Chandu Champion Review: Kartik Aaryan Delivers a Knockout Performance in Emotional, Inspiring Underdog Story

Chandu Champion Review: Kartik Aaryan Delivers a Knockout Performance in Emotional, Inspiring Underdog Story

Chandu Champion Review: Kartik Aaryan Delivers a Knockout Performance in Emotional, Inspiring Underdog Story

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Kabir Khan’s Subtle Storytelling Shines in This Biographical Sports Drama

June 15, 2024

“Chandu Champion,” directed by Kabir Khan, tells the inspiring real-life story of Murlikant Petkar, India’s first Paralympics gold medallist. Kartik Aaryan stars as Murli, delivering a standout performance that captures the athlete’s journey from an underdog to a champion. The film’s subtlety and simplicity allow Murli’s extraordinary tale to take center stage, emphasizing both his triumphs and failures.

The film begins with an elderly Murli (Aaryan) narrating his life’s story to a group of policemen, arguing for his deserved recognition with an Arjuna Award. 

Through a series of flashbacks, we see Murli’s early obsession with winning an Olympic gold medal, his training in the army, and his resilience following the 1965 Kashmir war where he sustained severe injuries. Despite being paralyzed from the waist down, Murli’s determination leads him to set a world record in swimming at the Paralympics. Aaryan’s portrayal of Murli is both earnest and transformative, supported by a strong cast including Bhuvan Arora, Aniruddh Dave, and Vijay Raaz. 

Supporting Kartik Aaryan, Bhuvan Arora shines as Karnail Singh, Murli’s loyal friend from his army training and boxing days. Their camaraderie brings a crackling energy to the screen, adding depth to the story. Aniruddh Dave plays Murli’s brother, making a significant impact despite limited screen time, particularly in the heart-wrenching scene where he and Murli’s mother leave him alone on a wheelchair. 

Vijay Raaz delivers a powerful performance as boxing coach Tiger Ali, who serves as Murli’s mentor and support system. Raaz’s character arc is filled with depth and emotion, moving beyond mere comic relief to add soul to the story. Shreyas Talpade appears as a humorous cop, while Sonali Kulkarni plays a dedicated journalist determined to retell Murli’s forgotten story, though her character could have been more developed.

While the screenplay has a few pacing issues, the film’s emotional depth and inspiring message make it a compelling addition to the sports drama genre.  “Chandu Champion” is a heartfelt and inspiring film that highlights the courage and resilience of an unsung hero. Kabir Khan’s direction and Kartik Aaryan’s stellar performance make it a standout sports drama. 

This film is a beautiful addition to Bollywood’s sports drama genre, reaffirming the power of determination and the will to succeed against all odds.

Joyville