara hota toh yeh din na dekhne padte!’ moment.
There is also a moment where Irrfan Khan looks pensive at the window in London, worried about how he’s going to get his daughter admitted to college, which is as good as the scene in Nil Bate Sannata where Chanda (Swara Bhaskar) wonders about how she’s going to get her daughter to study…
Dimple Kapadia is still stunning. Still amazing.
Now for the reasons all these good scenes get cancelled.
1. The film releases on Friday the 13th. So bad writing gets blamed on the bad luck date.
2. Corona virus ke kaaran people didn’t come to the theaters, warna hit thee boss.
3. Whoever wrote the English parts given to white people has never spoke to a white person. They don’t ‘maite’, ‘eh?!’ and ‘lad’ in every sentence. Not even during cricket commentary.
4. Died laughing when London airport, immigration, police were all ‘white’. Why sacrifice the movie for cheap comedy? Kaun hain yeh log? There are brown people everywhere, even the Mayor of London is Sadiq Khan.
5. British cops who mistake achaar for drugs? Seriously?! In 2020, their drug sniffing dogs might ask for mathri when they sniff out achaar.
6. Irrfan Khan speaks English with a tourist in Udaipur. Broken English, but English. All of a sudden upon landing in London he is unable to speak a word of the language. But he knows how to use Google Translate which helpfully translates ‘Dawa’ into ‘Drugs’. Try it. It clearly says ‘Medicine’. So they sacrifice everything for a cheap joke. Of course when he says he’s going to make drugs, the all white, all brainless policemen arrest him after overacting their alarm.
7. We see NO Indian person in London except the boy who picks up Radhika Madan at the airport. And she’s so stupid, she doesn’t make any effort to find where her uncle and dad are. If you ever go to London, there are helpful signs everywhere. And the boy who picks her up also just whisks her away.
8. So Radhika Madan has managed to contact a frat house Indian, without actually having a provisional admission… And they’re all very happy to share their alcohol. Uh-uh! If you have studied at any college in London, then NO ONE shares alcohol so freely. They all bring their own booze. The frat house hilarity is very American. Thoda konfujiyaa gaye hain… If you google ‘what do students in Britain drink?’, the answer will be beer followed by wine.
9. So the principal in an Udaipur school tears up the admission letter. Erm… It’s 2020, those acceptance letters are all online now. So the whole nonsense they go through to get admission is a waste. There could have been comedy in trying to forge a letter from the university, where Irfan and Deepak try to reach hackers in some biddy’s basement… Sigh.
10. The boy who rescues Radhika Madan has a dad who is a politician, but he works so he’s not a burden on his dad. Doting daughter doesn’t try to locate her dad via her friend’s politician dad? That would have been comedy too… But the country where no one figured out that the two gents did not speak English and deported them has an Indian person who is a politician?
11. Please Pankaj Tripathi, I used to be a fan. Have said that he cannot do a thing wrong. But after seeing him ham away at his role, trying hard to be funny was like someone stabbing me with the butter knife. Pankaj Tripathi starts speaking like, ‘Main batatee hoon’ (as if he were confusing gender) but then he forgets that in trying to be funny. I thought he’s be extending his hand and painting his nails too… They just didn’t think of it, no?
12. Why is Ranvir Shorey made to dress as if he had flown down from the West Indies instead of cold England. And his family is dressed like Goan Aunties straw hats and all… No wonder Meghan Markle chose to leave England and move to Canada.
13. The auction is as sham as it can get. But that Bappi Lahiri crack? Fizzzzzzled out. Who’s your audience? Busta Rhymes is what most young people understand. And the hawala money exchanging hands is not even original…
Friday The Thirteenth or no, this movie just bombed. Even though the father-daughter equation could have been ‘aww’ inducing, these ghastly mistakes would have made Citizen Khan cringe too. Watch Hindi Medium on one of the streaming services. It had a heart. This one just makes you wince.
P.S. If you are a fan of Irrfan Khan then go to Netflix and watch him in Tokyo Trial.