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Chhichhore Movie Review: It Is As Close To Life As It Gets


Starring : Sushant Singh Rajput, Shraddha  Kapoor,Varun Sharma, Prateik Babbar,  Tahir Raj Bhasin,  Naveen Polishetty, Tushar Pandey, Saharsh Shukla

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Directed  by  Nitesh Tiwary

Rating : **** ½ (4 and a  half stars)

There  is  something  ageless  about college  friendships. Quite  often they last for a lifetime. Films about campus camaraderie  quite  often  refer back to Raj Kumar  Hirani’s overrated  3 Idiots. Sure enough, Chhichhore  will remind  you  of  Hirani’s over-age students(Aamir was well  into his  40s)  and their infantile pranks .

 Besides the  unsimulated  authentic emotions the most  credible  part of this incredibly sincere  film  is  the casting.Other than  Sushant Singh Rajput who tends to  overdo it a bit—why must he ACT in  every frame?– the rest  of the actors playing campus buddies are so  true to the script you feel  you have known them at some  point  in  your early life. Specially  remarkable are   Naveen Polishetty as  the  foul-tongued  Acid  and  Tahir Raj Bhasin as  the  enigmatic Derek. These  two actors  exude an irrepressible energy.Pratik Babbar too is impressive in an  underdeveloped  inconsistent  role.

To his  credit Sushant  allows Varun Sharma to  corner some  of  the  best lines . Sharma’s Sexaa , so named for  his  obsession with the  feelings in one part  of  the body(hint: Playboy, Debonair)is  an entertaining  character,and one that  is played with glint-eyed enthusiasm. Shraddha Kapoor  as  the campus  beauty  is adequate in her  youthful  zest  but unconvincing as a middleaged mother and  her fractured  relationship with Sushant  seems highly  laboured.

The rest of  the cast just blends into the frames , merging with the mood  of  unfettered  exuberance  with a bouncy  gait and a jaunty  narrative rhythm  which falter just once in  while when the  going gets repetitive. The second-half has too many sporting events happening all at once.  And  the  doctor(Shishir Mishra) trying to delay  the resolution to the  medical  crisis is way too  predictable as dramatic  device  .

Having said this, Chhichhore never gets tedious,  as the simple  straightforward  unassuming  tale  of  seven college friends who gather in the their middleage  during the  time of  a crisis,  unfolds with tenderness and care.

 The film leaves behind a feeling of tremendous nostalgia and bonhomie.Much credit for the  unflagging  spirit  of  the  even-tempered  saga must go to  Charushree  Roy’s  editing. The  pastiche  of past  and present is created in a zigzagging design that is held together with threads  of  warmth and empathy.

 Indeed   the narrative’s back and forth movement never  allows itself to  get  invasive . Somehow  we feel , not the weight of  time but what Milan Kundera called the unbearable  lightness of  being.

Which brings  us  to the  films prosthetic  transformation of the  protagonists  from youth to middleage. Some  of the actors make  the  leap well. Others  look uncomfortable . Luckily for us  the  film’s profoundly  moving  statement  on  what makes a  life more valuable and precious than the  process  of winning and losing ,lingers in  loops of nostalgia  and  retrospection.

 Nitesh  Tiwary’s direction is constantly uncluttered and  unassuming. He lets the  characters  grow through  their  giggles and  their  grief. He  never  tampers with  his characters  unnecessarily  letting them  breathe  on their  own volition. Amalendu Chowdhary’s  camera   is  never  judgmental. It is always an indulgent smiling tear-eyed ally.

 Boys will be boys. Even when they are  bald and not so  beautiful any longer.

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