Chhichhore poster


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quick review:

Reviews for films with such lines, write themselves:
It matters not whether you win or you lose, all that matters is that you tried your best.
It matters not whether you wrote a good film or not, all that...

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Director: Nitesh Tiwari
Running time: 150 minutes
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Chhichhore - Preview

The trailer implies that the film’s main aim is to take you down “nostalgia” lane. The times when using profanity was “the” thing to do; when life revolved around thinking of bullying as good-natured fun; when men following a woman was to be considered as a compliment to her. This also means the target audience is those who are well into their 40s and beyond. While I never found any of that fun then, to relish it with fondness now, I can imagine even a younger audience could get a good laugh out of the situations depicted in hostel life.

There are also hints at just pure fun from “the good ol’ days,” from just hanging out, from getting to know new people who then turned out to be life-long friends. In that sense, it carries a Dil Chahta Hai plus 3 Idiots feel–without an obvious storyline, at least not apparent from the trailer. Here’s hoping there is some of that and a slight touch of intelligence that can be expected from a film based in IIT. But hey, I should know not to complain about a film that is titled “chhichhore” which could be translated to vulgar/lowly. :)

Chhichhore releases on 6 September 2019.

- meeta, a part of the audience

You are concerned about teenagers who commit suicide because of excessive pressure to do well in entrance exams. A grave subject, indeed.
You want to make a film that reaches out to this age group and tell them it’s ok to fail. Bravo! You don’t want it to get preachy, and keep things light. Good thought.
You want to use your hostel experience in doing so. Why not?
You end up making speeches, even if in bits and pieces. Understandable.
You still make a film that ends up boring its audience because of the predictability. Well...full marks for bravery; and all that matter is put in your best.
And you know what? If the film speaks to even one child who is on edge, it would have done its job.

That it goes all “meta” on us by being just about ordinary is a call for us to be more accepting of failure.

Interestingly, over casual conversations in the last couple of weeks, upcoming films have come up, as they usually do. People most excited about the film have been teenagers and young adults. So, the trailer seems to have done its job well in attracting the target audience. If it changes the attitude of some of these kids when they are feeling down and out, it’s good enough.

Other than that, though, the fun and frolic is amusing. What’s not to laugh about full-grown adults getting kicks out of throwing buckets of water on each other? And then, of course, there are the caricatured hostel specimens. Except for the exaggerated mamma’s boy and the overall sports theme, the rest of the characters seemed to have walked out of my IITian husband’s hostel stories. What was unbelievable was that none of the guys had a pot-belly 18-19 years later. ;P

The makers choose a slice of their hostel lives as a thread to sermonise tell the kids who take failure too hard to take it easy. The nostalgic tone works, but the build-up to the “lesson” part is overdone. Unfortunately also, the pranks and gags are almost all covered in the trailer. At the same time, using sports as a tool to drive home a point has no novelty left. Of course, it would take some thinking to come up with a theme that could express the “plan for success but take failure in stride too” better than sports or academics itself. But, it is also difficult to stay vested as an audience in the oft-repeated themes too.

In fact, all through, Chhichhore reminded me of some other movie. The academic stress here is portrayed very differently from the parental pressure to excel in 3 Idiots, but there is no escaping the resemblance. The entire student rivalry bit and attempt at glamour have an unmistakable Student of the Year vibe to it. This means it has the standard classism. Fortunately, it also has a few subtle parenting tips along with the direct ones. While I wouldn’t endorse the methods used to win, that games are won in minds is shown and not told. Of course, it is all too convenient and thus not too convincing. But “gaming the system” is emphasised as a life-skill and who can argue with that?

All that goes well for the film though is not enough for all that causes drag. Even the unpredictable hacks, though in the general predictable direction, are inadequate to think of the film as a story for adults*. Similarly, the performances just about manage to keep the film from seeming too artificial. Surprisingly, Sushant Singh Rajput overdoes his act, especially when he gets emotional and/or cries and Shraddha Kapoor seems uninvested in the do. The rest of the crew aren’t extraordinary, and maybe that works for the film.

