Chandu Champion movie review- Kartik Aaryan does everything it takes to prove that he is a WINNER!


    Chandu Champion

    Chandu Champion is not just a tale of inspiration, but also will make you value every sportsman's perspiration!

    Director :
    • Kabir Khan
    Cast :
    • Kartik Aaryan,
    • Vijay Raaz,
    • Bhuvan Arora,
    • Yashpal Sharma,
    • Rajpal Yadav,
    • Shreyas Talpade,
    • Sonali Kulkarni
    Genre :
    • Biopic (sports)
    Language :
    • Hindi
    Platform :
    • Theatrical
    Chandu Champion movie review- Kartik Aaryan does everything it takes to prove that he is a WINNER!
    Updated : June 14, 2024 11:32 AM IST

    If the ‘championing terms’ like ‘How’s The Josh?’ and likes, fascinates you, then, be ready for the next clarion-call in the form of “Chandu nahi, Champion hai main…”! It is this line, which, eventually becomes the mainstay of the film which depicts the life story of Murlikant Petkar, who went onto become the first Indian to win a gleaming Olympic gold medal in Paralympics, 1972 in Heidelberg, Germany.

    The film starts off with an elderly Murlikant Petkar (Kartik Aaryan) who comes to police station to file a complaint against the country’s Presidents! The reason? That’s because these Presidents had not given him an Arjuna Award (for excellence in sports). Upon enquiry by Police Inspector Sachin Kamble (Shreyas Talpade), Petkar narrates his life journey from being a ‘Chandu Champion’ to becoming India’s first ever gold winner in Paralympics.

    The story, which starts off in the year 1952, is a life journey of Murlikant Petkar- a young and raring to go kid, who finds the ‘clarion call’ of his life after seeing a local villager KD Jadhav being received to a hero’s welcome at the railway station for his sports achievement (he was the first Indian ever to win an Olympic medal). Being heavily inspired and yearning to be received like a hero at the station, Petkar joins a ‘kushti akhada’. But, as luck would have it, despite showing full potential in a kushti match and winning it, Petkar is forced to run away from his village, leaving behind his parents and ever-supportive brother Jagannath (Aniruddh Dave).

    What follows after that are chance meetings with various people like Garnail Singh (Bhuvan Arora) Tiger Ali Sir (Vijay Raaz) and others. While Garnail Singh gives Murlikant a ‘helping hand’ to ‘lift him up’, the rest of the route to success comes in the form of Tiger Ali Sir (Vijay Raaz). As for Muralikant, after having proved his talent to join the Indian Army, he works incessantly towards his goal of bagging a gold medal in the Olympics. Does he succeed in realising his dreams of bagging a gold medal at the Olympics and if yes, what are the hurdles/ roadblocks he faces while doing so is what forms the rest of the film.

    First things first. One gets into a state of confusion because of one really doesn’t know as to who should be applauded for a film like this. Is it the director Kabir Khan who successfully manages to construct the lesser-known life of Murlikant Petkar by extracting (read ‘squeezing’) the best out of his leading man Kartik Aaryan or Kartik Aaryan for allowing Kabir Khan to mould the character into the manner in which he felt was convincing.

    In such a ‘Catch 22’ situation, we will do what is best and also rightfully so! We will not just credit Kabir Khan and Kartik Aaryan, but also the entire cast and crew of the film for bringing to life the real-life story of the man whose perspiration formed the film’s inspiration- the real life Murlikant Petkar!

    Films which have been made on sports (so far) has followed just one direction and one sport. This is where Chandu Champion differs from others. The film colours the dream seen by Murlikant to get a gold medal in Olympics. And to achieve that, Murlikant does everything possible. Boxing, wrestling and swimming… he keeps the options open. And which of these sports prove to be a gamechanger (read ‘life-changer’) is what will be revealed when you see the film (we strongly recommend that you should… at least once!)

    Kabir Khan makes no mistake as a director with Chandu Champion. An experienced hand at directing emotional stories, Kabir delivers effortlessly with Chandu Champion. There are times when the film gets dragged. But, before the audiences’ interest could drop, Kabir Khan boxes the narrative by its ears and gets the film back on track. Many a time (esp. during the first half), the film seems to suffer from a Bhaag Milkha Bhaag hangover, which kind of get refreshed with a reference of Milkha Singh in the film! But, given the fact that, both of these films are biopics of illustrious sportsmen, the comparisons eventually fade away.

    By the time the film ends, you are only left with the sweet memories of Chandu Champion. The flaws (like dragged narrative at places) immediately gets overlooked. All in all, Kabir Khan not just does total justice to the film, but also acts as a catalyst to bring forth the illustrious life of the real-life Murlikant Petkar before the audience. After this film, one thing is for sure! Murlikant Petkar’s name will be taken in the same breath like all the other sporting legends.

    Now, for the real ‘hero’ of the film- Kartik Aaryan! God knows what must have gone through his mind when he said yes to the film. Whatever be the case, Kartik must be really thanking his stars (and also Kabir Khan) for having done a film like Chandu Champion. 

    In the start, he plays a man who easily gets triggered when others laugh at him and make mockery of his dreams. He lashes at back at them ‘Ae…hasta kaayko hai’. The film, eventually sees him make peace with others’ laughter when he too starts laughing with them. The Zen-like transformation will surely have a fan following of its own.

    It will not be wrong to say that, Kartik Aaryan has given his all to the film. Be it his child-like innocence or his aggression or his frustration or his transformation or his infatuation or his celebration… Kartik Aaryan aces it all and how! There is never a dull moment when he is on the screen.

    Whenever anyone plans to make a biopic on Kartik Aaryan, Chandu Champion will be written right on the top with gold-bold letters! The conviction with which Kartik Aaryan approaches the role makes you feel and convince you that, this role was totally tailor-made for him and vice versa! As for the other cast (Shreyas Talpade, Vijay Raaz, Yashpal Sharma, Bhagyashri Borse, Rajpal Yadav, Aniruddh Dave and …. Vijay Raaz) do their best to carry the film forward.

    As said earlier, the film’s narrative does suffer at a few places. One really wonders if it had to do with the film’s editing, which could have been bit more watertight. The film’s cinematography (Sudeep Chatterjee) is top-notch. Do not miss the underwater scenes, which deserve a special mention. As for the film’s music, it could have been a bit more inspirational, given the subject matter of the film. The film’s background music (Julius Packiam) blends with the film’s narrative.

    The film’s dialogues are just above average as the writer/s team try their best to give it a Marathi dialect since the film is based in Maharashtra. Besides ‘Hasta kaayko hai’, there could have been a bit of more punchlines in the film.

    As for the film in totality, Chandu Champion will surely prove to be a champion at the box office. Given the fact that Kartik Aaryan’s lady luck is smiling on him a lot of late (touch wood!), Chandu Champion will easily sail its way through the cinegoers’ hearts! What will also work for the film is the word of mouth! All in all, Chandu Champion has ‘winner’ written all over the film!