Chhalaang: 6 Things in Rajkummar Rao-Nushrratt Bharuccha’s Sports-Comedy That Make Little Sense (SPOILERS) – LatestLY Exclusive

Sreeju Sudhakaran
·5-min read

Hansal Mehta and Rajkummar Rao coming together for a movie should have been a good thing. We has some wonderful films from this combo like Shahid, Alibag and CityLights. Rajkummar Rao is also doing some impressive work with his recently-hones comic skills, lately evident in Anurag Basu's Ludo. With a supporting cast involving Saurabh Shukla, Satish Kaushik, Mohammed Zeeshan Ayyub, Jatin Sarna and Ila Arun, Chhalaang should have knocked it out of the park. Chhalaang Movie Review: Rajkummar Rao's Sports-Comedy is Less Hansal Mehta and More Luv Ranjan, and That's The Problem! (LatestLY Exclusive).

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Imagine my disappointment, when Chhalaang not only turned out to be a let down, but also it left me in an incredulous shock as to the kind of message it wanted to send across. (MAJOR SPOILERS AHEAD) For the unaware, the movie is about Montu (Rajkummar Rao), a good-for-nothing fellow who works as a PT instructor in a local co-ed government school, but does very little teaching actually.

He falls for the new computer teacher Neelima/Neelu (Nushrratt Bharuccha). When the school hires a new sports instructor Singh Sir (Mohammed Zeeshan Ayyub), Montu finds his job, love and pride threatened by his arrival. After they come to blows during a training mishap, Montu proposes to have a challenge - let his team compete with Singh' for three sports event, and if his team wins all, the job is his.

Also Read | Chhalaang Movie Review: Rajkummar Rao's Sports-Comedy is Less Hansal Mehta and More Luv Ranjan, and That's The Problem! (LatestLY Exclusive)

Montu then goes on to find the right kind of kids for his team, and then, predictably wins the competition, but not before preaching about how parents and teachers should play an equal role in encouraging the kid to be become the next Sachin Tendulkar or Mary Kom.

While the apparent message is agreeable, the comic timing of the actors excellent and the underdog winning the say is a likeable tale, Chhalaang is very flawed in how the characters are conceived. Especially in wanting us to root for Montu, a very problematic individual.

Here are six things in Chhalaang that made very little sense to us.

Why Would Neelu Get Close To Montu?

Still from Chhalaang Trailer

Apart from being a useless PT instructor, Montu is also the leader of local RW moral brigade, harassing couples on Valentine's days and shaming them. Neelu's parents also become unwitting victims to his charade, and yet she quickly forgives him. For someone who gives out the perception that she is open-minded and liberal, we are pretty clueless why should she choose to side with a bigot, bully and shirker like Montu, even when he doesn't that much remorse? Also, what's the big idea of trying to pitt him against Singh sir in a game of brawns?

What Happened to 'Progressive' Shuklaji?

Still from Chhalaang Trailer

Shuklaji, Montu's mentor, has no qualms with his moral brigade activities and even praises him for doing so. But years ago, he had supported Principal Gehlot to get her post, when she faced opposition because of gender-disparity. He claims that even ruined his marriage. So what happened to this 'progressive' Shukla, who supported feminism?

Why is Singh Sir the Villain?

Still from Chhalaang Trailer

In any other film. Singh Sir would have been the hero, coming to an inept school and showing how things should actually be done. Instead, he is portrayed as the villain, even though he is clearly competent for the job and knows what he does, and is also qualified (which even Montu agrees in the end). Even during his competition with Montu, Singh Sir doesn't play dirty or acts rudely with his kids, but behaves exactly like how a coach should. So why exactly is he a villain? On the other hand, Montu's motivation to even have to job is just soothe his hurt ego and to not lose Neelu. Rather, why is Montu the hero?

Why Does Principal Agree to Such a Weird Contest?

Still from Chhalaang Trailer

First of all, the bigger question - why would Montu still have a job after initiating the fight with Singh Sir, and never apologising for it. But instead of firing him right away, the Principal agrees to this weird bet contest, wasting not just the school resources and students' time over a silly battle of egoes. On second thoughts, she should have been fired first!

Why Was The Kids' Choice Never Considered?

Still from Chhalaang Trailer

For his team, Montu chooses geeks who show no inclination to participate in sports, and would rather play at Math Olympiad. Why do so? Are you saying that the school doesn't have other kids who have actual interest in playing sports over studies?

Is Emotionally Scarring a Kid To Train Him Right?

Still from Chhalaang Trailer

Montu, Shukla and Neelu use unusual ways to whip their kids up in shape. First such task was sending the kids into an orchard to take fruits from there, and then calling the owner of the orchard who lets the dogs on them, so that they can learning running (out of fear). Firstly, he just taught them stealing (though the kids didn't know they were doing so), and he should have been fired. Secondly, he could have caused serious injury to any of the kid, and he should be fired for that. Thirdly, to win the relay race in the climax, he uses barking dogs to terrify a kid, who was chased by the dogs, to run fast enough to reach the winning mark. Montu might have won the contest, but he just made a couple of psychologically scarred students.