The Hansal Mehta directorial Chhalaang, starring Nushrat Bharucha, Rajkumar Rao and, Mohammad Zeeshan Ayyub, begins well and continues to grow till half time but falls badly afterwards leading you to a point where you already know how it would end.
Chhalaang is the story of Mahinder (Rajkumar Rao), a Physical Training Instructor (PTI) in a school, who falls in love with a colleague (Nushrat as Neelima) but the matter complicates with the entry of another man (Zeeshan as Inder Mohan Singh), a more qualified PTI than Mahinder, making it a love triangle of some sorts. In the process of trying to achieve the love of his life, Mahinder realises the importance of his profession at which he had been a slacker since the beginning.
What works for the film?
The film fuelled by some tickling comic punches and humorous dialogues has its moments of glory. Rajkumar Rao, Nushrat, and Zeeshan deliver great performances and carry the script until it becomes impossible. Saurabh Shukla and Satish Kaushik deliver a matured performance. Also, it was good to see Jatin Sarna coming out of his criminal avatar and doing a light-hearted character. Moreover, the school children leave a lasting impact through their honest acts. On the direction front, Hansal Mehta maintains his standards and couples the narrative with a tight screenplay to deliver a watchable film. Other than these things, the short duration of the movie also works in its favour. The motivational fervour adds to the positives but cannot hold on for long.
Till the time Chhalaang stays in the humorous zone, it remains a winner but the moment other aspects like self-realisation, respect, emotions, and most importantly, Sports, take centre stage, you start feeling after a point 'been there, seen this'. The love story gets sidelined and a sports competition is thrown at us which makes the loopholes in the writing visible. You can foresee the end and the feature of unpredictability runs out of fuel.
Though the movie falls short of becoming a beaming example of a motivational sports based drama, the positives of Chhalaang do outweigh its negatives and, after all, there is a dearth of family entertainers these days. So, if you have an Amazon Prime Subscription, Chhalaang is worthy of a binge-watch. Otherwise, it can be skipped.