Chandu Champion Movie Review: Kartik Aaryan’蝉 Career-Best Performance Lifts Emotionally Charged Sports Drama

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Chandu Champion

Critic's Ratings

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4

Biopic

Chandu Champion Movie Review Kartik Aaryans Career-Best Performance Lifts Emotionally Charged Sports Drama
Chandu Champion Movie Review

About Chandu Champion

What makes for a successful sports drama? An underdog you want to root for, hurdles that seem difficult to cross, yet never unachievable for the protagonist and an ultimate goal that will bring glory to the nation. Kartik Aaryan’蝉 Chandu Champion ticks those boxes and moves you to tears. This Kabir Khan directorial is Bollywood’蝉 biggest release in months due to the Lok Sabha elections and the Indian Premier League hogging everyone’蝉 attention. Based on the inspirational life of Paralympic gold medalist Murlikant Petkar, is this biopic worth your time?
Chandu Champion: Plot
The movie follows the exemplary life of Padma Shri Murlikant Petkar, who brought home India’蝉 first-ever Paralympics gold medal. Little Murli is fascinated by the grand reception K D Jadhav, independent India’蝉 first Olympic medalist gets and declares to anyone who would listen, “Champion hai main”. After being shunned from his village when he defeats an influential man’蝉 son in wrestling, he meets Karnail Singh, who convinces him that the only way he can represent India in the Olympics is by joining the army. Thus begins his journey of challenges and friendships, tears and joy, heart-breaking losses and exhilarating wins. Even after losing his only dream, his ability to walk and at one point, his will to live, our champion still gets up and punches above his weight.
Chandu Champion: Performances
Kartik Aaryan has earned his fan following playing relatable, urban characters with little at stake. Chandu Champion demanded that he come out of his comfort zone and live the character of a boy who is fascinated by an idea, a teen who is driven by a dream, a soldier with both eyes on his target, and an athlete with nerves of steel. In his career-best performance, Kartik has managed to portray all of these roles. He is especially charming as a young army recruit who is trying to fit in without losing himself. The much-talked-about physical transformation worked wonders for the actor, who convincingly looked the part throughout the course of the film – right from a lean and lanky teen to a ripped athlete.
Vijay Raaz is at his best, adding substance to both the dead-pan comedy scenes and the tear-jerking emotional ones, although he has played a very similar role in the 2018 movie Soorma. A pleasant surprise in the supporting cast is child actor Ayan Khan, who plays young Murli. When the kid screams, “Chandu nahi, champion hai main” with anguished tears, you want to weep with him. Veteran actors Shreyas Talpade and Rajpal Yadav are effortlessly funny in the little screen space that they get.
Chandu Champion: Direction And Music
Kabir Khan is dabbling with sports biopics again after the lukewarm response to Ranveer Singh starrer 83. And he steps up the game this time, with the pace of the story, especially in the first half. He dives straight into the plot, sparking our interest from the first frame. The second half gets a little slow, with some scenes which could have been crisper. However, that is partly due to the story being emotionally heavy in the latter half of the movie. The costume department did well, except for the news anchor in the 1960s who looked like her wardrobe was transported to the shopping carts of fashion influencers in the Instagram era.
The montage of Murli’蝉 highs and lows during the climax, taking us through his entire journey, is cliche but well done, so are the shots of a young, bashful Murli transitioning into a confident teen. However, the war sequence did seem haphazard and failed to convince us about the grave nature of the situation. The motivational music is the perfect foil to the enthusiasm that we witness on the big screen, if you are willing to ignore the similarity of the track Satyanaas to that of Hawan Karenge, another sports biopic.
Chandu Champion: Final Verdict
With another sports-centered movie - Mr & Mrs Mahi running in the theatres, should you watch Chandu Champion? If you are a fan of emotional storytelling, cliches that tug at your heart, and a wholesome sports biopic where you root for the guy from the start till the very end without a hiccup, this movie might be the best 2 hours and 30 minutes you will spend this weekend. Stories like Murlikant Petkar’蝉 need to be told and if that is coming from mainstream faces like Kabir Khan and Kartik Aaryan, it is a win for Bollywood.
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