Duration: 144 mins
Director: Homi Adajania
Cast: Irrfan Khan, Kareena Kapoor Khan, Radhika Madan, Deepak Dobriyal, Dimple Kapadia, Ranvir Shorey, Pankaj Tripathi, and others
Music: Sachin-Jigar, Tanishk Bagchi
Hyderabad: It is very rare that filmmakers choose to tell stories that delve into the relationship between a father and a daughter. Although there are a few films like ‘Piku’ and ‘Dangal’, they are very less in number when compared to stories that deal with mother-son relationships that have come to dominate the silver screen.
Here is where director Homi Adajania’s ‘Angrezi Medium’ deserves a mention for telling a story that has the central premise of a father-daughter relationship. Although not a sequel, the film is a follow-up to the 2017 hit ‘Hindi Medium’ which talks about parents' obsession to get their children enrolled in an English-medium school. The new film explains the dreams and aspirations of children who want to study in foreign countries.
The film tells the story of Champak Bansal (Irrfan), a widower and a small-town businessman in Udaipur who is willing to do anything for his daughter Tarika’s (Radhika Madan) happiness. On the other hand, Tarika dreams of seeing the world and being independent. However, in an unexpected turn of events, her father unknowingly thwarts her chances of studying in London. The rest of the story is about how Champak tries to fulfill his daughter’s dream.
Written by Bhavesh Mandalia, Gaurav Shukla, Vinay Chhawal, and Sara Bodinar, ‘Angrezi Medium’ largely talks about a parent-child relationship, teen aspirations and quest for freedom, and a father's struggle to deal with his daughter’s growing up. On most occasions, the film’s narrative is humorous with a few emotional moments tug in between which strikes the right chord.
However, there are several lapses in the screenplay where the story jumps into too many subplots that don’t hold our attention. While the pursuit of a father trying to do everything possible for her daughter is admirable, there are certain sequences in the second half which do not look coherent, making the story redundant at times.
The film’s biggest strength lies in the performances which overshadow the lackluster writing. Irrfan Khan, who is returning with this film after a hiatus because of his illness, is brilliant. His remarkable performance as a doting father uplifts the film. Deepak Dobriyal, who plays Gopi, is delightful to watch and his camaraderie with Irrfan brings the house down. Ranvir Shorey as Bablu's childhood friend puts up a good performance. Radhika Madan, who was impressive in her debut film ‘Pataakha', fits the role of a teenager perfectly. She matches her performance with the other ensemble cast but her Rajasthani Hindi could have been better. Kareena Kapoor Khan, in an important extended cameo in the film, makes her presence felt along with veteran actress Dimple Kapadia. The music composed by Sachin-Jigar and Tanishk Bagchi is good.
As the dynamics of the father-daughter relationship is evolving slowly in our society, it is heart-warming to see the story of a father from a small-town willing to listen to his daughter’s wishes and dreams and trying to fulfill them. In spite of the insipid writing, ‘Angrezi Medium’ still makes for a decent watch because of some compelling performances which tug your heart.