Hands down, Chhichhore is the best Hindi film of this year so far and is sure to remain here.
Before I talk about Chhichhore, it is crucial to discuss 2012’s Dhanush vehicle ‘3’ (the movie with ‘Why This Kolaveri Di’), while I liked ‘3’ very much , the ending bothered me. It ends tragically with Ram(Dhanush), a bipolar who has frequent hallucinations, slicing his throat off, and dying. The reason he takes the decision – he doesn’t want to make his wife Janani’s life hell, with his condition. The scene is genuinely compelling. As he ends his life, the scene cuts to black, and this text appears on the screen – ‘Suicide is not the solution for any problem. Bipolar disorder can be cured with psychiatrist help and correct medication.’
This is what agitated and distressed me the most. If the film was trying to convey ‘SUICIDE IS NOT THE SOLUTION FOR ANY PROBLEM’, then WHY THE HECK DID THE PROTAGONIST COMMIT SUICIDE?
Didn’t it just dispose of the whole purpose of the story into the sewer? The protagonist should have battled his issue and should have come out a fighter. The ending, in fact, contradicts the film’s statement.
While 3 is still a great film, I just couldn’t agree with that one little on-screen text. Remove that on-screen text, and I say, it is one of the best Tamil popular Tamil films. But with that text, it is far from good.
How is a little on-screen text from a Tamil film that released 7 years ago, connected to Chhichhore? Both the movies are contrasting in concept and polarising in treatment. There is no comparision here, excuse me. The point of bringing in 3 is to simply have that Chhichhore did it best when it came to throwing the message at the end. Because it doesn’t wait till the end to send the message across.
This is where Chhichhore excels at! Writer and Director, Nitesh Tiwari(Chiller Party, Bhoothnath Returns and Dangal), who is an IITian himslef, is very clear on paper and translates the same on to screen. The film sticks to want it wants to convey by showing and speaking it, literally. Chhichhore is not subtle, it doesn’t try to be, nor it should be. You are not a loser just because you lost. Life doesn’t end if you fail an exam. The message is clear in your face.
But there is more to Chhichhore than that happening on the surface, I could feel it when Raghav(Anirudh’ s(Sushanth Singh Rajput) son) fails JEE and cries. Each and every word he utters hit me like a bullet. I wrote JEE too! It is not about JEE here, Chhichhore will connect to each and every one of us because, at point of time, we all felt like a loser or winner. And at the moment, it mattered. These moments are what that make Chhichhore, the beauty it is.
The plot is simple. Beneath, a lot is going on. Raghav(Mohammed Sameed), flunks JEE despite working hard, he assumes himself a failure considering his divorced parents (Anirudh and Maya) were both toppers.”I’m a loser”, a crying Raghav declares before taking the extreme step of committing suicide. This comes as a jolt to both Anirudh and the audience.
Raghav gets badly injured. The doctor states he has seen patients recovering from the worst cases because they had the zeal to live. While his condition is not worse, it is worsening because he doesn’t want to live anymore. Now, it us up to Anirudh to re-infuse life into his dying son by sharing his own story of how big a loser Anirudh was in his engineering college.
The stakes are pretty high.
Anirudh, aka Anni’s story, back in college, is inspiring, hilarious and heartwarming. To put it in simple words, it is a bunch of guys who use the GC championship, an annual sports competition, to get rid of their LOSERS tag. Now, this ain’t ‘Student of the year’, this is life. Every character is lovable. Yes, they sound stereotypical on paper, but instead being caricatures providing comic relief, they are treated like normal humans. This is where Chhichhore stands out again.
I’m finding it very difficult to pick a favourite character. But why do I have to pick just one? Why can’t I love all of them?! I can put each of these characters in one line, but they are more in-depth.
There is Acid, a foul mouthed guy who was great at school but got deviated from education in engineering. Played by Naveen Polishetty, he brings the right amount of the rebel and comedian to the character.
We have Sexa, a sex-obsessed senior who tries to be the hard senior in the beginning but is ultimately the funniest character in the movie. Varun Sharma uses his voice and eyes to not just evoke laughter, but to create some remarkable and memorable comedy. He along with Acid, get the best lines in the film.
There is Mummy, a way too timid and innocent guy whose father asks Acid and Sexa to make him more ‘Mard’. Tushar Pandey has the right amount of innocence and weirdness to pull it off, and he is fantastic!
Derek might be the only serious guy kind of guy in the LOSERS, so obviously, he is not the crowd puller. But Tahir Bhasin’s Derek is the driving force of the college story. He does it really well!
And finally, Bewda. Who is probably the most mature of the LOSERS, played neatly by Saharsh Kumar Shukla. As the character is introduced, I felt it was merely for comic relief. But no, Nithesh Tiwari proved my thought wrong with every character. I find them extremely amiable, wished I had people like them in my life.
Maya(Sraddha Kapoor), the only significant female character in the film, also does her job well. She pulled off her mid-age version better than her college self.
All of these LOSERS arrive at the hospital one by one to meet and inspire Raghav, it is evident how much they have changed.
Chhichhore is padded with humour and tons of beautiful moments.
In a heartwarming scene where, Anirudh breaks down into tears scolds his unconscious son for putting in laborious efforts to study for the past 2 years that he didn’t spend enough time with Anirudh. Sushanth Singh Rajputh, who in general brings over-enthusiasm and flamboyance to a typical hero role of his, is exceptionally natural here. His shoulders weigh down with burden and eyes convey pain every time he goes through the photo album. Going through a photo album brings back a million memories to the mind and heart. And he carries these memoriers with his eyes.
The carrom board sequence in which Mummy plays the game with an injured index finger. Mummy’s gameplay is portrayed as a symbol of valour and bravery somewhat similar to war sequences from Kesari. This is my favourite scene from the film which gives a complete essence of college life.
Maya even asks Anni why is he taking these sports too seriously when they are in the college to study. An irate Anni responds she won’t get it because she has never been called a loser.
There is a ‘Slogan Chanting sequence’ led by Acid, chanting the Hostel 4(where the LOSERS belong) slogans, to impact the morale of their opponents. This, along with the carrom board sequences, will go down as one of the funniest scenes Hindi cinema has ever produced.
Chhichhore made me feel good about life in general, after entertaining for 144 minutes. It says living life is more important than winning or losing. It says losing doesn’t make you a loser. Not living makes you one. Life is full of memories and moments, so is Chhichhore.
Chhichhore is life.
To finish, Chhichhore will galvanize see whats more to life than winning and is sure to spark a conversation. A healthy one, about education, success, failure and life. And that is what makes it a great film.
PS: I’m an engineer.