Director: Nitesh Tiwari
Cast: Sushant Singh Rajput, Shraddha Kapoor, Varun Sharma, Prateik Babbar, Tahir Raj Bhasin, Naveen Polishetty, Tushar Pandey, Nalneesh Neel
Music: Pritam (songs), Sameer Uddin (score)
It would be very easy to hate Chhichhore if it didn’t have so many elements going for it, making the movie work more often than it doesn’t. It’s far from a perfect film, but as a college film, it ticks all the boxes to keep you engaged. A bunch of ‘losers’ from college get back together to deliver one final win. Along the way, there are a lot of lewd (often enjoyable, I don’t mean to be a prude) jokes, almost all of them courtesy, ‘Sexa’ (Varun Sharma). One might argue that it’s a rather unimaginative nickname, but that’s often how 17-year-olds’ nicknames are. Varun Sharma delivers some of the most funniest lines in the film. Has there been a more consistent deliverer of one-liners like Varun Sharma in Bollywood recently? From Fukrey to Chhichhore, he’s made himself irreplaceable in such roles. Even when he’s cracking the worst joke, it’s impossible to hate him. He just looks… harmless.
In fact, the dialogue department is the one that can go home feeling really happy with what it’s managed to do with Chhichhore. On the other hand, the department that needs to really have pulled its socks up is the makeup one. Everyone looks nice and buff and polished in their youth, but as soon as they begin to age, look really like the worst version of their aging selves.
Anni (Sushant) and Maya (Shraddha) meet in college, fall in love, have a son Raghav (Mohammed Samad), get divorced and Anni ends up with custody. The problem with Maya is she is there and yet never there. We never ever get to see her. In a film of so many well-written men, Maya stands out pale; it’s as if the writers forgot to give her any attributes, and just used her role like putty to plug the loopholes with. Her only description in college is that she’s pretty. It’s unfair. To both Maya and the actor who plays her. Maya often doesn’t know how to react to what is going on around her. Shraddha too. And that’s all her role is required to do – react to the men. Even when Anni ‘pledges’ her as the ‘deposit’ when he needs to ‘pledge’ his ‘happiness’ for winning a tournament.
The film is written as blocks of stories that mirror the mindspace all of the characters in the present, and goes back in time to drive home the message that ‘All Will Be Well’. Watching Sushant in this film reminded me of Kai Po Che. He’s truly delightful in the younger portions, alive, expressive, oozing charisma. As he grows older, I really felt like asking him, actually begging him, to shave. Maybe, if he shaved a bit more often, Maya would have reconsidered the divorce. Never mind.
In a film so serious (right at the beginning, Raghav jumps off a building, having flunked the JEE), to fill the screen with so many laughs is a tough job. This is where the editing and the dialogues of the film win. They are on point, though I wished the film had been a bit tighter.
Maya and Anni’s college friends land up, one by one, Sexa, Acid, Mummy, Bevda… The casting here is fantastic. Navin Polishetty, Tushar Pandey, Saharsh Kumar Shukla… together, they recount the story of how they shed the tag of ‘losers’ – branded so because they were in the hostel considered a losers’ den. They combine brains and brawns to defeat(ish) boys of the other hostel, and in their story lies a message. Well-tried is well done. And also another message meant as much for children as for their parents. Against thinking life isn’t worth living if one fails an exam. The epidemic that is academic stress, and the entrance exams that add to it, need to be addressed in as many ways as possible. If it is being done through a fun movie, who are we to say it won’t work?
The Chhichhore review is a Silverscreen original article. It was not paid for or commissioned by anyone associated with the film. Silverscreen.in and its writers do not have any commercial relationship with movies that are reviewed on the site.