After all, love stories are unique and full of affection. Usually, two people meet where there is some love, argument, makeup or breakup, and the story’s conclusion. In this movie, a boy meets a girl. She has a background (not the stereotypical affair, marriage, kid out of wedlock, or criminal background) that Manu, despite his masculinity, finds hard to accept. Despite giving too much away, let us mention that Maanvi has bravely fought against all difficulties and ‘changed’ into a new woman, someone she has always wished to be. Although she feels free and happy with her fresh start, which is true to her actual self, can the community and her parents accept her decision and allow her as ‘not normal’ with their very typical universe?
Abhishek Kapoor, the director, does not mince words and gets right to the point. He brings us inside Maanvi’s universe after presenting us to Manu, his friends, and his family, gradually and carefully exposing her background. While setting us for Maanvi’s discoveries, he also prepares us for Manu’s initial astonishment, shock, and terror at learning more about the lady he’s so deeply in love with. And when the occasion calls for it, he manages it deftly, without overdramatization, in acting or dialogue.
Although, Abhishek keeps a light-hearted approach on most occasions, he confronts the individual’s hard-hitting truth with empathy and compassion. He lays it all out there: people’s crude and unbelievable reactions to discovering the truth about the topic, our general lack of information and knowledge on a topic that needs to be tackled, and how our community is deeply divided on the idea of being ‘inclusive’, including offering every human the freedom to be who they are and what they want to be. Abhishek handles it with care and a few light-hearted jabs thrown in for good measure; delicate and kind, nothing too heavy-handed.
Supratik Sen and Tushar Paranjape deserve credit for their honest and relevant storyline and dialogues, which can be seen in various scenarios. Be it Munjal family pressuring Manu to tie the knot, his widower dad (Girish Dhamija) waiting to tie the knot with his girlfriend from another community, Maanvi’s dad (Kanwaljit Singh) being cooperative of her decisions despite her mom’s solid disapproval, or Manu’s over-the-top cousins trying to meddle in all of Manu’s issues, there is never a dull scene; almost all scenes are as intense as Manu’s 6-pack and muscular bicep.
The talents here are ‘outstanding!’ Ayushmann Khurrana slips into the character’s skin. Be on the lookout for his superphysical transformation. He plays Manu wonderfully, and the truth that he is a Chandigarh native must have assisted him in cracking it.
Vaani Kapoor tries to pull her claws into her role right away and delivers a no-holds-barred output. Vaani and Ayushmann not only look beautiful on screen, but they also have a hot on-screen connection.
Bindiya Chhabria’s set design is colourful, and cameraman Manoj Lobo has filmed this unconventional love tale masterfully. Chandan Arora’s work is excellent. The soundtrack by Sachin-Jigar, with songs by Priya Saraiya, Vayu, and IP Singh, propels the plot ahead. Though the Holi song comes unexpectedly, it acts as an excellent catalyst for Manu and Maanvi’s relationship to kick into high gear.
During the Covid-19 era, where we are wrestling with the new normal each day of our lives, it is essential to dive deep and explore what is genuinely ‘ordinary’. Do we construct our standards and normality to meet the demands of the few people in the world who are imprisoned in this fake sense of regularity? Isn’t it time to make a change up a little, go out of our comfort zones, and break free from cliches? Chandigarh Kare Aashiqui accomplishes this while still keeping you entertained.