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Rani Mukerji’s HICHKI and its original source FRONT OF THE CLASS - By Bobby Sing
22 Mar, 2018 | Inspired Movies (Alphabetical) / H

Director Siddharth Malhotra is back with his next venture HICHKI, based on an unusual, never before kind of subject talking about a rare disorder called Tourette Syndrome, in which a person keeps making weird sounds or body movements without any self-control.
 
Interestingly the director's first film WE ARE FAMILY (2010) was also an official remake of English film STEPMOM (1998). And after a long gap of 8 years he comes up with another official adaptation of a biographical book FRONT OF THE CLASS : How Tourette Syndrome Made Me the Teacher I Never Had written by Brad Cohen, also made into an English TV film with the same title FRONT OF THE CLASS in 2008.
 
Sharing the details of the American film, it has been directed by Peter Werner and features James Wolk in the lead playing Brad Cohen. The story begins explaining the rare disorder, focusing more on the early childhood years for the initial 35 minutes. And this specific part of the film is quite emotional and moving, stressing upon the mother’s trauma and her desperate efforts to help her son suffering from an incurable condition. Particularly the sequences showcasing Brad struggling in his class and his supportive Principal helping him out in a function in front of the entire school are a sheer treat to watch with many well-written inspiring lines.
 
Post this initial phase, the film comes to how Brad eventually becomes a teacher after repeated interviews and applications being rejected by many. The narration again returns back to the school, but this time we have Brad as a teacher, successfully dealing with the students despite his rare disability. New problems keep arising for the fighter facing the concerning parents doubting his teaching abilities. But he spiritedly defies them all winning a reputed best teacher award giving them a pleasant surprise.
 
As a simple yet impactful film (with all worth appreciating performances), FRONT OF THE CLASS thankfully remains truthful to its subject without sensationalizing the rare condition or adding some forced comic elements for the sake of entertainment. And that’s exactly why it works, giving an insightful message to its viewers through the intelligent kids in the end in a brilliant climax.
 
Mentioning a few lines, as their favourite teacher holds the ‘Best Teacher’ trophy on the stage saying “What could I possibly learn from a disability?” – one of his kid-students sitting in the audience raises his hand and says, “You learned to keep going!”
 
Another raises his hand and says, “You learned to not let it stop you!”
 
The third raises his hand and says, “You learned to not let it win!”
 
Coming to the Hindi version of the true story titled HICHKI, the lead character has been changed to a woman, which actually adds a lot more drama into the happenings, creating bigger difficulties for the character struggling to live a normal life. Plus the students shown in the trailer are more grown up boys and girls different from the ones seen in the English film. Rani Mukerji has already proved her exceptional abilities as an actor in many of her earlier projects and it seems here is another winning performance of her career playing a teacher having an unheard of rare Tourette Syndrome.
 
However it will be interesting to see how much of the childhood (of the lead character) is shown in HICHKI in comparison to the English film or the book that remains the original source.
 
Cheers!
 
(Note: The article was first published on UC-News Mobile App in March 2018)

Tags : Rani Mukerji’s HICHKI and its original source FRONT OF THE CLASS By Bobby Sing at bobbytalkscinema.com, Inspired Hindi Films, Official Remakes in Bollywood.
22 Mar 2018 / Comment ( 0 )
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