Cinema has often used sport as a subject to deliver a critical and inspiring message to the audience. While many of the real and fiction stories are made keeping sports in the story, the recent came Amazon Diwali release Chhalaang is a new addition.
The story is set in Haryana, where a lame Physical Education teacher Montu (Rajkumar Rao), teaches at school. Montu is so outright detached that he spends his ground hour eating under the tree while his students do their homework instead of play. He spends most of his after school time with Hindi teacher Shukla Ji (Saurabh Shukla). One day, a new computer teacher in School, Neelu (Nushrratt Bharucha), joins and becomes Montu love. While Neelu and Montu’s romance grows, new trouble comes into his life as the school decides to hire a new PT teacher to make sports compulsory.
The new PT teacher is IM Singh (Mohammed Zeeshan Ayyub), who strongly believes in his skills and thinks that Montu has taught all wrong techniques. Singh is also keeping an eye on Neelu and his job, which makes Montu furious. This leads him to challenge him over a competition of a mini – Olympics games between his and Singh team, and the winner gets the pride and job. Who wins this Chhalaang to pride and glory is what the story is about.
Luv Ranjan has written the film along with Zeishan Quadri and Aseem Arora. The story is far different from what we often see in love Rajan film. The film’s story has an authentic and flawless Haryanvi element, which works best for the film. The script is clean, filled with humour that gives its much-needed fun impact. Sports dream has often not been a great success in Bollywood, but in Chhalaang, the writer has put it very smartly. They have kept the story revolves around a man with minimum skills fighting for his honour and self-respect. The script has a mixture of romance, drama, comedy, and sports, beautifully placed by the writer.
The writer team does an excellent job with smartly penned dialogues and screenplay. Viewers will laugh at witty lines and connect with Montu’s character very well. Speaking of direction, Hansal Mehta has again put his simplistic approach in a film, making the film relatable to many of life. The cinematography of Eeshit Narain is subtle throughout the film, and his camera work is satisfactory. Still, he fails to capture the sports scenes more powerfully. The music of Hitesh Sonik is fine, which helps the movie in the right way. There are multiple hilarious sequences, yet the film sometimes gets too severe, making the smooth ride a little bumpy. The film could have better sports sequences, which is essential when sports are in the centre plot. Also, the editing work of Chetan Solanki and Akiv Ali could have been sharper, especially between the vital shorts. However, the film finds the right balance due to its overall light and humorous approach.
Rajkumar Rao is one actor who always brings something new whenever he is coming on the screen. He has played even the smallest part so well that you will remember his role. In the position of Montu, he is pitch-perfect and gets into the skin of the dramatis personae. His Haryanvi dilates authenticity; he brings charm with his smile and sense of emotion. Saurabh Shukla is amazing again with his bonding with Rajkumar and gaily dialogues. Ila Arun, Satish Kaushik, and Jatin Sarna have a small part, yet their performances are sweet and quintessential. Nushrratt Bharuccha is fair in the film, along with Mohammed Zeeshan Ayyub.
Chhalaang is a story that many of us can relate to; it is about ordinary men with limited skills trying to achieve a goal for him. It is a light-hearted film sprinkled with a laugh, drama, and remarkable acting. It’s worth your time; it’s a film that you can enjoy with friends and family. It has a message that one should understand. You can watch this film now on Amazon Prime.
Cast: Rajkumar Rao, Nushrratt Bharuccha, Ila Arun, Mohammad Zeeshan Ayyub, Saurabh Shukla, Satish Kaushik