For most adults, the years spent in college are one of the most important years of their lives. For the youth, this is a time when the fear of an uncertain future is always hovering over their heads, but the company of friends and the moments spent with them make this moment enjoyable. This week, Nitesh Tiwari, who gave the blockbuster film Dangal, has come up with a film based on this college and hostel life, Chhichhore. The film not only focuses on the student life but also on their reunion. So will Chhichhore be able to manage to entertain the audience or does it fail in its endeavor? Let’s review.
Chhichhore is the story of friends who try to become winners and learn many important lessons during that time. Anirudh Pathak aka Anni (Sushant Singh Rajput) is a middle-aged man who lives in Mumbai with his son Raghav (Mohammed Samad) after divorcing his wife Maya (Shraddha Kapoor). When Raghav is unable to get selected in the entrance exams, he cannot bear the shock and tries to kill himself by jumping from the friend’s building. In his attempt to commit suicide, his heart and mind are deeply hurt. When Anirudh sees his son getting lost, he takes him to his hostel days to save the son. He tells her the history of his engineering students from the National College of Technology in Mumbai. He starts from his hostel days. They were called losers in their college and that’s how they were allotted hostels. With Maya’s love in the hostel, she befriends best friends like Sex (Varun Sharma), Derek (Tahir Raj Bhasin), Acid (Naveen Polishetty), Bevda (Saharsh Shukla), Chris Cross (Rohit Chauhan), Mummy (Tushar Pandey). If you get it, then the rivalry of a top student like Rezi (Pratik Babbar). Deeply unconscious, Raghav’s body starts responding with memories of father Anirudh. Anirudh collects all these best friends from his hostel. Anirudh tells Raghav how they tried to free themselves from the tag of losers in the hostel by those notorious as losers, but the story of Anirudh’s past makes Raghav’s condition critical. Whether Ani manages to save his son’s life from this story from his past, one has to watch the entire film.
The story of Nitesh Tiwari, Piyush Gupta and Nikhil Mehrotra is gripping and holds its own. This film is more than just a trailer and a promo. The screenplay by Nitesh Tiwari, Piyush Gupta and Nikhil Mehrotra doesn’t make the story reach its potential but they try their best and keep the story simple. They also add a fair amount of humor to the film to attract the masses. But in the emotional parts it also seems artificial. A little more depth was needed in terms of characters, their background etc. Nitesh Tiwari, Piyush Gupta and Nikhil Mehrotra’s dialogues are simple yet funny and good. However, here the wish remains unfulfilled that the writers should have written the one liners and slogans a little stronger.
Nitesh Tiwari’s direction suits most of the parts. He deserves praise for the way he goes back and forth to the present day and with flashback scenes. Also, in the climax, three scenes are running in parallel – a chess tournament, a relay, and a basketball match. He mixes these three very well. But on the contrary, he misses out on detailing the lives of the characters, which dilutes the impact of the film. For example, the audience does not get to know exactly what happened between Ani and Maya that led to their divorce and why Maya did not take Raghav’s custody. Apart from sex and mummy, none of the students’ parents were shown. As a result, it is not known what kind of family they come from. Not only this, even in the present day, nothing is openly revealed about the lives of the other characters, except to an extent Mummy and Sexa. There are many such scenes in the film which leave many questions unanswered.
Chhichhore begins at a very high level, showing the mischief happening in the hostel as well as the enmity between H3 and H4. The film then focuses on Raghav who gets upset about his outcome. The film breaks down a bit here but the suicide sequence that came here again stirs the film’s meme interest. A flashback sequence soon ensues and interest in the film increases. From here on out, the audience has little complaints with director Nitesh Tiwari as he spends the first hour on character introduction, college setting and what GC means for students. The college portion in the second half creates a lot of entertainment and brings with it humour. Annie’s idea of psychologically demotivating rival teams is interesting and well worth a look. The climax is based on an interesting idea in which three stories run simultaneously but it gets a bit lengthy. The basketball scenes in particular go on and on. The end result of GC may leave the audience divided with something not acceptable. However, it matches with the message of the film.
Talking about acting, everyone’s performance is excellent. It is really great to see that not only the lead actors and actresses of the film but also other actors get a good chance to shine. Sushant Singh Rajput plays his character with great ease and suits his character very well. He is completely absorbed in his character in this film. In the older version, Sushant makes a big impact and the changes he makes with his voice are praiseworthy. Shraddha Kapoor also does full justice to her role. However, after a while his character doesn’t have much to do. The romantic track is very weak and even this track does not get much screen time. Shraddha does not look so old as compared to other artists. Varun Sharma is quite entertaining and will be loved by the audience. However, he appeared sluggish in films like Arjun Patiala and Khandaani Shafakhana. But he is seen in full form in Chhichhore. He surprises with the entry scene of old sex. Tahir Raj Bhasin looks dashing and delivers a stellar performance. Their anger and happiness come out in the open. Naveen Polishetty’s screen presence is quite good. Tusshar Pandey is fine for the character he plays and carries the humour. Saharsh Kumar Shukla has entered very late but has a stellar screen presence. In the finale especially, he has a major part to play. Mohamed Samad has his moments. Prateik Babbar leaves his mark as a crook. Shishir Sharma, Sanjay Goradia (mother’s father), Rohit Chauhan (Chris Cross), Ranjan Raj (underweight Abhimanyu Rathod aka Danda) and the actors playing the cook are fine.
Pritam’s music matches with the mood of the film but doesn’t last very long. ‘Fikr Note’ is the best of all the songs and it reflects the message of the film. Control is also good. ‘Woh Din’ and ‘Kherat’ fail to make their mark whereas, ‘Kal Ki Hi Baat Hai’ is played for few seconds. Sameer Uddin’s background score is fine but makes an impact.
Amalendu Choudhary’s cinematography is apt. The hospital, hostel and sports scenes are well captured. Lakshmi Keluskar’s production design is good. The casting of Mukesh Chhabra deserves praise as all the actors fit the role perfectly. The casting of Abhimanyu Rathod is quite good. Sunil Rodrigues’s action is not too bloody so it works. Rohit Chaturvedi’s costumes are authentic. The duplication of clothes in the hostel is shown in the film to show reality. The prosthetics and character design of Preetisheel Singh are overall very good. But in the case of Shraddha Kapoor and Tusshar Pandey, it is beyond comprehension. Charu Shree Roy’s editing is slick and the present and flashback parts are woven into the narrative nicely.
Overall, Chhichhore is an entertaining film that will see many entertaining and heart touching scenes. At the box office, the film will be well received by its intended audience – youth and family. However, verbal praise for the film will support the film more.