Starring: Ayushmann Khurrana, Vaani Kapoor, Kanwaljeet Singh, Anjan Srivastav, Goutam Sharma, Gourav Sharma
Director: Abhishek Kapoor
This New Year release has quickly become a streaming favourite on the platform, riding high on its attractive small-city India vibes.
Manvinder ‘Manu’ Munjal (Khurrana) is a protein shake guzzling fitness fanatic, who is obsessed with the idea of winning Chandigarh’s popular body-building competition. The coveted trophy has slipped from his grip every time, having only managed second spot so far.
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His single-minded focus on his push-up count and weight training is shaken up with the entry at his gym of super-fit and sexy Zumba instructor Maanvi Brar (Kapoor). Manu tries his best not to get distracted, but the duo is inevitably drawn to each other as Maanvi convinces him of Zumba’s many benefits to his workout regime.
A sizzling super-fast romance ensues and with everything seemingly perfect, a smitten Manu goes on to propose marriage. But a bombshell confession by Maanvi throws their thus far perfect love story into complete disarray. Will the couple be able to reconcile the shocking revelation and overcome family opposition for a happily ever after ending to their love story?
Once again, has proved his sheer versatility by taking on yet another complex subject matter – this time addressing the issues faced by the trans community in India. Full marks to the filmmakers for taking on a usually brushed-under-the-carpet and taboo topic. The film also handles the many misconceptions and biases associated with transsexuality with sensitivity and understanding.
To inject humour into a serious issue is not an easy ask but ‘Chandigarh Kare Aashiqui’ manages to hit the right buttons on all counts, backed up by some solid performances by stalwarts Kanwaljeet Singh as Maanvi’s devoted father and Anjan Srivastav as Manu’s open-minded grandfather.
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Chandigarh as a setting for the machismo of body-building young men is the perfect milieu to tell the story that will resonate not only India-wide but also worldwide. Identical twins Gourav and Goutam Sharma as Manu’s best friends add to the film’s light and warm touch.
A good one for the meaningful cinema watchlist, keeping things light-hearted through some heavy subject matter.