They say that you can’t judge a book by its cover, but Chhichhore is exactly what it promises to be. The Dangal man, Nitesh Tiwari, is back and this time he has a whole lot of old wine in a new bottle. Yes, it’s the same ol’, same ol’ story of guys reminiscing about their college days. I know those days are as sweet as sugar and that rose by any other name would smell as sweet, but smell that rose over and over again, and it starts getting nauseating. That’s exactly how I felt while watching the ‘by the numbers’ tale of Chhichhore. Yes, I had some fun, but by the end of it I was bored.
There’s no time like the present, and that’s where the story starts. Sushant and Shraddha are middle-aged and divorced. Their son has just given his entrance exam and wants to really get into the best institution in India. Especially because his parents are ex-students of this institution and the apple doesn’t want to fall far from the tree. As luck would have it, he doesn’t get in, so he decides to fall far from a building instead! ( Now, don’t get your knickers in a twist, this is not a spoiler ) Remember, every cloud has a silver lining. This tragedy gives the hero an opportunity to call up his old mates, who make it to the hospital in the nick of time to reminisce about their college days, when they had the time of their life. And yes, there is a moral to this story. One that saves the life of the bed-ridden boy in the ICU.
So we have a bunch of clichéd friends – the dork, the smart small town guy, the sex starved senior, the alcoholic, the mumma’s boy etc etc. We move from one comedy set piece to another ( which are fun to watch while they last. After all, laughter is the best medicine). Flashforward to today. The doctor talks as if the writing is on the wall for the suicidal son ( boring as hell). Flashback. More set pieces. A love interest. Opposites attract. A villainous guy enters scene. His hostel is great, as you know that the grass is always greener on the other side. And he is as fit as a fiddle. All he wants is to win the sports championship.
Sushant and his boys are called losers. But they want to change that. All for one and one for all happens! They don’t have talent. So they decide – when life gives you lemon, make lemonade. They come up with a plan to play to their strengths. They basically cheat, coz all is fair in love and war. Flash Forward. Doctor still a grumpy cat. He says it’s just a matter of time. Parents are frightened to death. Flashback. Boys play well. Flashforward. Boy is saved. All’s well that ends well. Moral of the story – Don’t cry over spilt milk. And… what doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger…. And that you should live without a care in the world, especially about marks! Errr….And that it’s not the result that matters, but the effort you put in... You get the message.. A noble message, given repeatedly over time, but having absolutely no social impact whatsoever. It’s a 2000s cliché, that should be buried now.
So all in all, it is an OK watch, with some fresh comedy and all-round decent acting ( Varun Sharma/ Naveen Polishetty are competent, but Sushant overacts. Shraddha is surprisingly restrained) But like I have said over and over again, the movie is riddled with tropes that are done to death. It’s extremely formulaic ( the Raju Hirani formula) with massive melodrama mixed with chaddi based comedy. The first half was fine, but the climax was so predictable and boring, that it really turned me off. This underdog story bites more than it can chew and rather than being an eye-opening piece on the pressures of modern education, it becomes a crash course in clichés.
Rating: 5/10 ( Not bad Nitesh. But next time, do something new please)
And yeah, how many clichés did you spot? Comment to let me know... the one who gets it right, wins a hardcopy of 'The dictionary of cliches'..... not :P