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CHANDU CHAMPION – The film importantly makes you aware of a forgotten icon without any innovative narrative following the set format of an events-based biopic. (Movie Notes by Bobby Sing)

15 Jun, 2024 | Just In / Inspired Movies (Alphabetical) / C / Movie Reviews / 2024 Releases

As a biopic of a forgotten icon of Indian sports history, CHANDU CHAMPION perfectly spreads awareness about the rare and blessed personality. It surprises and inspires, revealing an unbelievable life lived by Muralikant Petkar, the first Paralympic Gold medalist of India, and Kartik Aaryan puts in his best playing the complex character. However, these two features remain the biggest or rather only two merits of the film written and directed by Kabir Khan.
While CHANDU CHAMPION is undoubtedly an informative movie for almost everyone sitting in the theatre in terms of knowledge of the past, it does not score much as a highly engaging film because of its set repetitive format, already exploited by several films of the genre seen in the last decade. It is also a technically sound film, with many well-shot sequences, as expected from writer-director Kabir Khan. Unfortunately, the technical excellence does not get the desired support from the writing (by Kabir Khan himself), heavily relying upon all monotonous elements.
The issue is neither with the subject nor the performances, but it is the execution that never tries anything fresh or innovative in its expressions on the screen. The same has been the case with many recent biopics, wherein the focus is more on depicting various events in the life of an underdog, ignoring the rest. As a result, it is like the most important life events recorded in a sequence in the name of a script, with the final 30 minutes being the best of them all, showcasing the big win. Putting it bluntly, a biopic has to be a lot more than just events arranged in a timeline reaching a crescendo. 
A strong 'seen before' kind of Deja-vu feel continuously stays in the films made in such a format with a weaker first half and a better second. That was precisely felt while watching the recent MAIDAAN, which reminded you of several similar films just as CHANDU CHAMPION does in its first half, bringing back the memories of BHAAG MILKHA BHAAG to LAL SINGH CHADHA or FORREST GUMP, even including a song like "Hawan Karenge." I wonder why such acute similarities (including the supporting characters) were not avoided or dealt with differently by the experienced director.
The repetitive narrative struggles to keep you involved, with no support from either the songs or the background score. Plus, at many points, it annoyingly makes you question when the film will explode with some outstanding sequences.
Overall, CHANDU CHAMPION is an average film involving impressive hard work by Kartik, especially for his physical transformations portraying various time frames of the icon's life from a young boy to an older man. However, it is not Kabir Khan's best work, and he should move over the biopic genre returning to fiction. That said, though the film might not be able to satisfy you as an entertaining fare, it still deserves to be seen for its informative and inspirational value, making you aware of a lesser-known story of an icon who was no doubt 'blessed, different and unique' in more than one aspect.
His unreal, extraordinary true story would also make you wonder how such a rare achievement remained ignored for a long time and why such icons are not celebrated or given deserving recognition by the authorities. Also, why are the Paralympics and other similar contests not given at least decent coverage by the media and news agencies?
Films like MAIDAAN and CHANDU CHAMPION are surely doing a good job of spreading the much-required awareness about our forgotten icons among the present generations, but I sincerely wish it was done with equally exceptional films.
Summing up, a great biopic should ideally inspire you to know more about the icon, as a film cannot cover an entire life. Sadly, an average biopic kills that urge in the viewers, and they never try to know more about the personality by picking up relevant books or surfing reliable online resources. 

Rating: 2.5 + 0.5 / 5 (with the additional 0.5 for the amazing physical transformation by Kartik Aaryan) 

Tags : CHANDU CHAMPION Review By Bobby Sing at bobbytalkscinema.com, New Bollywood Reviews by Bobby Sing, Bollywood Sports Biopic, Kartik Aaryan in Kabir Khan film
15 Jun 2024 / Comment ( 0 )
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