'Angrezi Medium' review: Irrfan and team do a stellar job to bring in the laughs
What the movie lacks in logic, it more than makes up with its laughs.
Unlike its predecessor, Hindi Medium (the 2017 satire that proved to be a sleeper hit), the Homi Adajania directed Angrezi Medium is at its core a family drama/comedy that explores the relationship between a father and daughter. As played by National-Award winning actor Irrfan, Udaipur based mithai shop owner Champak Bansal, is a besotted father with huge separation anxiety issues when it comes to his daughter Tarika (played with absolute gusto by Radhika Madan). So when the girl who has harboured dreams of going abroad ever since she was a tiny tot sets her heart on doing her higher studies in a prestigious London University, the hapless father is ready to do everything in his power to make her dream a reality.
What ensures is two and a half hours of hilarity as the Bansals, including Champak's brother Gopi (Deepak Dobriyal in a standout performance) embark on a misadventure as they fly to London. When their lack of English skills lands them in trouble and the brothers are blacklisted by immigration officials and sent back to India, they take recourse to a shady fake passport dealer Tony (Pankaj Tripathi is a riot here) and manage to make inroads into London. From here the movie tumbles into shaky territory with a whole lot of fantastical plot-lines that never the less manage to raise a lot of laughs. There might be nothing believable in the second half of the movie with the Bansals embarking on a hare-brained plan to ensure Tarika gets into the University of her dreams, except for her obvious and totally relatable awe at living the life she has always dreamt of. Ironically her character is shown as undergoing a 360 degree shift and the movie falls back on a 'Made in India' mode that seems contrived.
But Angrezi Medium is no doubt a movie with its heart in the right place. Irrfan might seem as if he has walked into the role of the small-town businessman and devoted father from any of his previous movies and to be fair he does a decent job of it, so why not; and the rest of the cast are stellar enough to hold this movie together in the second half. Ranvir Shorey as their childhood friend Bablu who has fallen on bad times in the UK but doesn't want the tag of a 'failed foreign returnee' holds a mirror to many others in a similar predicament. Kareena Kapoor Khan as the steely London cop Naina Kohli suffering from parental issues with mum Dimple Kapadia makes her presence felt.
Watch Angrezi Medium if you enjoy desi movies and don't mind a slow-paced first half. Thankfully the laughs are in plenty and the acting topnotch so what if the drama veers into an unbelievable comedy in the second half?
Movie: Angrezi Medium
Director: Homi Adajania
Cast: Irrfan Khan, Kareena Kapoor Khan, Radhika Madan, Dimple Kapadia, Deepak Dobriyal, Pankaj Tripathi, Ranvir Shorey
Rating: 3 out of 5