What also does the film good is that it walks the talk in its story. That it goes all “meta” on us by being just about ordinary is a call for us to be more accepting of failure. After all, in its own way, it is a love letter to its younger self. And no such letter can be called outright bad.

The makers choose a slice of their hostel lives as a thread to ~~sermonise~~ tell the kids who take failure too hard to take it easy. The nostalgic tone works, but the build-up to the “lesson” part is overdone.

*There goes my theory that Chhichhore would be an adult comedy! Happy to be proven wrong on this count.

- meeta, a part of the audience

34 reviewers(?) - 25 yays 7 so-so 2 nays

Warning: clicking on "full review" will take you to an external website that could contain spoilers.

Thumbs up, by Subhash K Jha, Bolly Spice : ...Nitesh Tiwary’s direction is constantly uncluttered and unassuming. He lets the characters grow through their giggles and their grief. He never tampers with his characters unnecessarily letting them breathe on their own volition. Amalendu Chowdhary’s camera is never judgmental. It is always an indulgent smiling tear-eyed ally.... full review

Thumbs up, Bollywood Hungama : ...On the whole, CHHICHHORE is a decent entertainer that has its share of entertaining and touching scenes. At the box office, it will be liked by its target audience – the youth and the families. However it will require a positive word of mouth to sustain and excel.... full review

Thumbs up, by Urmimala Banerjee, Bollywood Life : ...Chhichhore is a film that leaves you with a huge smile on your face. It is heart-warming and introspective. You will enjoy irrespective of whether you ever lived in a hostel or not. This should be on your must watch list for September.... full review

Thumbs up, Catch News : ...नितेश तिवारी ने फिल्म का डायरेक्शन किया है. फिल्म में उनके डायरेक्शन तारीफे काबिल है स्क्रीन पर स्वाभाविक और हजम होने वाली चीजें ही स्क्रीन पर दिखाई दी है. फिल्म देखते वक्त आप बोरियत नहीं महसूस करेंगे. परफॉर्मेंसेज की बात करें तो ये फिल्म रिच है. सुुशांत सिंह राजपूत ने नौजवान अनि के साथ अधेड़ अनिरुद्ध को भी बखूबी जिया है. श्रद्धा कपूर कपूर भी यंग और मच्यॉर माया में फिट बैठी हैं. सेक्सा के रूप में वरुण शर्मा का किरदार लाउड छा, मगर उन्होंने अपनी लाउडनेस से खूब एंटरटेन किया है. वहीं राघव के रूप में मोहम्मद समद का अभिनय भी ईमानदारी से भरा हुआ है. गाने की बात करें फिल्म के गाने औसत हैं.... full review

Thumbs up, by Sameer Salunkhe, cineblitz : ...Notable mentions in terms of acting performances: Varun Sharma as Sexa delivers a delightful performance. He delivers the film’s best punchlines. Sushant Singh Rajput as Anni, is earnest. His portrayal of the middle-aged version of his character is more convincing than the younger one. Shraddha Kapoor, Tahir Raj Bhasin, and Naveen Polishetty do a fine job too.... full review

Thumbs up, by Prachita Pandey, DNA : ...Book yourself a date with these Chhichhoras this week and go on a nostalgia trip, while learning a thing or two about life!... full review

Thumbs up, by Rahul Desai, Film Companion : ...One could argue that providing a rosy picture of college life to a child might make him develop unrealistic expectations from his future. Imagine when he discovers that hostels are nothing like his father’s. But there has to be a future to begin with. Some lies are necessary to reach the truth. After all, everyone deserves an opportunity to go from feeling worthless to reflecting on their worthlessness (“chhichhora-pann”) in flashbacks.... full review

Thumbs up, by Devesh Sharma, Filmfare : ...All-in-all, Chhichhore is a well-acted comedy providing plenty of laughs with its one-liners and talks about an important issue as well. What more can one ask for, really?... full review

Thumbs up, by Madhuri V, Filmi Beat : ...'Success is not final; failure is not fatal. It is the courage to continue that counts'. Nitesh Tiwari needs to be applauded for taking up this subject which is relevant in every walk of life. Some heart-tugging moments, plenty of 'haha' and an important life-lesson makes 'Chhichhore' an entertaining watch.... full review

