Angrezi Medium Movie Review: Irrfan Khan Excels And Shines Like A Star In The Heartfelt Saga Of Father-Daughter Angrezi Medium
Set in Rajasthan, Angrezi Medium is the second instalment of the Hindi Medium franchise(2017). Angrezi Medium on the upfront is an emotional saga, which narrates the beautiful, unsaid universal bond of a father-daughter relationship. The film as it progresses, also focuses on how teenagers crave for independence, space in current times in our society, and how the thirst of it often leads to distancing with parents, who blindly agree to even give up their own lives for the happiness and success of their children. From how single parenting is tricky to how one realizes that the ultimate peace, happiness and comfort lies in one’s owncountry and not in the glossy luxury dreams attached to the label called 'foreign', this film tries to touch upon all of it pretty subtly. Irrfan Khan plays a halwai (sweet shop owner), Champak Bansal, who is a single parent to his blue-eyed daughter Tarika Bansal, played by Radhika Madan. Deepak Dobriyal plays Gopi, Champak's younger brother, who in spite of been involved in a legal tussle with his brother over claiming the original ancestral name for their individual sweet shops, is still ready to sell off his last bit to fulfill the childhood wish of his niece, as after all its 'Family that matters'. Tarika is a mediocre student with only one wish since her childhood - to go abroad, which later progresses into a dream of pursuing her studies in the prestigious Truford University in London. Tarika works hard for achieving her dreams and excels, but owing to an unintentional event by her father, Tarika's dreams get shattered and comes to a halt. This is when Champak, like any other Indian father, whose life is his daughter, decides to put everything at stake to fulfill his daughter's childhood dream. From trying to give up his life and earning the fund money for university enrollment via the accident's insurance to gambling, the innocent and simple Halwai does it all, just for the sake of his daughter. He even claims that he is a Pakistani to get British citizenship for his daughter. Whether he is able to get his daughter enrolled in the British University or not forms the rest of the plot. Irrfan Khan shines in his phenomenal performance as the middle-class Indian father, whose life revolves around his daughter's happiness. It's always a treat to watch him on screen and this time was no different. You will miss seeing the actor on screen more after watching him in this film, after a decent break from films owing to his chronic illness. His comic timing will make you laugh and emotional scenes will leave you teary-eyed, he is one rare and versatile talent. Irrfan shines and holds your attention all through the film with his stellar performance along with the uber talented Deepak Dobriyal. From the honest drinking scenes on the rooftop between the two, to their envious brotherhood is what keeps the film sailing. Radhika Madan has done a decent job especially in the emotional scenes, but her Rajasthani accent sounded forced. The director could have let her speak in colloquial Hindi, given the age and exposure of her character. Deepak Dobriyal like always is a joy to watch on-screen. There are several special cameos in the film, and my favorite was undoubtedly 'sabki favourite' Kareena Kapoor Khan. She has a small part to play as the no-nonsense cop, and she aced it. Kareena has a terrific screen presence and she totally owns the sequences she is a part of. Dimple Kapadia too has a special appearance but it looked pretty unlinked and forced. One cannot miss out on Pankaj Tripathi's hilarious cameo, which will make you wanting for more. Kiku Sharda and Ranvir Shorey also have fun characters to play and they have done a good job. Director Homi Adajania is back after a break of six years post his last release Finding Fanny. The expectations are always high from the director of several masterpieces like Cocktail and Being Cyrus, but Angrezi Medium looks like a world which is not something too convenient for the Cocktail director. He has tried to shield the flaws in the execution of the story with some weaved in humor. But the two-and-a-half hour of screen time was a little too much to keep the loopholes guarded. The writing of screenplay could have been crisp for an impactful narration of the heart-touching tale, which centers around the emotional father-daughter bond. The one-liners keep the first half entertaining, which might otherwise look stretched. The second half gets better and entertaining, despite some unrealistic sequences like getting past the US immigration with fake passports, to an unimaginable bidding of Rs. 300 crores by a middle class Indian Halwai. I will give this film a three out of five stars and recommend to watch it once, just to experience the grace of a seasoned actor like Irrfan Khan. Also because of its highly relatable story of children wanting to pursue higher education in a foreign land and seeking independence with age, and how parents continuously second doubt their child's wishes, yet does every possible thing to ensure that their dreams are achieved.