Chhalaang: Age old tortoise & hare tale told with much heart
Cast: Rajkummar Rao, Nushrratt Bharuccha, Mohammed Zeeshan Ayyub, Saurabh Shukla, Satish Kaushik, Ila Arun, Jatin Sarna
Director: Hansal Mehta
‘Chhalaang’ takes the age old fable of a tortoise and hare and gives it a small town India touch. Only here the tortoise is not an aspiring, hard working underdog, nor is the hare a pompous, over-confident show-off.
‘Chhalaang’ follows the story of Mahinder Hooda aka Montu (Rajkummar Rao), an unmotivated and aimless coach who is employed as a PT teacher at the local school he graduated from. He gets the job because of his father’s influence and not by his merit. He is jolted out of his complacent life when Neelima, the new computer teacher, joins the school. Montu sets out to actively woo the young lady, but enters Inder Mohan Singh (Mohammed Zeeshan Ayyub), a well-trained senior coach. How Montu wins over his lady love and beats coach Inder forms the crux of the story. The climax is predictable, but Rajkummar Rao breathes life into the film. Mohammed Zeeshan Ayyub, Saurabh Shukla, Satish Kaushik and Ila Arun give him ample support.
The comedic elements and simple story line leave one with a happy feeling as the movie ends.
There are some really crackling dialogues, such as “Gali main to kutta bhi sher hota hai, par ye Haryana hai, yahaaa pe bahar ka sher bhi kutta ban jata hai”. When there is a sports clash, can the mandatory “motivational” speech by the coach be far behind? Montu, too, gets to deliver his “speech” in the end.
Another plus factor is the ‘Chhalaang’ tittle song sung by Daler Mehndi.
While the film is set in a small town in Haryana, it is not just any typical small town story. The Luv Ranjan movie with Hansal Mehta as the director sees some really brilliant and sharp work. No unexpected twists and turns here, but ‘Chhalaang’ does make for a refreshing, lighthearted watch with the entire family.