Duration: 117.5 Minutes
Chandigarh Kare Aashiqui follows Manu, a gym trainer and a heavy weight lifting athlete who falls for the Zumba instructor at his gym. However, all hell breaks loose when he finds out the girl he likes is a transgirl. His regressive thoughts and ignorance drives a wedge between them, along with the opinion of society and his family.
Review: This Abhishek Kapoor directorial is a simple love story filled with romance and drama and with a transgender leading character. While Chandigarh Kare Aashiqui focuses on breaking stereotypes and incorporating progressive thinking, it does not preach, neither does it take over as a comic love story, making it an all-out entertainer.
The film begins with Ayushmann's Manu, a powerlifter prepping for his third championship after losing for two years in a row to a rival gym owner. While he is focused on becoming GOAT (Gabru of All Time), his family of two sisters, widowed father and grandfather are focused on finding him a bride. He eventually lays eyes on the new Zumba instructor - Maanvi (Vaani Kapoor), in his gym and sparks fly instantly.
Maanvi, on the other hand, is reluctant of reciprocating her feelings, with secrets of her own she decides to wear her heart on her sleeve and give in. The two madly fall in love and are ready to take the next step until Maanvi reveals her one secret that she was biologically born as a boy but never felt like one. Driven by ignorance and regressive thoughts Manu jumps to conclusions of betrayal and leaves her behind. However, his love for her does not fade away easily.
Abhishek Kapoor tastefully handles the sensitive topic, without shying away from showing the truth and the hate trans community has been subjected to. The makers have also managed to hold on to the comic feel of the film. Apart from Abhishek, the co-writers Supratik Sen and Tushar Paranjpe deserve credit for the smooth screenplay and dialogues that maintain the breezy feel. There are certain scenes hard to watch and dialogues harder to process but none of the uncomfortable situations are dragged long enough for it to leave a bad aftertaste.
The film, however, does have room for improvement, as the end seems a little hurried and the first half seems a little gimmicky, making it hard for the audience to take the cast seriously. Vaani Kapoor gives her all and is convincing as the transwoman Maanvi. Meanwhile, Aysuhmann who looks more like a bodyguard than an athlete, is best as his supportive, romantic self.
Overall, Chandigarh Kare Aashiqui is a refreshing romantic drama that will leave you with a little wonder and a heart full of love.
We go with 3.5/5 stars for Chandigarh Kare Aashiqui.