Somewhere at the core of Angrezi Medium, there was a germ of an idea that was brewing quite well. No wonder, when the makers would have to decided to take forward the ‘Medium’ franchise from Hindi to ‘angrezi’, it would have sounded pretty much thrilling. After all, here was a story that featured not just the bond between a father and his daughter but also two brothers. As a matter of fact that one could well have been titled ‘Bhai Bhai’ instead of ‘Angrezi Medium’ because frankly, the story of two brothers is far more interestingly narrated.
So here we have Irrfan Khan and Deepak Dobriyal, scions of Ghaseetaram ‘khandaan’ which specializes in making authentic Indian sweets. During the day they may be at loggerheads with each other. However in the night it’s the call of ‘tu bhai hai mera’ which brings the two together over extended rounds of Black Label. It isn’t just the starting point of the film that establishes the camaraderie between the two simpletons, the innocence stays right till the end as they traverse continents while battling troubles first at Dubai and then London.
Of course, the core story is about Irrfan and his teenage daughter Radhika Madan whose idea of studying at a top university in London in not as much driven by her love for academics but to actually turn into a ‘cool’ personality.
Things play real though in the film and that is what makes some of the interactions between this family rather heartwarming. Not that it moist one’s eyes but then there is certain feel good factor that is definitely there. However, unlike Hindi Medium which was abound with laughter, that doesn’t really turn out to be the case, except for a few stray instances. As a matter of fact I feel that there were certain sequences that could well have been taken to the next level but then weak direction by Homi Adajania curtails that from happening.
Be it Irrfan’s meeting with the education counselor or the outburst that he has at the stage while targeting the judge or the court scene before that, each one of these scenes is marred first by unimpressive writing and later by direction which is just not strong enough. As a matter of fact even the sequences leading to the interval point could either have been hilarious or dramatic but then neither of the two narrative styles truly come into action and as a result what you get to see is something that just doesn’t bind you with the protagonists.
Still, even though the first half is reasonably okay, the second half goes into an altogether different tangent. Save for a sequence featuring Dubai based travel agent Pankaj Tripathi which is low brow but still gets the house down, nothing really works. You expect the entry of Kareena Kapoor Khan in the proceedings to perk up the proceedings but just the opposite happens as the proceedings become further dreary. You end up wondering why this track featuring Kareena and Dimple Kapadia was injected into the film in the first place as it is totally unnecessary.
This is actually the case with most of the second half as well since there was just no story remaining to be told. What could possibly have been wrapped up in 20-25 minutes is extended to more than an hour with some of the sequences featuring Irrfan and Radhika even giving a deja vu of father-daughter relationship in recently released Jawaani Jaaneman.
The performances too are just about decent as Irrfan is good, but not in great form, something which is expected out of him. Deepak Dobriyal is in fact superb and surprisingly some of the scenes have him, instead of Irrfan, leading the show despite the two been present on the same frame. Radhika is realistic but at places goes overboard in being realistic. Kareena Kapoor Khan surprisingly just goes through the motions without any emotions. Ditto for Dimple Kapadia as well as other supporting actors like Ranveer Shorey and Kiku Sharda.
All in all, this is what the film as a whole is as well, a film which goes ahead in motions but without any emotions