Kartik Aaryan's 'Chandu Champion' can be your feel-good movie this weekend, here's why

This biopic of Murlikant Petkar is filled with emotions and a happy ending

Chandu Champion Muralikant 'Chandu Champion' is inspired by the life of Muralikant Petkar | Twitter

There are many emotions that run through one while watching 'Chandu Champion'. Directed by Kabir Khan, the movie evokes feelings of joy, sorrow, stress and pride. This biopic of Murlikant Petkar, India’s first paralympic gold medalist, depicts the struggle and dedication he put into achieving his dream. 

Portrayed by Kartik Aaryan, Murlikant Petkar's "reel story" begins at a police station. We are introduced to his character while he files an official complaint against the President of India for not giving him the Arjuna Award! The inspector played by Shreyas Talpade, is understandably sceptical at Murli’s claims but as he sits to explain, we are whisked away on this spectacular tale of his. 

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His story is told in a series of flashbacks in chronological order and we begin with a nine year old Murli greeting Khashaba Jadhav along with the rest of the village. The revelry of the village was fueled by the bronze medal won by Jadhav in the 1952 Olympics. Young Murli’s dream begins here. To be able to achieve an Olympic medal for his country. When he spoke about his dreams he was constantly ridiculed. His short temper had him resort to violence. He was known around his village as ‘Chandu Champion’ (translates to loser champion), a nickname that followed him till his high school years. 

The storyline begins like a typical sports movie where they are ridiculed for their dreams and motivated with the urge to prove them wrong. Later we are introduced to Karnail (Bhuvan Arora), an aspiring boxer who convinces Murli to join the army with him. This commences his career as a boxer where he trains with Tiger Ali, played by Vijay Raaz. His deadpan humour alongside Murli’s eager spirit adds the comic relief that draws the viewers into their relationship as mentor and mentee. 

While stationed in Kashmir, Murli gets shot. Upon waking up from a two-year coma, he discovers that the bullet lodged in his spine has rendered him paralysed from the waist below. Following a struggle of confidence we see Murli determined to achieve the dream he had set as a child so now his passion focuses on swimming. 

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We watch in anticipation as Murli, in the final round, is lagging behind the other competitors. With each breath he takes he sees different milestones of his life. Each event in his life that pushed him to where he is now. Even though we know the outcome of this match the roulette of scenes has us on the edge of our seats. Kabir Khan’s direction is not unlike other sports films. The theme of patriotism is synonymous with many biopics but it is not overdone in this film. The film transitions Murli’s achievements from Chandu Champion to Chottu Tiger to Indian Wonder Boy smoothly. 

The movie has a bit of a slow start but we see it pick up gradually once all the characters are introduced. The film can be categorised as a feel-good watch as well, one to inspire or evoke pride in our country.  'Chandu Champion', however, is sure to induce the feelings that it intended to and have you leaving the theatre feeling the rush of the rollercoaster of emotions experienced.


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