Radhika Madan and Irrfan in 'Angrezi Medium' poster Photograph:( WION Web Team )
In ‘Angrezi Medium’, as the simpleton Champak Bansal, Irrfan takes on a weak screenplay and turns it endearing with his performance.
Parents across the world run on similar kind of emotions. They worry unnecessarily, overact and overprotect and love unconditionally and sometimes even illogically. But can love and being protective stifle a child’s freedom? Most parents tread a thin line where at some point in time, they need to let go off their control over children- a decision that is perhaps the toughest to deal with. Director Homi Adajania’s film ‘Angrezi Medium’ deals with the same emotion, of a father grappling to the idea of an empty nest even as he goes out of the way to make his daughter’s dreams come true.
A sequel of sorts to ‘Hindi Medium’, the story has Irrfan playing Champak Bansal, a single-parent to Tarika (Radhika Bansal) who aspires to go abroad to do her graduation. Based in Udaipur, Champak’s world revolves around Tarika. The owner of a legacy sweet shop, his greater part of the day goes in squabbling with cousin Gasetamal Bansal (Deepak Dobriyal) and fussing over this daughter. When Tarika announces she wants to study in one of the most prestigious colleges in London, Champak- in a haste- promises to make her dream come true but things start spiralling down soon after as Champak and his brother set out on a very difficult journey to make Tarika’s dream come true.
The story is well-intended and shows how unconditionally parents love their children and go to greater lengths to fulfil their wishes. But the screenplay often loses grip over the plot making the narrative appear clumsy and long. The story is not very original- and certain situations seem illogical and irrelevant- forced into the story to make it funny.
While the story doesn’t always add up- it is the performances by the two leading men-Irrfan and Deepak Dobriyal- which lift the film up to a great extent. It's always a delight to watch Irrfan on screen. Its a well-known fact that the actor was undergoing treatment while shooting for this film- but on-screen Irrfan lights up every single frame with sheer talent. Give the man any kind of role and he always delivers. In ‘Angrezi Medium’, as the simpleton Champak Bansal, Irrfan takes on a weak screenplay and turns it endearing with his performance. The man is pitch-perfect.
Complementing him in every scene is actor Deepak Dobriyal. The actor who made people sit up and take notice of his talent in ‘Tanu Weds Manu’ is in his elements in this film and shines in every frame. Irrfan’s superstardom doesn’t overshadow Dorbiyal anywhere- the two are a delight to watch much like they were in the prequel of this film ‘Hindi Medium’. In ‘Angrezi Medium’ they play cousin who share a love-hate relationship and along with their childhood buddy played by the talented Kiku Sharda, deliver the best scenes in the film.
The film may not have a very strong script but it is salvaged thanks to a great set of actors. Radhika Madan is quite convincing as Tarika. She brings in the right sort of innocence to her character- a stark contrast from her previous roles in ‘Patakha’ and ‘Mard Ko Dard Nahi Hota’. As the young girl who despite having big dreams struggles internally as she has to stay away from her father, Madan is perfect. So are actors Ranvir Shorey, Dimple Kapadia and Kareena Kapoor Khan (in an extended cameo). Pankaj Tripathi in a small cameo gets the best scene of the film and leaves a lasting impression. So does actor Manu Rishi who plays the competitor of the Gasitamal business. Rishi has barely two scenes in the film, and four lines but still is so good in the limited screen time just like Tripathi.
Adajania also indulges a bit with dialogues. The actors speak a mix of Rajasthani and Hindi and often the accents make it difficult to comprehend what the lines are. The first half is far more engaging, in the second half the film introduces too many subplots and makes its dragging.
Shot beautifully in Udaipur and London, the film has beautiful music by Sachin –Jigar.
Does ‘Angrezi Medium’ work? Yes, because the relationship between a parent and a child is very relatable and despite the glaring flaws in the story, the film gives us Irrfan and Deepak Dobriyal in top form.
Ultimately, ‘Angrezi Medium’ has got its heart at the right place and that’s all that matters.