Home Movies Reviews ‘Chandu Champion’ (2024) Movie Review - Kartik Aaryan Is Getting Better But Not Kabir Khan

‘Chandu Champion’ (2024) Movie Review - Kartik Aaryan Is Getting Better But Not Kabir Khan

A guy who battled one opponent after another with unwavering spirit. His relentless energy and never-give-up attitude earned India its first individual gold medal in any form of the Olympics.

Vikas Yadav - Fri, 14 Jun 2024 21:44:56 +0100 1033 Views
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It seems as if Kabir Khan learned the wrong lessons from 83's positive reception. That 2021 biopic turned the movie theaters into a cricket stadium, leaving audiences with tears and a high. It mainly worked due to its nostalgic factor and a capable Ranveer Singh. Many people praised 83 and thanked Khan for turning the theater into an arena of laughter, tears, and celebration. Since the majority of the audience didn't ask Khan to do something different with the genre or the filmmaking technique, he didn't bother to improve his craft in this new film. With Chandu Champion, Khan returns to the genre of biopic and hits us with clichés after clichés in an attempt to recreate the magic of 83. He once again wants to turn the movie theater into an arena of laughter, tears, and celebration, and your expectations of watching something new, something different, are drowned amidst the cheers of the audience, who look content with stale material. They look content because Khan knows how to sell clichés. The punchlines, as well as the punches (the main character is a boxer, at least for some time), arrive at the correct moment. The actors, too, are fully committed. The lines are delivered with a mix of sincerity and passion. But all this competence supports something incredibly banal. The mood is joyous, but we come out of the theater dispirited. If Chandu Champion becomes a hit (the audience's response during my screening indicated it could be a success at the box office), then Khan's next film could probably end up recycling the same old formula, the same old crowd-pleasing techniques.

Chandu Champion reminds you of Khan's Tubelight in the sense that both stories deal with a protagonist who breaks the expectations of society and becomes an inspirational figure through their dedication to achieving their objective. Tubelight was a bore, however, which is something you cannot say about Chandu Champion. Kartik Aaryan's eager-to-please expressions, though, look similar to Salman Khan's eager-to-please acting in Tubelight. Salman's performance involved a lot of exertion. Aaryan, on the other hand, appears comfortable. His acting is certainly improving, which became evident in Satyaprem Ki Katha itself. Aaryan's earlier performances were unbearable because they exuded an intense longing for acclaim from everyone. You could almost hear him screaming, "Please love me! Adore me!" In Satyaprem Ki Katha, he, for the first time, seemed okay with doing his job and existing on the screen. That needy side of him disappeared and gave rise to sincerity. In Chandu Champion, Aaryan looks more relaxed, though you still wish he would just get rid of that boyish grin. This is why Chandu Champion comes across as a celebratory event for both Murlikant Petkar and Aaryan. I won't call this film Kartik Champion, as the more appropriate (alternate) title could be Kartik Getting Better.

As far as the director is concerned, he is not getting better. Khan's puerile sense of humor gives us scenes like the one where Murlikant (Aaryan) embarrasses himself on a dinner table. His friend, Garnail Singh (Bhuvan Arora), speaks serviceable English, so he is used for lame language-related "funny lines." He is your typical "hero's best friend" whose job is to simply hype up the hero. Chandu Champion tells us that Garnail played a crucial role in making Murlikant a champion. He literally extended his hand towards him and took him to the realm of armed forces, which placed Murlikant closer to his Olympic dreams. In one of the scenes, Garnail helps Murlikant land a punch so that the coach, Tiger Ali (Vijay Raaz), would allow him to participate in boxing sessions. Despite such contributions, Garnail remains a thin comic relief. If writers Khan, Sumit Arora, and Sudipto Sarkar developed their screenplay by listening to the real Murlikant's narration of his experiences, then one can only say that Murlikant turned out to be a horrible friend. One joke in Chandu Champion, related to champagne, works only because of Vijay Raaz's reaction. I can call Raaz's performance terrific, mind-blowing, and superb, but no word can do justice to his talents. The center of attention is Aaryan and Murlikant, yet Raaz and Tiger effortlessly steal the film from the main actor/character.

Khan has conceived Chandu Champion in simple-minded terms. His setups and payoffs are too conspicuous. Murlikant's dad rebukes Murlikant for not earning cash and asserts that wrestling cannot help his son pay his bills. Well, in the very next wrestling scene, people start throwing money at Murlikant. A man informs Murlikant about a plane crash at a railway station so that this incident can be explicitly underlined later when the players board a flight in the middle of a storm. And, of course, we know from the beginning that the main character will become a champion. Still, Khan provides us with that visual of a young Murlikant sitting on his brother's shoulders, just like that sportsman who sits on the people's shoulders. Near the end, we notice a girl sitting on someone's shoulder, which brings back that image of a young Murlikant near the beginning with his brother at a railway station. Such jejune tricks turn you off. What's worse is that Khan has other tricks in store that are equally splashy and repugnant. You get what looks like a one-take sequence (the cuts are hidden through the smoke) where Murlikant fires bullets at the enemy planes, tries to rescue his coach and his friend, and gets shot. The choreography of the moving bodies and the camera's movement are so overly visible that they undercut the emotions.

When Murlikant dances with fellow soldiers and when he gets distracted by a girl and underperforms, you are reminded of similar moments from Bhaag Milkha Bhaag (the Flying Sikh is mentioned in a dialogue). How is Murlikant's story put into motion? He starts talking to a police officer (Shreyas Talpade). Well, if the President of the United States can listen to George M. Cohan's history in Yankee Doodle Dandy, then the inspector in Chandu Champion shouldn't have any problem lending his ears to Murlikant's story given he shows zero interest in doing his actual duty. This framing device, though, feels awkward because it's merely used for dispensing more third-rate jokes, and then you find it difficult to accept Brijendra Kala as an all-knowing thief. Kala and Talpade fail to blend into the world of this film. Towards the end, you get a voiceover dispensing lame motivations along with rousing music. Chandu Champion is packed with motivational rubbish. The lines that are all about "following your dreams despite the difficulties" sound hacky. They will, however, affect those who look for inspiration in all those terrible self-help books, superficial Instagram quotes, and imbecilic YouTube videos. Chandu Champion serves as a 142-minute-long motivational video for dummies. The text at the end informs us that Murlikant got married during the early 1970s. I was shocked by this information, as I didn't see his wife on the screen. There is a girl, but she disappears from his life quickly. It seems as if Murlikant turned out to be not only a horrible friend but also a bad husband.

Final Score- [4/10]
Reviewed by - Vikas Yadav
Follow @vikasonorous on Twitter
Publisher at Midgard Times



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