Manvinder Munjal (Ayushmann Khurrana) has the body of a beast but remains to be single in his early 30s, facing the usual family heat of getting married to just any living thing around him (but it should be female and have ‘class’). Manu is competing to be the fitness champ ‘GOAT’ (Gabru Of All Time), runs his gym which is suffering losses until Maanvi (Vaani Kapoor) comes into the picture. Her ‘Zumba’ magic attracts clients (and perverts) keeping Manu’s gym afloat along with his hopes of having a girl in his life.
A couple of meetings (and songs) later, Manu falls for Maanvi. Maanvi reveals she’s transgender and that fact shatters the machoistic mind of Manvinder. He goes batsh*t crazy but couldn’t get over the fact of finally loving someone after years of struggle since his last honest relationship.
Abishek Kapoor gets his favourite writer Supratik Sen (Kai Po Che, Fitoor) back to the team coupling him with Tushar Paranjpe (Picasso, Killa). The narration religiously follows the three-act structure by keeping the routine character introduction, a guy falls for a girl love story in the first 30 minutes, revealing the transgender twist in the next 30 and showcases how the characters deal with that twist in the last hour.
Ayushmann Khurrana, at this moment, is just like the climber standing at the peak of Mt. Everest thinking about “What now? Chandigarh Kare Aashiqui is yet again a safe space to move in because this allows him to do something he has never attempted before. He’s as convincing with his physical transformation as was playing blind in Andhadhun. Vaani Kapoor finally gets a chance to prove the level of effortlessness she can achieve by surrendering herself to the character. Her urbanised look is somewhat similar to what she did in Befikre but with multiple additional layers of emotional depth and connection.
Abhishek Kapoor, predictably, keeps things sanitised with the sensitive messaging of a transgender love story because of obvious reasons. Expecting a Nagarkirtan from this would’ve been foolish from my side, but as complained above I hoped for a few more laughs. Kapoor injects the drama in the second half which could cause an imbalance for many. Sachin-Jigar is finally back after a partial revival in Shiddat. With a proper balance of quirky, refreshing and heavy-on-heart songs, the music album as a package goes well with the narrative.
Chandigarh Kare Aashiqui brings in the complete package just as Ayushmann Khurrana’s films are known for. It entertains you at the same time addressing a sensitive subject beautifully painting the message of ‘love is love’.