Thumbs up, by Vishal Verma, : ...There are great stories on life, there are great stories about friendship but rarely there is a story that embraces both life and friendship with its boon and curse that crosses generations. CHHICHHORE is not just a movie, it’s an experience, a lesson on life that is essential for everyone.... full review

Thumbs up, by Monika Rawal Kukreja, Hindustan Times : ...A must-watch with your college friends, Chhichhore is relatable and relevant. Watch it for its uncomplicated screenplay, gripping narrative and some stellar performances that leave you in stitches.... full review

Thumbs up, by Ankur Pathak, Huffington Post : ...Even if subconsciously he is, it’s worth his effort. As Chhichhore argues, living isn’t always about winning. It’s about living. And in some cases, a story is all that you need to survive.... full review

Thumbs up, by R.M. Vijayakar, India West : ...Don’t miss this film if you love fellow human beings, starting from family, and want to be loved, and also if you have had even a single friend in our life. There is a minor absurdity or two, but it becomes minor in the overall big picture (pun intended), so minor in fact that they even slip my mind while writing this review!... full review

Thumbs up, by Ambika Sachin, Khaleej Times : ...What really works for the movie is the fact that it can appeal to a cross-section of audience - whether you are a youngster competing for an exam, or undergoing hostel life right now as portrayed in the movie or even if you are in your 40s or older, who can look back fondly at your own college days, Chhichhore has something for everyone.... full review

Thumbs up, by Umesh Punwani, koimoi : ...All said and done, Chhichhore is a whole lot of platter that serves entertainment and emotions. With quite a many memorable performances, it’s a film that will linger in your mind long enough after you leave the cinema hall.... full review

Thumbs up, by UDITA JHUNJHUNWALA, Live Mint : ...The tropes of campus films abound, yet the humour in Chhichhore is so organic and the characters so particular, you feel like a member of the crowd hoping Hostel 4’s strategy makes them champions. It’s almost enough to make you overlook the present day prosthetics and script conveniences that lean heavily on the kind of Bollywood melodrama one is not nostalgic about.... full review

Thumbs up, by Mayank Shekhar, MiD DAY : ...I know — nostalgia's an exaggeration and all that. But this is the kind of writing/film that genuinely makes you want to relive — in this case, go back to college. Okay, think will just go back and watch this movie all over again, instead. Much easier!... full review

Thumbs up, by Pankhurie Mulasi, Movie Talkies : ...It’s a very entertaining film and is worth watching in theaters.... full review

Thumbs up, by Kunal Guha, Mumbai Mirror : ...An auteur known for his ability to say great things in a sharp-witted and accessible manner, Tiwari shines through here. A memorable line comes from a canteen server when a befuddled student enquires about the mashed contents on his plate. “Aalu hain ya kaddu?”... full review

Thumbs up, by Rajeev Masand, : ...The film is all about its characters, frankly, and the hoops they're made to jump. In them you'll likely find traces and memories of your own youth. I'm going with three-and-a-half out of five for Chhichhore; it's good, harmless fun. I had a big smile plastered on my face throughout, and I think you will too.... full review

Thumbs up, by Vaibhavi V Risbood, Pinkvilla : ...The best part about Chhichhore is that it’s entertaining, pleasant, and emotional without attempting to preach what it cannot teach. It reminds us that we have been creating a generation that is promised rewards for success but never taught how to handle a loss. It teaches us that often, success doesn’t teach you much; it’s the failure that nurtures to become a bouquet of accumulated experiences.... full review

Thumbs up, by Joginder Tuteja, Planet Bollywood : ...The film as a whole is convincing as well and more so because it has an inherent message which is conveyed very well. Just for this message alone, Chhichhore deserves an extra star for producer Sajid Nadiadwala as he backs such a tale. From Super 30 to now Chhichhore, he has made yet another entertaining film which cuts across class as well as mass audience.... full review

