Siddharth Malhotra: HICHKI taught me!


A film made with conviction, honesty and a pure heart will touch people of any nation irrespective of language barriers, believes HICHKI director Siddharth Malhotra who is motivated to make movies that can bring a difference to the world.

Yash Raj Films' HICHKI was showcased at the Shanghai International Film Festival earlier this month, eliciting a standing ovation from the crowd which was moved by the inspirational story of a woman who deals with Tourette syndrome.

The response, Malhotra told IANS, "It reaffirmed that a film made with conviction, and pure honesty and heart, will touch any language, any nation, because it's a heart talking to another heart, irrespective of language."

He said the audience members had tears in their eyes, and a 15-minute conversation, which he was given as a deadline by the organisers, went on for one and a half hours. The film, starring Rani Mukerji, is about a woman with Tourette syndrome -- a nervous system disorder involving repetitive movements or unwanted sounds. She lands a teaching job in an elite school and turns her weakness into her biggest strength.

A member amongst the audience asked him, "Why have you shown light at the end of the tunnel?" Explaining that to IANS, Malhotra said, "I chose light at the end of the tunnel because I believe in hope, happiness, and that responsibility has in fact made a strong place in my head and heart that whatever film I make next, I should try and in some way, to make a difference... to make people laugh, cry. If I can change or touch someone, why not?"

He said HICHKI has taught him, "That I have the power as a filmmaker and as a writer to make a change in people's lives." Malhotra was also amused but proud when one member of the Chinese audience, asked him if Rani had Tourette's in real life. "I said 'no', but they were not willing to believe me that Rani does not have Tourette's in real life, and she is acting... She had done it so flawlessly and effortlessly that I had to convince them that I am not lying," he said.