chhichhore/chhichore:You are concerned about teenagers who commit suicide because of excessive pressure to do well in entrance exams. A grave subject, indeed. chhichhore: You want to make a film that reaches out to this age group and tell them it’s ok to fail. Bravo! You don’t want it to get preachy, and keep things light. Good thought.
You want to use your hostel experience in doing so. Why not?
You end up making speeches, even if in bits and pieces. Understandable.
You still make a film that ends up boring its audience because of the predictability. Well...full marks for bravery; and all that matter is put in your best.
And you know what? If the film speaks to even one child who is on edge, it would have done its job.
That it goes all “meta” on us by being just about ordinary is a call for us to be more accepting of failure.
Interestingly, over casual conversations in the last couple of weeks, upcoming films have come up, as they usually do. People most excited about the film have been teenagers and young adults. So, the trailer seems to have done its job well in attracting the target audience. If it changes the attitude of some of these kids when they are feeling down and out, it’s good enough.
Other than that, though, the fun and frolic is amusing. What’s not to laugh about full-grown adults getting kicks out of throwing buckets of water on each other? And then, of course, there are the caricatured hostel specimens. Except for the exaggerated mamma’s boy and the overall sports theme, the rest of the characters seemed to have walked out of my IITian husband’s hostel stories. What was unbelievable was that none of the guys had a pot-belly 18-19 years later. ;P
The makers choose a slice of their hostel lives as a thread to sermonise tell the kids who take failure too hard to take it easy. The nostalgic tone works, but the build-up to the “lesson” part is overdone. Unfortunately also, the pranks and gags are almost all covered in the trailer. At the same time, using sports as a tool to drive home a point has no novelty left. Of course, it would take some thinking to come up with a theme that could express the “plan for success but take failure in stride too” better than sports or academics itself. But, it is also difficult to stay vested as an audience in the oft-repeated themes too.
In fact, all through, Chhichhore reminded me of some other movie. The academic stress here is portrayed very differently from the parental pressure to excel in 3 Idiots, but there is no escaping the resemblance. The entire student rivalry bit and attempt at glamour have an unmistakable Student of the Year vibe to it. This means it has the standard classism. Fortunately, it also has a few subtle parenting tips along with the direct ones. While I wouldn’t endorse the methods used to win, that games are won in minds is shown and not told. Of course, it is all too convenient and thus not too convincing. But “gaming the system” is emphasised as a life-skill and who can argue with that?
All that goes well for the film though is not enough for all that causes drag. Even the unpredictable hacks, though in the general predictable direction, are inadequate to think of the film as a story for adults*. Similarly, the performances just about manage to keep the film from seeming too artificial. Surprisingly, Sushant Singh Rajput overdoes his act, especially when he gets emotional and/or cries and Shraddha Kapoor seems uninvested in the do. The rest of the crew aren’t extraordinary, and maybe that works for the film.
What also does the film good is that it walks the talk in its story. That it goes all “meta” on us by being just about ordinary is a call for us to be more accepting of failure. After all, in its own way, it is a love letter to its younger self. And no such letter can be called outright bad.
The makers choose a slice of their hostel lives as a thread to ~~sermonise~~ tell the kids who take failure too hard to take it easy. The nostalgic tone works, but the build-up to the “lesson” part is overdone.
*There goes my theory that Chhichhore would be an adult comedy! Happy to be proven wrong on this count.