Chhalaang Movie Review: Rajkummar Rao starrer runs a race of hurdles with a coming of age baton in hand

Hansal Mehta's Chhalaang releases today. The film stars Rajkummar Rao, Mohammed Zeeshan Ayyub and Nushrratt Bharuccha in the lead. Read our review before streaming the movie.
Chhalaang Movie Review: Rajkummar Rao starrer runs a race of hurdles with a coming of age baton in hand
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Movie Name: Chhalaang

Chhalaang Cast: Rajkummar Rao, Mohammed Zeeshan Ayyub and Nushrratt Bharuccha

Chhalaang Director: Hansal Mehta

Chhalaang Ratings: 2.5 stars

We've played witness to the dynamic combination of Rajkummar Rao and Hansal Mehta four times now. From Omerta to Shahid and City Lights, the duo have time and again proved that their union works magic on-screen. With Chhalaang, the expectations were altered a little. The duo wasn't coming together for a dark, spine-chilling presentation. Instead, they were taking on the screen to spread a grin on everyone's face. Rajkummar isn't a stranger to the slice-of-life genre. However, director Hansal was shifting gears after a series of serious movies with Chhalaang. Does he fair well? Let's find out!

Chhalaang revolves around a young Montu (Rajkummar) who is a physical training teacher in a small town of Harayana. He resorts to the school job after giving up on numerous aspirations. Upon meeting Neelima aka Neelu (Nushrratt Bharucha), Montu grows an interest in her and wishes to pursue her for marriage. Just when he thought his life was heading for a better turn, Mr Singh (Mohammed Zeeshan Ayyub) steps into the shoes of the coach at the school and Montu begins feeling insecure.

A professional PT teacher, Mr Singh points out the errors in Montu's teaching, tries to school him and worse, attempts to woo his crush Neelu. A furious Montu marches into the principal's office and demands a league between a team chosen by both the teachers to prove who is the better coach. Principal (Ila Arun) agrees and Montu finds himself picking the school dorks and students who don't involve themselves in sports for he gave up the best sports students to join Mr Singh's team.

Resorting to tricks at first, Montu learns to train children rather differently but effectively. Through the process, he also shows facets of growing as a person. The movie progresses to see the dorks compete against the trained team.

While the movie has its heart in its right place, sadly Mehta wasn't equipped with enough content to comply with the length of the movie. Given the linear format, written by Luv Ranjan, there wasn't enough room for Mehta to move around when the pace slowed down. The movie had its high points including Montu's eccentric style of training the students. The scenes where the students are chased by the dogs, for Montu to understand who's the fast runners of the team, to sitting the boys and girls to knead the dough as part of their strength training holds your attention. But the fallen graphs in distract from the engaging moments of the movie.

Given that Chhalaang blends sports with a slice of life genre, the climax was bound to keep you on the edge. However, the momentary pause between two of the games hits you out of nowhere, resulting in Mehta reconstructing the thrill again. While the pace plays a spoilsport, Rajkummar, Nushrratt and Zeeshan come through. The three actors' charming screen presence wraps the movie together. However, Zeeshan's character could have received more room to play out. Mr Singh's character development feels incomplete making it heavy on Rajkummar's shoulders when it could have been easily balanced on both the actors which could have balanced it much better.

The icing on the cake is the mellow Satish Kaushik, the quirky Saurabh Shukla and the sweet Ila Arun who easily draw your attention without letting the spotlight move from the central character of the frame. Chhalaang features a few strokes of Ranjan in the form of the songs. The breezy "Teri Choriyaan" sung by Guru Randhawa and Payal Dev, and Care Ni Karda, which Rajkummar lipsyncs to Yo Yo Honey Singh's rap and Sweetaj Brar on the other mic reminds us of Luv Ranjan's previous releases.

Bottom Line: Chhalaang runs a hurdle race when it could have been been a relay race. Nevertheless, the coming-of-age movie has an endearing heart in the middle that pulls you through the finish line.

Also Read: Chhalaang Twitter Review: Netizens are mighty impressed with Rajkummar Rao & Nushrratt Bharuccha's sports film

Anonymous 2 months ago

Zeeshan looked misfit in the role. He is not bad, but he couldnt make his presence felt in this movie. Dont know why bollywood craves for such actors .

Anonymous 2 months ago

Chhalaang is the best movie of 2020

Anonymous 2 months ago

Nice actor indeed.