To emit: Rajkummar Rao, Nushrratt Bharuccha, Satish Kaushik, Saurabh Shukla, Baljinder Kaur
Director: Hansal mehta
Classification: 2 stars (out of 5)
A homeless man finds purpose in life and turns a new leaf in Chhalaang, an Amazon original film directed by Hansal Mehta. Sadly, it is a piece of film that does not bear the hallmark of the director of Shahid and Aligarh. It has nothing new to offer. It is a jump that is everywhere.
When his job as a physical therapy teacher at a school in Haryana is on the line, the film’s protagonist challenges the man who has replaced him to a sports ‘duel’. Suggest they compete in three specific disciplines with teams of their choice to show who is the best coach. The school principal agrees to the strange idea and makes a lottery to decide the games they will play. Yes, so arbitrary Chhalaang it is.
In a show of misguided bravery, the hero allows the rival trained in Patiala by the National Institute of Sports (NIS) to be the first to try to form a team. That leaves you with a bunch of stragglers to work with. That’s a classic basis for a standard underdog drama. As it turns out, it doesn’t have legs to carry a full movie. The end is gone.
The hero is deservedly teased for his recklessness by an elderly colleague, Shukla (Saurabh Shukla), who supports him through thick and thin. The rest of Chhalaang The story (credited to producer Luv Ranjan), centered on a ‘battle royale’ in the heat and dust of a small town, is dramatically predictable.
Sports action never rises to the occasion despite the fact that one of the best in the business (Rob Miller, who supervised the action on the field in Chak From India !, as well as working on many other Hindi films) is in charge of these parts of Chhalaang.
Chhalaang, from a screenplay by Luv Ranjan, Aseem Arrora and Zeishan Quadri, presents an uninspired and artificial drama that uses easy methods to convey its point of view. It’s more of a series of regrettable stumbles than a great show.
In the last minutes of the film, the victor makes a long speech. He ends with “Sorry thoda bhaashan ho gaya type.” Say it again, man! Chhalaang In fact, it is a lengthy sermon that takes up an inordinate amount of time, but offers little genuine content.
Clichés are the norm here. While one of the coaches highlights the importance of speed, endurance and strength as requirements for sporting success, the other urges his team to focus on their game. All very well, but the pious statements of the two men, especially those of the hero, are exasperatedly forced in light of what has happened before.
What has happened before is the unedifying vision of Montu (Rajkummar Rao), the son of an experienced lawyer (Satish Kaushik), poking fun at his own life and work. Treat your job like that: a job. When the principal (Ila Arun) advises him to roll up his socks, he casually rationalizes that students should focus on studies instead of wasting time on sports.
However, it’s pretty obvious from the get-go that Montu’s days as a tramp aren’t going to last long, especially when new computer science teacher Neelima (Nushrratt Bharuccha) joins the school staff. The fear of not being able to move forward with her is compounded by her attention to Inder Mohan Singh (Mohammed Zeeshan Ayyub), the physical education instructor who has just arrived to give the school a new lease of life.
Montu’s transformation from a mean man who, as a member of a local anti-Romeo squad, publicly humiliates a middle-aged married couple (Rajeev Gupta and Suparna Marwah) to a squeaky clean guy who casts off his apathy and insecurities to fighting because her rightful place in the sun is as unconvincing as the scattered path her relationship with Neelima takes.
Since the girl is also a ‘trophy’ to be won, Chhalaang He overcompensates for his masculine bias by making intricate twists intended to put emphasis on gender equality. When Montu sends probes to Neelima, the latter, after a false start, responds with “Friend banna hai? Daru pilaoge?” Not only that, when the ice has broken, Montu’s father offers him a drink on the terrace of his house while giving a talk of encouragement to his son and the girl.
That may not be problematic in and of itself, but recruiting girls into competition is completely illogical. We all agree that gender segregation in a general sense is a no-no, but the girls in a kabaddi boys team is a bit excessive. You only do the cause a disservice by reducing it to a joke. Equally difficult to digest is the arrogant way in which the film devalues the value of a qualified coach to project another who has accomplished little to deserve to be where he is.
Inder Mohan Singh’s character, played by a consummate scene stealer, is hopelessly backed. Although every time Mohammed Zeeshan Ayyub is on screen, the movie is appreciably animated, the figure of the outsider bringing a new way of looking at things can be a mere flash on the radar, popping up every now and then just for the purpose of give the hero a goal to pursue and someone to train with.
But from the fact that Singh was Neelima’s final year student at Kuruskshetra University and that he has a formal degree from NIS Patiala, we are not told anything about his background and why the hell he ended up in a government funded school where sports are low. priority.
Chhalaang is animated by Satish Kaushik, Saurabh Shukla, and Baljinder Kaur (playing Montu’s talkative mother). Jatin Sarna, in the role of Dimpy, Montu’s Halwai friend, is given little thought. Nushrratt Bharuccha has what seems like a meaty role, but considering the sloppy way the script causes her to switch allegiance from one coach to another, this despite the fact that the one she supports hasn’t given her a good reason. to be a partisan. your efforts are wasted.
The biggest ruin of the film comes from the glaring inconsistencies the hero’s character is plagued with. He starts out as a nasty, pompous, presumptuous and lazy guy. It only gets worse: we suddenly see him as a jerk leading a Sanskriti Dal moral watchdog team. And then, just as abruptly, he changes his mind. That he is a defective protagonist is not the problem. That he is a false hero is.
ChhalaangAt first glance he hits the right buttons, including gender parity, but it all seems more manufactured than organic when a man like Montu is handed a long rope and held up as a model of intentional self-assertion.
ChhalaangUnable to defend himself against his contradictions, he becomes entangled in his own confusing messages. As a result, the promised leap never materializes.