OTT: Amazon Prime Video
Cast: Rajkummar Rao, Nushrratt Bharuccha and Zeeshan Ayyub
Director: Hansal Mehta
Duration: 2 hours 15 Minutes
Rating: 3 Moons
Sports-dramas in Bollywood are no new deal today. With some of the acclaimed films belonging to the genre, one needs to up their game to leave an impact. Hansal Mehta's Chhalaang comes as a decent try. Even though it's like the same old wine in a new bottle, the filmmaker made sure to leave a mark by making it a social-comedy as well. Starring Rajkummar Rao, Nushrratt Bharuccha and Zeeshan Ayyub in lead roles, Chhalaang is a hilarious, yet inspirational journey of a PT master from a semi government-funded school in Northern India.
The 2 hours 15 minutes long film is based in Haryana and revolves around the life of Montu (Rajkummar Rao), a typical PT teacher for whom his job is nothing but a formality. Montu leads his life without any passion for his career and soon meets Neelu (Nushrratt Bharuccha), who joins his school as a computer teacher. Montu falls in love with Neelu, however, things don't go as planned when he is made the PT assistant of a well-educated sportsman Inder Singh (Zeeshan Ayyub).
When circumstances put everything that Montu cares for at stake, including Neelu and his job, he is forced to do what he has never done before - teach. What follows next is a story of how a disinterested PT teacher turns into an inspiring sportsman. Chhalaang
Filmmaker Hansal also laces the narrative with warmth and emotion but also shows romance and melodrama with it, which does not look much required. Even though the script of the film is impactful and strong, it is the pace that is disappointing. The climax comes as something highly expected and makes the end result dull.
Rajkummar Rao as Montu and Zeeshan Ayyub as Singh carry the film on their shoulders with much confidence. While Rajkummar takes up the maximum screen space with his fine performance, Zeeshan manages to impress even with a comparatively shorter role. However, Nushrratt Bharuccha as Neelu has nothing much to offer. Her dialect is uncomfortable to hear and acting does no justice either. But Chhalaang's supporting cast hits it out of the park. Due credit to casting director Vicky Sidana for roping in acclaimed actors like Saurabh Shukla, Satish Kaushik, Ila Arun and Jatin Sarna.
Hansal Mehta's direction is satisfactory and the dialogues are empowering and injected with humour. The writing by Luv Ranjan, Aseem Arrora and Zeishan Quadri is not something out of the box but works well with the storyline. Music by Hitesh Sonik Guru Randhawa–Vee, Yo Yo Honey Singh and Vishal–Shekhar touches the right chord. Cinematographer Eeshit Narain films Haryana handsomely and shows sports the way it is supposed to be. Akiv Ali's and Chetan Solanki's editing is decent. However, what lacks in this otherwise enjoyable film is that it falls short on conviction, emotions and impression.
Watch Chhalaang for Rajkummar Rao's and Zeeshan Ayyub's captivating face-off with a tint of humour!
PeepingMoon gives Chhalaang 3 Moons!