Nitesh Tiwari as a film-maker is quite taken with Aamir Khan. Can't blame him, when the Bollywood superstar gave him his (and Bollywood's) biggest blockbuster in Dangal, which is the highest-grossing Hindi film of all time. Nitesh Tiwari's next, the recently released Chhichhore has quite a lot of influences from a couple of Aamir Khan movies. Chhichhore stars Shraddha Kapoor and Sushant Singh Rajput in the lead, along with Varun Sharma, Tahir Raj Bhasin, Naveen Polishetty, Tushar Pandey, Saharsh Kumar Shukla and Prateik Babbar.
Chhichhore, as a movie, is a sweet nostalgic trip down the memory lane for those who have spent time in hostels and are aware of the nitty-grittiness associated with the institutions. It deals with friendships, failures, laugh and love. Above all, Chhichhore is also about reminding us of the fact that there is life beyond failures and they can lead to better things in life.
As a narrative, Chhichhore has its fun moments, with some fine performances from the entire cast, including those who appear in itsy-bitsy roles. And yeah, some aspects of the film also reminded us of certain other movies, a couple of which you have already guessed from the trailers itself.
There is no escaping the feeling that the hostel scenes of Chhichore give of the Rajkumar Hirani film. Also, both the films share the common message - there is a life beyond getting into engineering colleges and mugging up.
Jo Jeeta Wohi Sikandar
The main crux of Chhichhore is the college sports championship, the GC cup. Ten hostel wings of the college, yes, you read it right... ten, are competing to win the cup. The Losers Club belongs to H4, a wing that always ends up at the bottom, while the H3 wing team, led by Raggie (Prateik Babbar), are always on top. So that year, H4 decides to ditch that loser tag and take H3 head-on, leading to a very JJWS kind of clash where H4 is Chhichhore's equivalent of Model College, and H3 Rajput.
No, there is no magic in the film, but I was reminded of the first Harry Potter film (and book) because of the equation between Anni (Sushant Singh Rajput) and Raggie. In the Harry Potter world, Draco Malfoy doesn't take an instant dislike for Harry Potter, instead, he tries to win him over because the latter was already famous. When the latter rejects the offer, they become huge enemies. Similarly, Raggie tries to entice Anni into his wing, after being impressed with his sports skills, but when the latter rejects his offer, Raggie is super-pissed leading to their enmity.
This is a huge spoiler, so please be careful. The H4 wing surprises everyone by being almost reaching the top of the table in the GC Cup rankings. The final basketball match between Anni and Raggie's team was the decider. With only a few points short, everything depends on Anni's final throw. He tries his best but the ball doesn't fall in the basket, merely teetering on the rim before falling away. While H4 ends up being the loser, the H3 wing and the rest of the college applaud them for their efforts and they lose their 'loser' tag. Now isn't that similar to the underdog tale of Rocky Balboa in the first Rocky movie? Even Rocky Balboa loses the final round and the match (to Appollo Creed), but wins the hearts of the spectators and his opponent.
Student of the Year
Both the Dharma Production franchise and Chhichhore revolve around how sports become the game-changer for the students in their respective movies. In that aspect, they also share similar flaws too. The female teams in both movies are given a raw deal. In the first SOTY movie, the girls are made to compete with the boys in athletics, while in the second movie, they are royally ignored. In Chhichhore, the only time we see them compete is for the 42 kg weight lifting and they lose at that as well. Even more irksome is the fact that Anni accuses Maya (Shraddha Kapoor) of her wing being cowards and not competing in the tournament.