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Film Review: Hindi Medium (2017) - Class Conflict and Resolution in School Admission Issues

Updated: Nov 11, 2023

FILE PHOTO: A Poster of HINDI MEDIUM (2017). ©Maddock Films
FILE PHOTO: A Poster of HINDI MEDIUM (2017). ©Maddock Films

Hindi Medium (2017; a.k.a. 起跑線, Dir. Saket Chaudhary) is one of successful Hindi films from 2017.

It has been shown in China since April 4, 2018 and earned US$34.32 million which box office record is higher than the one in the origin of production of this film, India (US$14 million). The world total box office number is US$51.52 million. (1)

Hong Kong audiences already highly praised the three major master pieces from India which gained international acclaims and successfully became box office hits as so called sleeper hits.

One is Aamir Khan's Dangal (2016); the second one is Aamir Khan's Secret Superstar(2017); and Hindi Medium (2017).

Irrfan Khan (伊凡.卡漢) who is well familiar with his role, the C.E.O. of the Jurassic World, Simon Masrani in one the most successful blockbuster franchise films, Jurassic World (2016) , played the protagonist, a petty capitalist, Raj Batra.

Irrfan Khan belongs to the similar type of Aemir Khan. They are resembled and charming in their characters. Indian male stars are represented by the two giants in the art of screen in China. Chinese audiences prefer them.

FILE PHOTO: A Still Image of JURASSIC WORLD (2015). ©Universal Studios
FILE PHOTO: A Still Image of JURASSIC WORLD (2015). ©Universal Studios

Film's narrative structure and the meaning of dramatic conflict is so clear and powerful, and easily to grab it but quite difficult to predict the end.

It is a carefully detailed screenplay work done by Zeenat Lakhani and Dir. Saket Chaudhary (薩卡.查德利).

Its technical aspect is doubtless and universal standardised genre filmmaking with two cameras and the Three Act Structure. The specialty of this film is its way of identifying and solving the specific class conflict between two parents in different social classes in capitalist society.

One is protagonist Raj Batra and his wife Meeta Batra, the capitalist parents of their daughter Pia; the opposite one is the working class Shyam Prakash Kori and his wife Tulsi, parents of their son Mohan.

The main narrative conflict is not just generalisation of "capitalists versus workers", however its typical conflict is more specified in detail profoundly. The main driving conflict is how capitalist families rob the social opportunities from the poor families with their wealth and social privileges.

Zeenat Lakhani and Dir. Saket Chaudhary specifically took the prestigious school admission fraud issues in Right To Education (RTE) quota as its social example and case for this film content and its form. Film cannot be made in absolutely abstracted way without any specific social incident and its typical tendency.

For this film, the capitalist class parents make fraud on the application to the top school, 'Delhi Grammar School' by robbing opportunities of truly deserved poor working class children to get into the top school under Right To Education (RTE) policy which provided by the Indian government.

Forming of this social conflict is the beginning of this filmmaking in the society. This film then shows us how the conflict gets solved in its synthesis of the entire narrative actions.

As the result, what audiences enjoy is the perfect and emotionally communicative cinematic experiences in this Hindi film master piece.

The ending is not only a self-criticism by the protagonist Raj Batra who robbed Mohan's opportunity for their own daughter, but also he decides to finance and sends his daughter Pia to the government run Hindi Medium school where poor Mohan studies. This kind of spiritual and material solutions are holistic actions done first time in this school drama genre.

FILE PHOTO: Advertisement of FILE PHOTO: A Poster of HINDI MEDIUM (2017). ©Maddock Films
FILE PHOTO: Advertisement of FILE PHOTO: A Poster of HINDI MEDIUM (2017). ©Maddock Films


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