Chhalaang movie cast: Rajkummar Rao, Nushrratt Bharuccha, Mohd Zeeshan Ayyub, Saurabh Shukla, Ila Arun, Rajeev Gupta, Suparna Marwah, Baljinder Kaur, Garima Kaur, Naman Jain
Chhalaang movie director: Hansal Mehta
Chhalaang movie rating: 3 stars
Chhalaang, Hansal Mehta and Rajkumar Rao collaboration, brings us to small-town Haryana, where characters lin the film earn to negotiate small-bumps-on-the-road while imbibing big life lessons, and taking the leap of faith.
It has been a while now the Hansal Mehta-Rajkummar Rao ‘jodi’ has been ableto deliver films which combine meaning with mainstream.
The first thing that appeals is the you is the authenticity of settings and accents. Rao, playing a PT teacher in a local school, leads from the front . One of the hardest things to pull off is the Haryanvi lingo without overacting and going overboard.
Not just Rao, but Baljinder Kaur as his loving mother, Naman Jain as his younger brother, and Satish Kaushik as his supportive father, all come off as a Harayanvi real looking family .
Rao is good enough in providing some shades to a role with a predictable arc: Mahender aka Montu Hooda may be a loser in the beginning , but we know he is Bollywood good guy who will emerge victorious.
First half of the film shows him to be slacker ignoring the Principal madam’s (Arun) exhortations to shape up.
Things start changing with the arrival of independent-minded new colleague Neelima (Bharuccha), and the tough, properly trained senior coach Singh (Ayyub). Who will win the lady , the guy who is a known champion slider, or the man who is a strict disciplinarian?
Ayyub is a solid actor, and you wish the conflict between the two had been given more screen time, but it peters out soon: Chhalaang knows which side it is on.
There’s also slight buffing here and there .
Mehta, whose terrific web series Scam 1992 is still being talked about. Hansal over here displays a knack of old-fashioned story-telling in this one, which reminds you of likes of Dangal in some of its elements with quallities like patriarchal Haryana, feisty young women, and the sports arena becoming a testing ground.
Rao makes a gentle catalyst of his team, with full encouragement from ‘Neelima madam’.