Ever since Mirror reported that a sequel to Hindi Medium was in the works, with Irrfan Khan returning as Delhi-based businessman Raj Batra, but without Saket Chaudhary, speculations have been rife about who’d be handed the baton of the director. Now, Mirror has learnt Homi Adajania will take the quirky comedy franchise forward. Producer Dinesh Vijan confirmed the news, saying, “Homi doesn’t make films very often as he refuses to do stuff that doesn’t bowl him over.

irfan-khanBut when I narrated this one to him, he loved it. And when I saw his reaction, it was a no-brainer! I guess from our production house’s stable of directors, Homi was the most unlikely choice for Hindi Medium 2 and that’s exactly why I have signed him on.” Their collaboration dates back to Homi’s directorial debut, Being Cyrus in 2006, an English black comedy around a dysfunctional Parsi couple (Boman Irani and Dimple Kapadia), also featuring Saif Ali Khan.

This was followed by the Hindi romcom, Cocktail, with Saif, Deepika Padukone and Diana Penty. Dinesh gave the same reason for signing Homi to direct Cocktail, a Saif-Dinesh co-production. The latter went solo with Homi’s 2014 satirical road movie, Finding Fanny, with an ensemble cast of Naseeruddin Shah, Dimple, Pankaj Kapur, Deepika and Arjun Kapoor.

Quiz Dinesh on why Saket has dropped off the radar and he says, “He is busy with other commitments. But Homi is a fantastic and very hands-on father, so I knew he would completely identify with the father-daughter relationship which is the crux of the film.” It is doubtful if Pakistani actress Saba Qamar, will return in the sequel. Dinesh will not be drawn into a discussion on this or if Irrfan might have another love interest.

All he admits is that the story flashforwards by a decade and now is as much Raj’s story as his daughter Pia who’s finished high school in Hindi medium and figuring what to do next. Talks are on with Saif and Amrita Singh’s daughter Sara to play Pia who’s as headstrong and opinionated as her mom, Meeta. “The original was very well received by the audience and the industry alike.

It even won the Best Film at the Filmfare Awards, along with Best Actor for Irrfan. It’s the kind of story with memorable characters that warrants a sequel and I felt that it would be apt to do it sooner while the characters are fresh in the audience’s mind. It’s well crafted, keeping in mind the consistency of these colourful characters,” asserts Dinesh, acknowledging that it is about what has transpired in these 10 years and what is to come. “Part 2 will have a longer role for Deepak Dobriyal as Shyam whose son Mohan is also making some important choices on higher education and career goals,” Does he plan to take his desi story to videsi shores? “Wait and watch.

The original raised pertinent questions about our education system and society. We will continue with that thread of thought and touch on other relevant issues again,” the filmmmaker says. Buzz is, the title will be English Medium the second time around but Dinesh is sure he wants to go with Hindi Medium 2. “Hindi Medium is a brand now and the idea is to spin a commercially successful franchise with Raj Batra as the fulcrum,” he reasons.

Homi admits he stumbled on this project quite by chance. “I ambled into Dinoo’s (Dinesh Vijan) room and he was sitting down to a narration. I had enjoyed the first one (Hindi Medium) and the way these writers have taken the narrative forward is very clever. So yeah, I pretty much gatecrashed the narration and it was so engaging and hilarious that I told him I’d be happy to direct it if he had no director attached to the project. It’s been a while since I’ve found any material so amusing yet emotional,” he signs off.

Published on Ahmedabad Mirror