In collaboration with Tanisha and Shambhavi , curators of the movie review blog Lights-Camera-Action , we have collated a weekly reviews series on Movies Promoting Mental Health to help generate awareness in an entertaining way , and to see these movies in a new light. Enjoy review #1 (Chhichhore Review as written by Tanisha Agarwal)
“Success ke baad ka plan sabke paas hai lekin agar galti se fail ho gaye, toh failure se kaise deal karna hai koi baat hi nahi karna chahta.”
That is one of my favourite lines from Nitesh Tiwariʼs Chhichhore, a movie that teaches us that there is no situation which is completely devoid of hope. A movie that not only teaches us how to combat suicidal thoughts beautifully but also plasters a nostalgic grin on our faces with all the college shenanigans it portrays. It stars Shraddha Kapoor and Sushant Singh Rajput who represents the director of Chhichhore itself- Nitesh Tiwari, making it a semi memoir. He plunges into his life story and recounts anecdotes and blokes from his hostel life on an engineering campus. Having its own share of slapstick comedy, emotional and thought provoking sequences and nail biting scenes, Tiwari juxtaposes various kinds of feelings tastefully.
While movies like SOTY 2 gives students wildly unrealistic expectations of college life in India, Chhichhore is a movie which comes closest to the true state of a typical Indian engineering college, apart from Rajkumar Hiraniʼs 3 idiots. One of the most relatable movies, Chhichhore will definitely make you feel all schmaltzy as it would remind you of your version of it, from the harmless pranks with your partners in crime and the unparalleled fire in you to keep up the reputation of your house or hostel while sacrificing your own.
Chhichhore, literally meaning “unhinged” talks about the initial years of adulthood when the child in them refuses to leave so soon, when their principal cause of worry is the prospect of them getting a girl friend considering the boys is to girls ratio in engineering colleges.
The movie opens with Anni, (Sushant Singh Rajput) and Mayaʼs (Shraddha Kapoor) son, Raghav (Mohammed Samad) committing suicide due to his inability to pass JEE even after countless months of burning the midnight oil. The doctor tells his distraught parents that few cases which are beyond the realms of medicine require miracles, the miracle being hope in the patientʼs heart that things will get better. It all depends on Raghavʼs will to bounce back. Even though his condition was extremely critical, Anni decided to heal him in the most
unconventional way ever. He recruits his fooliaminy back from his days at IIT, each one having a cardinal trait worse than the other. There was Sexa- a senior who had a hard time keeping his legs together (Varun Sharma), Mummy- who is probably still fixated at the phallic stage of psychosexual development at the age of 19 (Tushar Pandey), Derek- the angry young mastermind who smokes and broods his life away (Tahir Bhasin), Bevda- who
as the name suggests conseiders alcohol to be his staple diet (Saharsh Shukla) and Acid, who has a Phd in swear words (Naveen Polishetty).
Anni knew that he had to prove to Raghav that sometimes, losing is the best thing that could happen to you. He had to show Raghav that his dad is not half as perfect as he perceives him to be. Who else could do this better than his “losers”? Standing by Raghavʼs hospital bed as he is on the brink of death, they all nosedive into bittersweet college memories, hoping that their flashbacks will pull him back. The premise of this movie is the quintessential saying that failure is the stepping stone to success but Chhichhore has explained it in the most refreshing as well as didactic way possible. A classic example of a group that goes from zero to hero, it is a story of how the “losers” of Hostel 4 in IIT redeem their name with their foolproof tricks and unbreakable determination. The movie takes us through everything that goes down in those corridors of each hostel, from their desperation for the whiff of a female being to the notorious pranks and debauchery to the cut throat competition for the General championship (GC).
Tiwari effortlessly juggles between two timezones- the present when they are all connoisseurs around their early 40s and their college days when they hatched a plan to break the losing streak hostel 4 had in the GC.
Having a total of two boys who had stepped on the playing field in their life did not stop them from sabotaging other hostels with late night planned booty calls to ruin the playerʼs sleep schedule and trustworthy pressure tactics to mess with the opponentʼs confidence. As you would have noticed, the defining character of each person from Anniʼs group is a weakness but they are smart enough to take those and turn it into their strengths. Although it has a few predictable incidents, Chhichhore surprises you with its end and keeps you glued to your seats. Chhichhore is a riot of emotions, occasionally having comic punches and witty one liners. For example, Sexaʼs comparison of an attractive girl in their campus to the Haleyʼs comet cracks everyone up. Special mention to Varun Sharma because of how well he managed the comical part of Chhichhore with his “potty pe dhaniya “ line which left half the audience is peals of laughter.
Sushant Singh Rajput too delivered a stellar performance as he could easily pass off for a college students despite being in his mid 30s. The middle aged avatars are represented moderately well except for Shraddha Kapoor who just changed her wardrobe and hairstyle even after a jump of about 20 years. Chhichhore talks about how a mark sheet is not enough to define you as a person.
As cliche and overused as that might sound, it is a message that connects with most students that are giving competitive exams. It answers the question of “whatʼs the point of living?” with an account of college, the best days of ones life.