Posts Tagged Abhishek Kapoor

Chandigarh Kare Ashiqui: Bollywood Film Review

Increasingly India’s film industry has begun tackling unconventional and bold subjects. And to say that Bollywood has been focusing on tabooed topics without lecturing and with great sensitivity is no small feat. Let’s not forget that this is an industry that worked with the standard recipe of music filled, dancing around the trees kind of romance, between a hero and a heroine, with a villain ultimately unsuccessful in foiling the romance, for decades.  

Ayushmann Khurrana and Vaani Kapoor's Chandigarh Kare Aashiqui now  streaming on Netflix - Binge Watch News

In “Chandigarh Kare Ashiqui”, Manu (Ayushman Khurrana) is in the hyped up masculine profession, as a bodybuilder and a fitness trainer, with his own gym. Manvi Brar (Vaani Kapoor) joins the gym as a zumba instructor and is an instant hit with the guys who find her beauty irresistible.  Of all the good looking young men, it is Manu, who captures her heart. The movie flies through a few scenes and it seems the pair has hit it off with great chemistry. Manvi appears to be wealthy, polished, and classy with impeccable English, whereas Manu’s English is sprinkled with a Punjabi accent, but that doesn’t hold either of them back. Manu and Manvi feel they have truly found their soulmates. 

At home, Manu’s family is waiting for Manu to find the right girl and is thrilled to know that Manu seems to have finally found a perfect life partner. Meanwhile, Manu’s father (Girish Dhamija) is in a relationship with a Muslim woman. The father is unable to share the news of his own relationship with the whole family, as he feels that it will be unacceptable to the family. Manvi on the other hand, is very close to her father (Kanwaljit Singh) who refers to her as his beta and beti (both son and daughter). However, Manvi and her mother (Satwant Kaur) are estranged, as her mother is not able to accept Manvi’s choice of who she chooses to become.

Set amid what appears to be normal family grievances, an issue rises to the surface that is anything but normal and for centuries has been pushed down as non-existent in society or even systemically socially marginalized. As the issue rises to the surface, the film constantly encourages the audience to grapple with the question of what constitutes normal and who decides this normal, in an individual and also in a relationship.
Bravo to Bollywood and the producers, for tackling such issues and kudos to director Abhishek Kapoor for tackling the issue lightly and yet with enough gravitas to gently nudge the audience to expand their perspectives.  On a scale of 0 to 5, with 5 being excellent, I rate the movie 4.6.

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Kai Po Che – Bolywood Movie Review

Based on India’s prominent and brilliant contemporary writer, Chetan Bhagat’s book, “The Three Mistakes of My Life”, film Kai Po Che tells the story of three close friends, brilliantly played by Sushant Singh Rajput, Amit Sadh, and Rajkumar Yadav.  Their story is embedded in the larger context of communal issues.  The film is set in early 2000 time period, in Ahmedabad, Gujarat.  The film, directed by Abhishek Kapoor, has made a strong debut, netting in Rs. 29.10 crores in the first week and Rs. 11.25 crores at domestic box office in the second weekend.   Amrita Puri gives a very good performance, as female lead role.  Apart from the remarkable performance by the three lead actors, Digvijay Deshmukh, in the role of young cricketer Ali, has given a beautiful performance that tugs at the heart.  Big kudos to the Casting Director, Mukesh Chhabra and Casing Associate, Akash Dahiya for superb cast selection.

At the beginning of the film, the three friends have set out to start their own business.  In addition to selling cricket related paraphernalia, they offer academic coaching classes and cricket coaching.  They have high hopes from the business that seems to be doing well and are looking at expanding the business.  They take loans for the business and seem to be on a roll.  But then circumstances change as Gujarat is hit by the earthquake.  The three best friends are as different in their personalities and skill set as they are close to each other in their hearts.  Govind (Yadav) is ambitious, steadily focused on growing the business, strong in academics, and is the brain of the business.  Omi (Sadh) is a son of a priest and is the finance guy who secures the loans for the business.  The cost at which the loans are secured only becomes apparent later.  Ishaan (Rajput), is the hot tempered cricket protégée, for whom money is only a means to the end, who aspires to groom young Ali (Deshmukh) to play cricket at national and international level.  The story that follows about communal issues is based on the religious violence in Gujarat, following the Ayodhya train incident that tore the state apart, rendering, by some estimates, over 60,000 Muslims and 10,000 Hindus homeless and scores of people killed.

The film covers the spectrum from hot headed religious fervor to spineless, self-serving politicians, to business aspirations of young entrepreneurs, to young love’s trappings, to dedication and love of sports and all this emerging in the broader theme of friendship.  This friendship is brutally tested, violently marred, and finally finds healing and forgiveness in a flood of tears.  This is a beautiful film and I rate it a 5 on a scale of 1 to 5, with 5 being excellent.

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