Kartik Aaryan has taken on a unique and unprecedented role in ‘Chandu Champion’, showcasing a side of his talent we’ve never seen before. Let me tell you, he aced it entirely. The years of effort and the transformation he exhibits in this film are unbelievable. Watching him embody the life of Murlikant Petkar, India’s first Paralympic gold medalist, is nothing short of inspiring. Kartik’s dedication to this role is evident in every scene. I felt like the way he captures Petkar’s struggles and triumphs is truly remarkable. His commitment to portraying the physical and emotional journey of such an iconic figure left me in awe from the beginning to the end.

The film starts with a gripping war scene and fast-forwards to an older Murli, played by Kartik Aaryan, who passionately recounts his journey from a small village to an international stage. As an elderly man, Murli’s frustration with not receiving the Arjuna Puraskar for his village fuels his determination to file a case against the president. Kartik Aaryan delivers a compelling performance, supported by Shreyas Talpade’s humorous portrayal of a cop, adding a light-hearted touch to the narrative. Flashbacks to 1952 show a young Murli, inspired by the first Indian Olympic player, battling societal ridicule to pursue his dream of becoming an Olympic champion. His journey, marked by moments of encouragement from his brother and intense training scenes set to perfectly chosen songs, is both heartwarming and inspiring.

Kartik Aaryan’s portrayal of grown-up Murli brings depth to the character, especially in his defiance against his strict father’s traditional views. The scene where Murli sneaks off to participate in wrestling matches, despite being reprimanded, highlight his unwavering passion. His declaration, “Chandu nahi, champion hu main,” during a match is particularly stirring and gave me goosebumps. After running away from the village the film seamlessly transitions between Murli’s rigorous army training, his camaraderie with fellow soldiers, and his eventual recognition in international boxing competitions. His initial loss in the boxing match at the International Military Games, followed by the encouragement from his coach, Tiger Ali (Vijay Raaz), to keep hope alive, was inspiring. The sudden military camp attack in Kashmir, which resulted in Murli’s friend’s death and left Tiger Ali gravely injured, made me deeply emotional, showing the harsh realities Murli faced.

Several scenes deeply moved me, particularly in the second half, depicting Murli’s struggles after being paralyzed by nine bullet shots during the attack. Waking up in a hospital bed after two years, he faces the heartbreaking realization of his paralysis and the loss of hope. His family’s tearful goodbye as they left him in Mumbai for treatment was profoundly touching to me. However, the bond with Rajpal Yadav’s character, the humorous yet heartfelt peon, brought a smile to my face amidst the sadness. Tiger Ali’s return was a beacon of hope, motivating Murli to continue dreaming of the Olympics. Their intense training for the Paralympics, set to the song “Sarfira,” showed Murli’s resilience and determination, culminating in his selection for the Paralympics in Munich. The journey to the Paralympics, with Murli overcoming his fears and injuries, was a testament to Tiger Ali’s exceptional coaching. Vijay Raaz played the role of the coach perfectly, and I truly believe no one else could have embodied this character with such depth and authenticity. The deep bond Murli and Tiger Ali shared was one of the most touching aspects of the film, adding layers of emotional depth and inspiration.

The depiction of Murli’s persistence, despite numerous setbacks, resonates strongly, especially during his intense training for the Paralympics. The emotional crescendo when he wins the gold medal and breaks the world record is truly tear-jerking, showcasing Kartik Aaryan’s best performance to date. Although the film occasionally slows down and the ending feels somewhat rushed, the overall narrative is compelling and inspirational. The film concludes on a high note with Murli’s return to his village and the symbolic salute from his childhood self. Additionally, the recognition of his achievements with the Padma Shri award in 2018 brings a satisfying closure to his incredible journey. This final recognition made him and the entire country proud, leaving me deeply invested and emotionally fulfilled.

I absolutely loved the film and would rate it a solid 4 stars. Kartik Aaryan did a fabulous job, delivering what I believe is his best performance to date. Vijay Raaz added a special touch as the coach we all wish to have, becoming the pillar of Murli’s life and their bond was truly heartwarming. Aniruddh Dave perfectly captures the essence of a supportive older brother, providing strength and encouragement to Murli through every step! Bhuvan Arora played the role of Kartik Aaryan’s supportive friend perfectly, embodying the light and support we all wish for in our lives. His performance was exceptional, fitting seamlessly into the narrative and adding depth to the story. I clap for Kabir Khan, who beautifully tied this film together and made me feel the emotions so well. His direction ensured that every scene resonated deeply, making the journey of Murli unforgettable and inspiring.