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Movie Review | Chhalaang: Inspirationally heart-warming coming-of-age drama

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CHHALAANG movie review is here. The Indian Hindi-language social comedy directed by Hansal Mehta stars Rajkummar Rao, Nushrratt Bharuccha and Mohammed Zeeshan Ayyub in pivotal roles. Produced by Ajay Devgn, Luv Ranjan, Ankur Garg and presented by Bhushan Kumar. CHHALAANG is a grand Diwali attraction set to release on November 13, 2020 on Amazon Prime Video.

CHHALAANG Story

Mahendra Singh Hooda (Rajkummar Rao), is a happy-go-lucky PT teacher inadvertently attracted to a computer teacher Neelima Mehra (Nushrratt Bharuccha). He faces a competition from new PT teacher Mr. Singh (Mohammed Zeeshan Ayyub), who is serious about his job. Caught in an ‘identity’ crisis Mahendra Singh Hooda aka Montu decides to get some respect and develop a sense of duty and responsibility towards his profession and more.

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CHHALAANG movie review

Did the director Hansal Mehta and writers Luv Ranjan, Aseem Arrora and Zeishan Quadri had the idea to reconstruct a new age desi – Haryanvi version of the cult JO JEETA WOHI SIKANDER?

Anyways, after the masterpiece SCAM 1992: THE HARSHAD MEHTA STORY Hansal Mehta will now to compete with himself only till his last breath.

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Coming back to CHHALAANG originally titled ‘Turram Khan’ in 2018 when announced by Mehta, CHHALAANG is an afterthought and so are vital moments in this inspirationally heart-warming coming-of-age drama which could have been an inspiring cult in coming-of-age/sports dramas in Bollywood.

Rajkummar Rao in Hansal Mehta's Chhalaang on Amazon Prime Video
Rajkummar Rao in Hansal Mehta’s Chhalaang on Amazon Prime Video

CHHALAANG (jump or leap) is not about winning a championship for the Nation – India. It is about taking that leap and transforming into a better human. Changing for good, accepting challenges and gaining respect.

Director Hansal Mehta and writers Luv Ranjan, Aseem Arrora and Zeishan Quadri traffic on small-town heartland sentiments – this time it’s Haryana which are sometimes real and sometimes fictitious in CHHALAANG.

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However, the makers manage to exhibit a refreshingly honest understanding of a happy-go-lucky street-smart teacher who grows up when faced with a challenge. Though CHHALAANG is wrapped as a sports flick involving kids, it’s primarily a coming-of-age saga built on the popular triumph of the underdog formulae.

Delightful throughout, touching at times and turning wise (towards the climax especially), CHHALAANG is lifted by top notch performances.

Performances

Rajkummar Rao excels in a tailor-made role. Nushrratt Bharuccha stands strong. Mohammed Zeeshan Ayyub is excellent. Saurabh Shukla is superb. Ila Arun is fantastic. Satish Kaushik is excellent.

Flaws

CHHALAANG loses the momentum right in the middle and travels at every place from that anti-romeo squad to that ‘Kaam dhaam dhand bhedh’…???, since it focuses more on the protagonist Montu’s struggle, the script compromises on giving the kids – the strength of his triumph proper tuning and grooming. Sweeping moments between the kids and both the teachers are missing. The audience fail to understand why Singh is accepting the challenge. Sadly, the chemistry between Rajkummar Rao and Nushrratt Bharuccha is half baked.

Any memorable moment

The movie belongs to Rajkummar Rao, but that silent scene where Nushrratt Bharuccha is enjoying the moment with those special kids speaks volumes and it’s so pure.

Final words

CHHALAANG touches the heart without being sticky. This could have been a cult but still it manages to light this Diwali with a sparkle of hope, inspiration and heart-warming humanity. Going with an extra for the festive mood as things are slowly coming back to normalcy.

Wishing you a happy ‘Chhalaang’ this Diwali… I mean Happy Diwali.

pic/poster courtesy: Amazon Prime Video

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