Thumbs up, by Sukanya Verma, Rediff : ...It’s the writing where Chhichhore shows solid talent. At all times, its feel-good optimism is much too entertaining to resist. A former IIT Bombay alumna, Tiwari recognises the abundant ‘Once a pajamachaap always a pajamachaap’ buttons in the audience and presses them fervently and frequently. The outcome may be predictable but that’s exactly the Chhichhore philosophy -- savour the journey and not worry about getting anywhere.... full review

Thumbs up, by Gaurang Chauhan, Times Now : ...Mohammad Samad, who had given a jaw-dropping performance in Tumbbad, is of the first-rate here as well. Prateik Babbar plays the antagonist of sorts here and he has done a fair job.... full review

Thumbs up, by Sreeparna Sengupta,, Times of India : ...‘Chhichhore’ has a relevant message on the inherent attitude towards academic success and failure that will connect with many youngsters and parents of today. It tells you that the journey is far more important than the destination and that losing is as critical a life lesson as winning. The film scores high on many accounts and is certainly worth watching.... full review

So-So, by ARNAB BANERJEE, Deccan Chronicle : ...The saviour in the film — as I mentioned before — in the 145-minute film that dodges and weaves through many clichés and familiar tropes — is that some of the characters are played by decent actors.... full review

So-So, by Deepa Gahlot, Deepa Gahlot : ...It is left to the actors and their chemistry to help the film through its many saggy bits, and Varun Sharma turns out to be the scene-stealer, while Sushant Singh Rajput struggles with the schmaltz. All the actors look overage as students and not old enough when they are aged with prosthetics, but their skins remain untouched by time. Maya doesn’t age at all!... full review

So-So, by Anupama Chopra, Film Companion : ...Chhichhore allows us to revisit that first flush of youth. The film never matches the the inspired grunge vibe of In Which Annie Gives it Those Ones (1989) or the magic of Jo Jeeta Wohi Sikandar. But it’s a satisfying journey back to woh din!... full review

So-So, by Punarvasu Pendse, : ...Chhichhore is an enjoyable film in bits and pieces, and could have worked better if it was shorter in length. It is not very original, both in terms of the setting and the story, but then which college film truly is? At least we are not getting into the Student of the Year 2 category.... full review

So-So, by Vibha Maru, india today : ...Chhichhore is a one-time watch and is for those who are are still hung up on their college life. But it is no 3 Idiots. You might want to call your college buddies after the film.... full review

So-So, by Piyush Chopra, Now : ...While at times highly predictable, not many could deny that this journey of these Chhichhoras to the finals wasn't a fun, if uneven, ride. With a bit more attention to the writing, this film could've differentiated itself from the crowd with its game cast and setting. Presently, it makes for a good one time watch but not much more.... full review

So-So, by Rummana, yahoo! India : ...The film goes back and forth between timelines, but the transitions are not seamless. The writing is clunky and the screenplay bumpy — the songs and sequences lack cohesiveness and therefore, the fun gets diluted. It’s a pity that films that attempt to pack in a neat little message into their storytelling fail so disappointingly to make the point. I was expecting skilled direction from someone who helmed a blockbuster such as ‘Dangal’. This one, unfortunately, disappoints to say the least.... full review

Thumbs down, by Anna MM Vertticad, FirstPost : ...The writing of Chhichhore (by Tiwari himself with Nikhil Mehrotra and Piyush Gupta) is so lacking in depth, and the direction so passionless that it is hard to believe it is brought to us by the same person who made Dangal. Despite its sporadic bursts of humour, Chhichhore comes across as a half-hearted enterprise.... full review

Thumbs down, by Shalini Langer, indian express : ...Now, exploring that strand alone may have lent itself to a better film — about choices and the definition of winning.... full review

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This page has additional observations, other than the ones noted in the main review.

Parental Guidance:

  • Violence: None. Some good-natured leg-pulling.
  • Language: Lots of curse words, though many of them are muted down.
  • Nudity & Sexual content: Bare-chested men. Lots of them.
  • Concept: Taking failure in stride
  • General Look and Feel: An attempt at being young and breezy

Detailed Ratings (out of 5):

Lead Actors:
Character Artists:
Music Director:

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