Director Nitesh Tiwari once again makes a film that is enjoyable in almost every scene
This is primarily a reunion film. But very unlikely. This is surely not the first Hindi film to have friends, bondings, casual teasings, bromance, hostel lives, college buddies, walks down the memory lanes, nostalgia, heartfelt emotions. Then should you watch Chhichhore? Undoubtedly yes. Despite having everything that’s visually not at all new, the film is very much new- right from how it is intricately written (like a lesson in writing), to ultimately how it is executed on screen. The Dangal director paints the film with his signature where there is so much on offer and to equally cherish. Mind you, don’t judge this one from the trailers; they didn’t convey even 5% of the story.
Aniruddh Pathak aka Anni (Sushant Singh Rajput) and Maya (Shraddha Kapoor) are a divorced couple. Their son Raghav after failing to clear an engineering entrance exam succumbs to pressure and attempts suicide. The doctors say that he is not only physically critical but mentally also. Anni then tries to instil hope in him by talking to him about his own hostel life wherein he invites his old time buddies.
Written by Piyush Gupta, Nikhil Mehrotra, and Tiwari himself, the film essentially talks about the stress and burden of education that students across the societies carry on their shoulders, leading them to extreme dark paths in lives. Sounds like 3Idiots here? Somewhat but not exactly though. This is more.
While the story needed to be a bit stronger in terms of ideation, the script boasts of layered writing repleted with nuances that are cinematically driven. Right from when the idea is on paper to how it transforms onto screen, the film is a ride that you enjoy every bit of. Coming to think of it, it has been written keeping in mind the textbook language of scripting where as the film keeps moving on scene by scene, you seem to be turning pages of an enriching novel.
Going back and forth in present and past, the film serves you vibrant moments that happen during college life to a student. Fun and frolic, emotional junctures, heartbreaks, camaraderie, and what not. While the film stands serious in the present time narrative, it is when the story moves back in time that the film wings its way. There is so much energy woven into the screenplay that you can’t help but drawn towards the charming essence the film has.
The screenplay majorly consists of individual scenes with separate anecdotes taking place on screen. While initially you think of this as a fragmented approach wherein you can’t see the film on a larger note taking shape, it is only when you see the dots connecting that you marvel the genius of the makers. Works like a montage. The story running behind constantly keeps you hooked, and that’s how the film has been visualised. It is also beautifully connected through parallel narrative structure wherein flashbacks and present times are smartly connected. The angle of Raghav is more of a psychological thing where Raghav is actually the audience. When Raghav isn’t recovering, you find the connecting chain.
One thing that is mastered here by the makers is the make-up of the actors- in younger and more so in their older avatars. Unlike general outings where it’s just grey hair that stands for old age, here the makers have shown a keen eye towards actually making the actors look old- right from their hair to bald scalp to even grown paunches. Hats off for making the film look so believable by nailing this one aspect.
The film does get predictable and slow at times leaving you unsatisfied for those portions. But the unwilted and ebullient climax compensates for the downward lines of action.
Sushant Singh Rajput wins you with his sincere conviction every time he appears on screen. For once, let’s give it to him for the diversity that he’s shown in his roles over the years, with the same honesty in each of them. In the film, he is a part of the crowd, but very much the central character taking the story forward (like how the poster suggests). There are scenes where he says it all with his eyes, and that’s where you would want to give him a standing ovation.
Shraddha Kapoor has a strong character. As known, she is the only female in an army of males, she makes her presence felt within the plot by bringing in the needed depth. Also, she performs with equal finesse in both her younger and older phases.
Varun Sharma is brilliant and delivers some most hilarious moments of the film. A sheer delight. Prateik Babbar is very good in his conflicting act and brings in an element of surprise in the narrative. Watch out for him keenly.
Tahir Bhasin has delivered a confident act. Remember him in Force2 and you’ll start loving him so much more here.He within his character boundaries says so much. Naveen Polishetty has his moments within the drama and makes you root for his character. Tushar Pandey is good too bringing in a sense of charm and innocence in the set of ill behaved people. Saharsh Shukla as always is fantastic. He leaves his mark even in a brief role and you will now remember him distinctly after this film.
Pritam’s music does wonders for the film and it’s overall positioning. As an album, the songs are soulfully and rightfully placed in the storyline and they make you deeply connected to the narrative. Sameer Uddin’s score also justifies the feel of the film. majorly, it is because of the soundtrack to a great extent that the story is conveyed like a breeze of fresh air.
Amalendu Chowdhary has also done a splendid job at the camera, first by making the look of the film in tune with the script and what the film tries to convey. The sepia tone works well. Secondly, you are in a visual trance while watching the film. It seems that a sweet novel is being read. The film has an unmistakable visual richness that acts as a major catalyst for this film to have reached your hearts. Production design by Laxmi Keluskar is done after a lot of thought and intelligence. The film travels years within the plot and each phase has been given it’s due through sets being definitive in their flavour and look.
Editing by Charu Shree Roy is keen where the structure of the film never lets you leave the plot or it’s characters at any point. Yes, the film does get slow at some points but that also is the primary requirement of the film, especially when the makers have related the entire film with life symbolically.
It is a film that at first seems like a mix of ZNMD, or 3Idiots, or Yaariyan, SOTY, or Dil Chahta Hai for that matter. But it actually transcends from there. With a decent idea at the core, the college or friendship here is used as a backdrop, which you also feel is the ideal way to go about it. The film has a good story, marvellous performances, glorified visual feel, and technicalities that give teeth from behind to everything that is upfront. A must watch for the very very important message !