Chandigarh Kare Aashiqui review: Refreshingly different; Vaani Kapoor steals show, Ayushmann Khurrana scores well
Chandigarh Kare Aashiqui review: Ayushmann Khurrana and Vaani Kapoor star in Abhishek Kapoor's latest romantic comedy.
Ever since the trailer of Chandigarh Kare Aashiqui landed, there's been a lot of secrecy around the film's plot. The trailer gave us a hint but kept most of it under wraps. While we're used to seeing Ayushmann Khurrana take up films based on taboo subjects, this time, it is Vaani Kapoor, who has taken the plunge and dived deep into uncharted waters. The film doesn't lose sight of what is important and hence, little flaws here and there are easily ignored.
Directed by Abhishek Kapoor, Chandigarh Kare Aashiqui makes it clear from the first scene itself that it's going to be a loud film, for its set in Chandigarh and has lots of Punjabis in it. So, don't be amused if you're fed with some in-your-face quotes flashing on T-shirts or walls (T-shirt chhod personality dekh, it's just you against you, hardest worker in the room), or people using the most colourful language anywhere and everywhere.
Watch Chandigarh Kare Aashiqui trailer:
Manvinder Munjal aka Manu (Ayushmann) is a fitness freak, who owns a gym and is preparing hard for an annual local championship which he has been unable to crack so far. Things change when Maanvi Brar (Vaani), a zumba instructor is hired to take classes in his gym. Manu with his buff body and Maanvi with her glam looks, are instantly drawn to each other and what ensues is a romantic and passionate relationship between the two. But there's more to Maanvi than just being a gorgeous looking woman and its upon learning truth about her past that Manu is left in a state of deep confusion.
Abhishek shows immense maturity, sensitivity and restraint while dealing with the story of a trans woman, and showing it onscreen in a respectful manner. Something that our society has still not accepted, the film tries to break away from those stereotypes but not by relying on cliches. There's an out-of-the-box thought with a romantic story that has layers of passion, deceit, denial, dilemma and acceptance. I liked that Abhishek didn’t throw riddles at us to tell us about Maanvi’s truth. About 20 minutes into the film and it's clear where things are headed.
For its almost two-hour runtime, the story is fast paced and doesn't go off track. Right from the build-up to twists to climax, it sticks to its crux without bringing needless subplots. However, Abhishek could have done a lot with the story at hand in terms by showing a bit more of what actually happens in real life when people go through such biases in the society based on their gender identity. Even the climax doesn't evoke any strong emotion or make you stand up and applaud the message the film had set out to deliver.
Ayushmann is on point with his character and he has gotten into Manu's skin a bit too deep. His physical transformation to play Manu is insane to say least. He delivers an earnest performance, just like he has in most of his earlier films, trying to break free from the taboos that exist in the society.
Vaani is truly a revelation here. Bold, brave and unapologetic about her past, she lets Maanvi come across as someone who is not trying to change the society's mindset but definitely acting as a catalyst in bringing about a change. She's beautiful and unlike her earlier films, there's more emphasis on her acting, dialogues, performance than just her outfits.
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Ayushmann and Vaani's onscreen chemistry is also attractive and the two complement each other in intimate scenes without making it awkward.
Credit here also goes to Supratik Sen and Tushar Paranjape for their easy flowing screenplay that doesn't look over-the-top. Even the dialogues from them are subtly topped with humour but don't interfere with the seriousness of the subject.
Among the supporting cast, Goutam Sharma, Gourav Sharma (as Manu’s twin friends) are the funny guys, while Manu's sisters (Tanya Abrol and Sawan Rupowali) are quite the typical nosy siblings who are after him to get married. Aanjjan Srivastav (Manu’s grandfather) and Girish Dhamija (Manu's father), Kanwaljit Singh (Maanvi's father) lend a strong support to the story.
The film has some five to six songs popping every 20 minutes, but it was pleasantly surprising that they only take the story forward. While Tumbe Te Zumba and Kheench Te Nach are your peppy party numbers, Maafi that has been sung by Ayushmann is heart breaking. The title track in the end credits makes you groove and leave the theatres with a smile on your face.
Overall, Chandigarh Kare Aashiqui, entertains you with the right intention of sending out a strong message of inclusivity.
Chandigarh Kare Aashiqui
Director: Abhishek Kapoor
Cast: Ayushmann Khurrana, Vaani Kapoor