Manvinder Munjal aka Manu (Ayushmann Khurrana) is a fitness enthusiast, who owns a gym, and a bodybuilder who competes year after year to win local championships. While he’s focused all his energy on getting it out and making his dollop for him (with a little luck), his gym business sees far and few footfalls.
|Movie Name:||Chandigarh Kare Aashiqui|
|Release Date:||10 December 2021|
Till the walk, the head-turner, Maanvi Brar (Vaani Kapoor), the gym’s newly appointed Zumba (read: Zumba), trainer. Soon, sparks fly and the two get into a passionate relationship. But there is more to Manvi than the beautiful woman that she is. And that is the crux of the story.
Love stories are love stories after all. Mostly, boy-girl-girl, some romance, mush-gush, conflict, make-up or breakup and end of story. Well, here the boy meets the girl too, but he has a past (not out of cliché affair, marriage, child marriage or criminal history), which becomes difficult for Manu to bear.
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Without giving much away (the story idea is credited to Simran Sahni), let’s assume that Maanvi has bravely faced all odds, and ‘transformed’ into the new person she has always wanted. While she feels liberated and proud of her new identity, and that which is true to her true self, will society and her family accept her choices and what they call ‘not normal’ in their normal world, will accept it.
The director, Abhishek Kapoor, doesn’t beat around the bush and gets to the point straight and quickly. After introducing Manu, his friends and his family, he lets us into the world of Manvi, slowly and subtly revealing his past.
While preparing us for Maanvi’s revelations, he is preparing us to learn more about Manu’s initial disbelief, shock and horror, the girl he loves dearly. And when the moment comes, he handles it finely – in performances or dialogues – without too much drama or drama.
While Abhishek maintains light-hearted humor in most situations, he handles the harsh reality of the subject with sensitivity and maturity. That explains it all – the rude and abusive reaction of people upon learning the truth about the subject, the need to address our general lack of knowledge and information, and the way our society is increasingly divided on the concept of being ‘inclusive’ ‘, and giving each individual the freedom to be who they are and what they want to be.
Abhishek does it tactfully and weaves in witty punches – soft and supple, nothing too heavy-handed. Supratik Sen and Tushar Paranjpe are also credited for their honest and relatable screenplay and dialogues, which is evident in many scenes. Whether the Munjal family is pushing for Manu’s marriage, his widowed father (Girish Dhamija) is waiting to marry his Muslim girlfriend, Maanvi’s father (Kanwaljit Singh) is supportive of her choice, even if hers.
Whether the mother strongly disapproves, or Manu’s over-the-top sisters interfering in all of Manu’s affairs—there is never a dull moment, almost all scenes as tight as Manu’s six-pack and bulging biceps.
The performances here are ‘tip-top’! Ayushmann Khurrana gets into the character’s skin (literally!) Watch for his superphysical makeover. He portrays Manu perfectly, and well, the fact that he is actually a Chandigarh boy would certainly have helped crack it. He runs, walks and talks.
Vaani Kapoor sinks her teeth into her character from the word Go and delivers a no-holds-barred performance. Vaani and Ayushmann not only look great together but also share great chemistry onscreen.
Gautam Sharma, Gaurav Sharma (as Manu’s twin friend) are hilarious, Anjan Srivastava (Manu’s grandfather), Kanwaljit Singh, Tanya Abrol and Girish Dhamija play supporting roles very well.
Bindiya Chhabria’s production design is vibrant and cinematographer Manoj Lobo has beautifully shot this offbeat love story. Chandan Arora’s editing is crisp. The Sachin-Jigar soundtrack with songs by Priya Saraiya, Vayu and IP Singh takes the story forward. Though the Holi song initially appears abrupt, it serves as a fitting trigger to kick Manu and Maanvi’s romance into top gear.
In a post covid era, where we are grappling with the new normal every day of our lives, it is time to dig deeper and question what ‘normal’ really is. Have we created self-made norms and normalcy to meet the needs of some people in the world who are trapped in this false sense of normality? Isn’t it time to shake things up a bit, step out of the comfort zone and break the shackles of stereotypes? Chandigarh Kare Aashiqui does just that, while still comfortably entertaining you.
Manvinder Munjal aka Manu (Ayushmann) is a fitness freak, who owns a gym and is working hard for an annual local championship, which he is yet to achieve.