In Abhishek Kapoor’s latest romantic comedy, Chandigarh Kare Aashiqui, Ayushmann Khurrana and Vaani Kapoor star.
There has been a lot of secrecy surrounding the plot of Chandigarh Kare Aashiqui since the trailer debuted. The trailer teased us, 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 and entered uncharted territory. Little flaws here and there are easily overlooked because the film never loses sight of what matters.
Chandigarh is a film written and directed by Abhishek Kapoor. Kare Aashiqui establishes 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.
Check out the trailer for Chandigarh Kare Aashiqui:
Manvinder Munjal aka Manu (Ayushmann) is a fitness freak who owns a gym and is working hard to qualify for an annual local championship that he has yet to win. When Maanvi Brar (Vaani) is hired to teach zumba classes at his gym, everything changes. Manu’s buff body and Maanvi’s glam looks draw them together immediately, and the two begin a romantic and passionate relationship. But Maanvi is more than just a pretty face, and Manu is left befuddled after learning the truth about her past.
When dealing with the storey of a trans woman and showing it onscreen in a respectful manner, Abhishek demonstrates enormous maturity, sensitivity, and restraint. The film tries to break free from stereotypes without relying on cliches, which is something that our society has yet to accept. A romantic storey with layers of passion, deception, denial, dilemma, and acceptance has an out-of-the-box thought. I liked how Abhishek didn’t use riddles to convey Maanvi’s truth to us. After about 20 minutes, it’s clear where the movie is going.
The storey is fast-paced and does not veer off course during its nearly two-hour runtime. From the build-up to the twists and climax, it stays true to its core without adding unnecessary subplots. However, Abhishek could have done a lot more with the storey at hand by showing a little 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 message.
Ayushmann’s character is spot on, and he’s gotten a little too close to Manu’s skin. To say the least, his physical transformation to play Manu is insane. He gives an earnest performance, as he has in most of his previous films, attempting to break free from societal taboos.
Vaani is a 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 allows Maanvi to 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 clothes.
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 overly dramatic. Even their dialogues are lightly laced with humour, but this 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 are after him to marry. The storey is supported 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 pop up, but they all serve to advance the plot. While Tumbe Te Zumba and Kheench Te Nach are upbeat party songs, Ayushmann’s Maafi is heartbreaking. The title track in the end credits gets you moving and makes you smile as you leave the theatre.
Overall, Chandigarh Kare Aashiqui entertains you while sending a powerful message of inclusivity.
Abhishek Kapoor is the director of this film.
Ayushmann Khurrana and Vaani Kapoor star in this film.