The plot of Chandigarh Kare Aashiqui has been shrouded in secrecy since the trailer was released. The trailer gave us a hint, but the majority of the information was kept hidden. While we’re used to seeing Ayushmann Khurrana take on films about taboo subjects, this time it’s Vaani Kapoor who has taken the plunge. Because the film does not lose sight of what is important, minor flaws are easily overlooked.
Chandigarh is a film directed by Abhishek Kapoor. Kare Aashiqui makes it clear from the first scene that the film will be loud, as it is set in Chandigarh and features a large number of Punjabis. So don’t be amused if you see obnoxious quotes 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.
Manvinder Munjal, also known as Manu (Ayushmann), is a fitness freak who owns a gym and is preparing for an annual local championship that he has yet to win. When Maanvi Brar (Vaani), a zumba instructor, is hired to teach classes in his gym, everything changes. Manu, with his buff body, and Maanvi, with her glam looks, are attracted to each other right away, and the two begin a romantic and passionate relationship. But Maanvi is more than just a beautiful woman, and when Manu discovers the truth about her past, he is left in a state of bewilderment.
Chandigarh Kare Aashiqui (Chandigarh Kare Aashiqui)
Abhishek Kapoor is the director
Ayushmann Khurrana and Vaani Kapoor star in the film
When dealing with the storey of a trans woman and portraying it onscreen in a respectful manner, Abhishek demonstrates enormous maturity, sensitivity, and restraint. The film attempts to break free from stereotypes without relying on cliches, something that our society has yet to accept. With a romantic storey that has layers of passion, deception, denial, dilemma, and acceptance, there’s an out-of-the-box thought. Abhishek didn’t use riddles to tell us about Maanvi’s truth, which I appreciated. After about 20 minutes, it’s clear where the storey is going.
The storey is fast-paced and doesn’t veer off course during its nearly two-hour runtime. From the build-up to the twists to the climax, it stays true to its core without adding unnecessary subplots. However, Abhishek could have done a lot more with the storey by showing a bit more of what happens in real life when people are subjected to such biases in society because of their gender identity. Even the climax fails to elicit strong emotions or make you stand up and applaud the film’s intended message.
Ayushmann’s performance is spot on, and he’s gotten a little too close to Manu’s skin. To say the least, his physical transformation into Manu is insane. He gives an earnest performance, as he has in most of his previous films, in which he tries to break free from societal taboos.
Vaani is a true revelation in this scene. She lets Maanvi come across as someone who isn’t trying to change society’s mindset, but is definitely acting as a catalyst in bringing about a change. Bold, brave, and unapologetic about her past, she lets Maanvi come across as someone who isn’t trying to change society’s mindset, but is definitely acting as a catalyst in bringing about a change. She’s stunning, and unlike her previous films, the focus is on her acting, dialogue, and performance rather than her wardrobe.
In this massy entertainer, Aayush Sharma packs a punch while Salman Khan takes a backseat.
The onscreen chemistry between Ayushmann and Vaani is also appealing, and the two complement each other in intimate scenes without being awkward.
Supratik Sen and Tushar Paranjape deserve credit for their easy-to-follow screenplay that isn’t over-the-top. Even their dialogue is lightly laced with humour, but it does not detract from the seriousness of the subject.
Goutam Sharma and Gourav Sharma (as Manu’s twin friends) are the funny guys in the supporting cast, while Manu’s sisters (Tanya Abrol and Sawan Rupowali) are the typical nosy siblings who want him to marry. The storey is bolstered by Aanjjan Srivastav (Manu’s grandfather) and Girish Dhamija (Manu’s father), as well as Kanwaljit Singh (Maanvi’s father).
Every 20 minutes or so, five to six songs appear in the film, but they all serve to advance the plot. While Tumbe Te Zumba and Kheench Te Nach are upbeat party songs, Ayushmann’s rendition of Maafi is heartbreaking. The title track in the end credits gets you moving and makes you smile as you walk out of the theatre.
Overall, Chandigarh Kare Aashiqui entertains you while also sending out a powerful message of inclusion.
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