Film Review – CHHICHHORE

The opening frames of the film could well serve as a reminder of the recent bounteous monsoon – with IIT students running around the hostel, clad only in underpants, drenching one another as if there was no tomorrow. Maya (Shraddha Kapoor) and Annirudh (Sushant Singh Rajput) were rank holders in 1992, but are now a divorced couple with Anni gaining custody of their son, Raghav, who fails to emulate his parents. An unsuccessful entrance test leads to an abortive suicide attempt which prompts the father, in an ‘inspired’ endeavour, to relive his own student days with the help of his ex-colleagues in the ICU to help his son get out of his deathbed.

The film’s concept and the supporting cast help it stay afloat for its almost two-and-a-half-hour runtime. If the frequent intercutting of scenes from the ICU (present) to the campus (1992) are a minor distraction, the prosthetics and make-up are even more so. Varun Sharma, as the gregarious and affable Playboy fan, Sexa, Tushar Pandey as the mama’s boy, Tahir Raj Bhasin as Derek and Navin Polishetty as the profanity spewing Acid, lend admirable support. Shishir Sharma as Dr. Kasbekar is outstanding in his initial scenes, but then falls prey to some repetitive dialogues.

If the first half is reminiscent of ‘3 Idiots’, the second half, with too many extended flashbacks, may remind viewers of ‘Jo Jeeta Wohi Sikandar’. Director/co-writer Nitesh Tiwari of ‘Dangal’ fame (but more remembered for Aamir Khan) seems to have borrowed the outline of the story from his IIT days. The overwhelming academic expectations of parents from their children are brought out explicitly in the first 30 minutes. A tautly edited second half could have made a world of difference.

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