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Chandigarh Kare Aashiqui | Bollywood Movie Review by Anupama Chopra | Ayushmann K, Vaani K

Over 1 million cinema lovers have already subscribe to film companion. What are you waiting for, hit the bell icon and join our film family. In just the good curry, our shaky director of a shake, Kapoor attempts a perilous tightrope act. 

He takes a complex subject that many viewers would either be ignorant of or uncomfortable with, and then attempts to postulate as a broad based mainstream Hindi movie with stars songs, Glamour, comedy, dysfunctional families and emotional drama. The result is a film that is successful in some ways and faltering and others. Chandigarh Karachi is both a necessary and laudable conversation starter. But also an airbrushed and simplistic view of the struggle of a trans woman to find love and acceptance to film falls into the emerging sub genre of Hindi films, which aim to persuade viewers to reconsider their perspectives on tricky topics such as sexual orientation or gender. The messaging is made palatable by the packaging. It's the Trojan horse manoeuvre, disguising a subversive idea with comfort in commercial tropes. 

Think of films like Shubh Mangal zyada savdhan, also starring Ayushmann Khurana, which celebrated the love story of two men or England Kiko dekha toh Aisa Laga, starring Sonam Kapoor, which did the same for women. Full disclosure, EK ladki was directed by my sister in law Shelly Chopra, a huge man who has already led the charge on sperm donation, erectile dysfunction, middle age, pregnancy and hair loss is once again our guide into uncharted waters in Chandigarh curry Ashoka, he plays Mahnomen Jol the local gym rat, whose life is defined by protein shakes, keto diets and weights. What Manu wants more than anything else is to beat his rival Sandy in competitions that measure brute strength including one in which they pull jeeps with their bodies. 

When we first see Monroe who is bare chested, doing a punishing routine, the gym where he pretty much lives in which he runs with the twin brothers reason Jomo is called jots flexit man who is masculinity at its most basic grunting and heaving, but MNOs idea of what makes a man comes crashing down when he falls in love with the new Zumba instructor Manuel Manuel always looks like she stepped out of the pages of Vogue magazine. She even comes to the gym in heels soon the two are having torrid, passionate sex. 

Then monwy tells Manu about her past and all hell breaks loose Chandigarh curry Aashi is based on a story idea by Simran Suhani, who is the mother of trans daughters the screenplay and dialogues which have been written by sympathique Sen and to sharper and up juggles between Manu attempting to rethink his own notions of gender, and maanvi struggle to forge a life for herself in a world that refuses to accept who she is. The best scenes of the film are the confrontations between Monaco and monwy the tenderness and empathy for someone who went through him the audience to reconsider their stance in one scene, manby tells Manu that she's already been through so much that she isn't afraid of anything anymore. Monica Paul does it with just the right mix of ache and vulnerability and spine. 

This is her strongest performance since her debut should they say romance in 2013. But the ache of the emotion in the scene and in others is undermined by the excessive Polish baked into her persona. There is too much emphasis on her physicality. At one point the camera lingers on her rear end and even in the hospital scenes her hair is perfectly blow dry. The film is also besotted with a huge man's new body. The actor who excels is the boy next door is rip like Mr. Universe here, and Abhishek takes every chance he can to showcase the transformation, which doesn't leave as much room for performance. But in the few scenes he has to articulate the confusion of this man. Ayushmann does it with aplomb. Abishek supertech and Tushar address the bias that marginalised communities face as a matter of routine but the world of Chandigarh Karachi never gets too dark. 

There's little of the brutality or ugliness that we've seen in western films on the same subject like boys don't cry or The Crying Game, or closer to home the 2017 Bengali film, Nagar Keaton, in which you read the sand given national award winning performance as a trans woman in this film problems are resolved a tad too easily. Even long simmering resentments are fixed by convenient plot twists, the writing is clumsy and the plot tries to do too much. 

The film wants to make a larger plea for inclusion. So one of the characters is a lesbian and there's also a Hindu Muslim romance, but it's written generically and comes off as lip service despite the title Abishek does portray Chandigarh with any specificity. The Punjabi is in this film other usual cliched eating, drinking, dancing, fighting loud folk, Chandigarh Karachi also has scenes that can be triggering, including the repeated word of the slur Chaka and the film addresses the actual reassignment at a superficial level. We have like a sense of what maanvi has endured. We see her popping pills, but that's about it. And the members of the trans community worked as advisors on the film.

There is no getting away from the fact that a transgender character is being played by a cisgender woman, and that the film score team is mostly male. But for all its flaws, I'm glad that Chandigarh Karachi exists. A 2021 study by Pew Research Centre reported that 42% of Americans say that they personally know someone who's transgender. 

The figure for India is probably a lot less which means that most people are learning about transgender people through the media over the decades in the cinema has positioned the community as a source of fun or fail. Remember the vicious Maharani in syrup? That was 30 years ago. It's taken us this long to get to empathetic portrayal. I hope more will follow you can watch the Gurkha dashiki at a theatre near you. Don't forget to wear a mask. For more reviews like this subscribe to film companion and don't forget to check out our website film companion.ng

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