Cast: Sushant Singh Rajput, Shraddha Kapoor, Tahir Raj Bhasin
Director: Nitesh Tiwari
Ever since Chetan Bhagat stories burst onto the cinema hall screen, the campus, mercifully, has never quite been the same generic college that Hindi movies once showcased. IIT, IIMs have all graced our screens ever since, spawning a genre by itself. Director Nitesh Tiwari of Dangal fame, an IIT graduate himself combines his engineering college golden moments with a reminder that even the best people, fail in life sometimes and that failure, is not a debilitating taint that needs to be stigmatized. If the film is successful in getting rid of a fraction of the humiliation that academic and professional failure and failure at large attracts, it could safely consider itself at par with the blockbusters.
If Dangal, was an attempt to set the record straight on gender equality, parenting and eventually, the rigour and single-minded focus for victory, Chhichhore explores why being a loser is not always a bad thing.
Engineering college sweethearts Anni (Sushant Singh Rajput) and Maya (Shraddha Kappor) meet their long lost buddies and batch-mates Sexa (Varun Sharma), Mummy (Tushar Pandey), Derek (Tahir Raj Bhasin), Acid (Naveen Polishetty) and Bevda (Saharsh Kumar Shetty) under very unusual circumstances. It turns out that the once in love couple now only share a love for their son Raghav (Mohammad Samad) who wants to match up to his parents’ achievements. However, dismayed by a setback, which he whips up into a larger than life problem in his mind, he takes a step that results in unfortunate consequences. As Raghav’s parents try to pull him back from his despair, their own story and that of their loser friends unspools, juxtaposing his bleak outlook with their carefree college days.
Nitesh Tiwari gets the engineering college flavor bang on and this one feels closer to reality than its predecessors. The story of unlikely friendships formed during college ragging although predictable, is watchable for its cleverly written scenes and pithy dialogues.
Although Sushant Singh Rajput leads the charge, it truly is an ensemble cast that brings out the charm of the Chhichhore brigade. Each and every actor puts in capable performances. Varun Sharma gets you the laughs as does Tushar Pandey while Tahir Bhasin is the campus cool dude who the juniors admire.
Shraddha Kapoor and Sushant Singh Rajput bring a touch of glamour and of course, the much sought after romance to campus life but in a departure from the norm, the romance is not the centerpiece. Prateik Babbar appears in a brief role as an unlikeable senior and leaves you wishing he had more screen time.
Nitesh Tiwari has a flair for slice-of-life aam admi India stories and you can see his trademark style even in Chhichhore—lighthearted, nimble and making a pertinent point.
Chhichhore is no paean to being a genius or the glowing success stories to be emulated. It is about the plucky losers who may lose the war and yet end up winning the battle.