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Another ‘Chhalaang’ in sports movies

Anjali Dinesh 16 November 2020

Chhalaang Movie Poster (Source: Wikipedia)

Movie Cast: Rajkummar Rao, Nushrratt Bharuccha, Mohd Zeeshan Ayyub, Saurabh Shukla, Ila Arun, Rajeev Gupta, Suparna Marwah, Baljinder Kaur, Garima Kaur, Naman Jain Movie Director: Hansal Mehta

“On the whole, director Hansal Mehta gets the setting quite right with a lot of detail. But with more conviction in execution and writing, this one could've hit it out of the park,” said Ronak Kotecha of Times of India in his review of the movie.

Hansal Mehata and Rajkumar Rao for quite some time are combining together to provide the audience with mainstream movies, Chhalaang, their new project, that takes them to small-town Haryana, where the characters learn to negotiate small-bumps-on-the-road while adapting and taking big life lessons, taking the leap of faith.

The first thing was different and well done about the movie is the justice done to the settings and accents. Rao, playing a PT teacher in a local school, leads the way. Perhaps the hardest thing to pull off is the Haryanvi dialect without seeming like a caricature. Not just Rao, however Baljinder Kaur as his mom, Naman Jain as his more youthful sibling, and Satish Kaushik as his dad, all meet up as a family.

Rao is pretty good in providing some shades to a role with a predictable arc: Mahender aka Montu Hooda may come across as a loser and a slacker, but we know he is going to emerge as the winner with dignity.

When the audience first meets Rao, he is laid back and doesn't care about his job as a PTI ignoring the principal madam’s (Arun) constant advice to shape up. But when we see his determination with "Sanskriti Dal" we realise he is a man of concentration and one can think he is willing to go lengths for what he believes in and truly wants, as is evident when he meets Nushrratt Bharuccha.

With the arrival of Neelima (Nushrratt Bharuccha), and the coach, Singh (Ayyub), who will win the woman, dignity and respect starts, the guy who is a slacker, or the man who is a strict disciplinarian? The audience knows whom they are cheering for. Which is the factor that makes the movie traditionally boring.

There are a lot of scenes written just to humour the audience, like those of Shukla, Halwai (Dimpy), Rao's mother. Mehta goes medieval on the story-telling in this one: patriarchal Haryana, feisty young women, and the field.

A good effort was made by everyone who was in and part of the movie. Although, more work could have been done in order to make the storyline slightly more captivating for the audience. Overall, it was a great watch and one must take the time out to watch it as it refreshes some of the most basic life lessons and morals.

(Source: The Times of India)

Edited by: Tanya Jain, Sarvani Chavali

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