Monday, March 16, 2020

Review: Angrezi Medium (English Medium)

Release date: March 13, 2020
Running time: 145 minutes
Starring: Irrfan Khan, Radhika Madan, Kareena Kapoor 

Angrezi Medium is the tale of a young, Indian girl who dreams of finding her independence and living away from her sweet but slightly overbearing father.  The way she does this is by trying to get into university at London, a tough task that very few Indian children from her school are able to do.  However, this goal cascades into a long, difficult journey involving her father (Khan) and his brother (Deepak Dobriyal), along with some new friends made along the way.  

Angrezi Medium is part family drama and part ridiculous comedy.  The film does a nice job of balancing the two, with several very heartfelt moments and some genuinely funny incidents that move the story along.  A lot of this is fueled by Irrfan Khan's wonderful performance; he has the dramatic chops to really sell scenes when needed, but also has the a reserved acting style that works when it calls for something more humorous.  Deepak Dobriyal is likewise up to the task, and is a great foil to Khan.  He is less serious and more comical for the most part, and the two of them get into some enjoyable antics.  And on top of his brother, the interactions between Khan and Radhika Madan are genuinely sweet.  They play off each other well, with plenty of love and argument throughout as you would expect from a father and daughter.  Plus, their two characters's very different personalities do a good job of showing off both the differing cultures of India and the UK, as well as the different attitudes of the older generation and the younger generation.  

However, although the film is pretty standard length for Bollywood, the movie does have a convoluted plot at times.  It seems like the brothers get into far more trouble than they should and go about relatively simple predicaments with extreme choices and consequences.  I realize that a lot of this is for the comedic part of the film, and it often worked, but sometimes it felt too forced.  And additionally, the story goes all over the place as the schemes to help get the daughter into college become more difficult and with more setbacks.  But within this longer and convoluted plot, there are a lot of genuinely sweet, funny, and touching moments for this family to experience. 

Angrezi Medium is an interesting family odyssey, with fantastic performances highlighted by Irrfan Khan, and a genuinely touching and funny story.  

Rent it

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