'Angrezi Medium' review: Irrfan, Dobriyal uplift this otherwise tiresome movie
Irrfan Khan is back. Not that the man was ever gone. But he is now back on screen, after one hell of a personal journey. And without a doubt, he is as good as he gets. But he returns with a movie that's perhaps a bit too emotional, and unexpectedly translates into a tiring watch, sooner than later. Here's our review of Angrezi Medium.
'Angrezi Medium' is a father-daughter tale, at heart
Much like its spiritual predecessor, Angrezi Medium is the story of a family that has its ups and downs but comes together in the end. Irrfan is Champak Bansal, a mithai shop owner based in Udaipur. He is a single father to Tarika (Radhika Madan), lovingly called Taru. Unlike her father, Tarika is ambitious. She dreams of studying abroad and works hard for it.
It's a simplistic plot, intended to be feel-good, but...
While Tarika comes close to making it to a top-notch London university, she still loses the opportunity, after her father, in his innocence, unknowingly makes a blunder. As her daughter is shattered, Champak resolves to get her admitted to her dream college, despite all the challenges. It's a simplistic plot, intended to be feel-good, but the writing is unfortunately too messed up for that.
For such a simplistic plot, there's a lot happening here
There's a lot happening in this movie. There's a court case between Champak and his younger cousin, Gopi (Deepak Dobriyal), who're fighting for their grandfather's goodwill. There's a bus driver friend, who accompanies them during their drinking sessions, a Dubai-based travel agent (Pankaj Tripathi), an old book shop owner (Dimple Kapadia), a fierce cop (Kareena Kapoor Khan), and a dubious NRI friend (Ranvir Shorey).
There are a lot of characters, none of them authentic
And while there's nothing wrong in expanding the script with so many characters, the problem here is that there's little to no depth assigned to them. They are mostly used as per the convenience of the plot and soon enough, it starts to feel unauthentic. In other words, the script is so immature and underhanded, that it makes the movie distracting and unsatisfying.
Unfortunately, it's too emotional, too unfunny
Intended as a family entertainer, Angrezi Medium is also supposed to be funny. But a majority of the jokes here fail to land, and many ones that do, fall flat. It is also pretty understandable that this is a film made with much love and emotion, but unfortunately, its emotions start taking a toll on its entertainment value.
Irrfan is the soul of 'Angrezi Medium'
But then of course, there is no such thing as too much of Irrfan. As a father who loves his daughter deeply but is perpetually mired in dilemma, that comes out of seeing his daughter grow up and become her own person, Irrfan is the soul of Angrezi Medium. And the support he gets from the spot-on cast only makes him better.
As Champak's sidekick of sorts, Deepak Dobriyal is terrific
And, Deepak Dobriyal as Champak's cousin and a constant sidekick of sorts pours his heart to keep the movie afloat. Plus, it's the love-hate chemistry between the brothers that make for some of the most charming scenes in the movie. In one of the scenes, the cousins sit together over whiskey and discuss who has done nastier things to the other one.
Also, Radhika Madan is a delight to watch
In a way, Angrezi Medium is also a coming-of-age of sorts for Tarika, played by the wonderful Radhika Madan. Radhika slips under the skin of a young girl, who wants to grow up too soon, with much ease. She is a delight to watch.
'Angrezi Medium' is worth a watch for its superb performances
Even as Irrfan and Deepak do their best to keep the film alive, it relies way too heavily on the two of them, as the writing here just isn't sharp and convincing enough to keep you engaged. While these actors surely deserved a better script, Angrezi Medium is worth a watch for its superb performances. Rating: 3/5 stars.