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FILM REVIEW: Chandu Champion

Kartik Aaryan all the way Cast: Kartik Aaryan, Vijay Raaz, Bhuvan Arora, Yashpal Sharma, Rajpal Yadav, Aniruddh Dave, Shreyas Talpade, Son...

Kartik Aaryan all the way

Cast: Kartik Aaryan, Vijay Raaz, Bhuvan Arora, Yashpal Sharma, Rajpal Yadav, Aniruddh Dave, Shreyas Talpade, Sonali Kulkarni


Rating: 4*


Kabir Khan’s sports biopic on India’s first Paralympics gold medallist Murlikant Petkar has Kartik Aaryan doing full justice to the challenging title role, carrying the film ably on his shoulders to a well-deserved victory.

Not too many people know of living legend Padmashri Murlikant Petkar, but in the capable hands of Kabir Khan and Kartik Aaryan’s rousing performance as Petkar, we get a chance to cry with Petkar in his sorrows and rejoice in his joys.

Petkar since childhood nurses dreams of winning gold at the Olympics despite being laughed at by his village schoolmates, earning him the moniker 'Chandu Champion'. The determined boy starts training as a pehelwan then by a quirk of fate joins the Indian Army where he becomes an ace boxer. Barely did he get a chance to represent India at the Asian Games when nine bullets pumped into him during the 1965 Indo-Pak war turned him into a paraplegic who couldn’t move without a wheelchair. He starts training as a swimmer after which he bags gold at the Munich Paralympics. He crowns his achievements with a Padmashri in 2018.

Kartik lives and breathes the role of Petkar, his earnestness, and sheer honesty make him utterly believable as the paralympic champion. The actor worked hard on his body to reduce his body fat percentage to 7% from 39% over just 14 months to become Petkar. The hard work pays off as we invest in the character and his struggles to win at the Paralympics. The actor proves beyond doubt that there is much more to him than films like Sonu Ke Titu Ki Sweety and Bhool Bhulaiya. All he needs is a good role he can sink his teeth into and he does just that!

Giving him full support yet holding his own as his coach Tiger Ali Vijay Raaz shines in an author-backed role. Yashpal Yadav, Anuriddh Dave, Bhuvan Arora, and Shreyas Talpade are effective in their brief roles.

The focused film has no frivolous scenes or songs and no romance either. You don’t even miss a heroine as Kartik has your full attention from the time he appears on screen till fadeout. Scenes gently laced with humour during Petkar’s training sessions at the village akhara and in the Army add to your viewing pleasure.

Chandu Champion should be seen not just for the performances but also for the social message it sends out, that the differently abled don’t need our sympathy. Just give them a chance and they will go way ahead of the fit and able.  


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