Kartik Aaryan’s Chandu Champion: Smart money lessons you can learn from this film

Director Kabir Khan's biopic on paralympic gold medalist Murlikant Petkar fails to inspire despite the incredible true story. Savvy investors are advised to wait for the Kartik Aaryan's Chandu Champion to appear on an OTT Platform. Lessons on perseverance and never giving up are highlighted.

Manisha lakhe
Published15 Jun 2024, 11:34 AM IST
Money Lessons from Kartik Aaryan's Chandu Champion
Money Lessons from Kartik Aaryan’s Chandu Champion (X)

Kabir Khan, the director who made films like Bajrangi Bhaijan, Kabul Express and 83 delves into a biopic of a paralympic gold medalist and 2018 Padma Shri award winner Shri Murlikant Petkar. An inspiring true story of a young lad who starts wrestling, then life’s ups and downs lead him into becoming a boxing champion, a paralympics sports person in javelin, table tennis and even slalom skiing and a gold medalist swimmer.

With such an inspiring life, the film should have been incredible, right? Wrong. This paint-by-numbers film stumbles and falls between wanting to be Milkha Singh and Lakshya, and ends up failing to inspire because it is trying too hard.

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So what will a savvy investor do with a film like this? Simple. Wait for it to appear on an OTT Platform, of course. You will save ticket money and be able to fast forward through the forgettable songs and stock characters spouting predictable dialogue. Apart from that there are two money lessons to learn.

Win that Olympic gold medal and become a champion!

All the kids in the village laugh at Murlikant Petkar’s life-goal to become an Olympic gold medalist, calling him a ‘chandu champion’ (champion of losers). His father refuses to let him learn to wrestle, beating him because he fails repeatedly at school. When he runs away and joins the army, fellow recruits laugh at his ambition too. His opponents in the boxing ring laugh at him and he wins every boxing match except one. Life is not easy for him, he is hit by nine bullets during the war and one is lodged in his spine which renders him paralysed from waist down. And yet he perseveres and participates in the paralympics and wins the first gold medal for 50 m freestyle event. 

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He even attempts to sue the government for an Arjuna award for his achievements but is ignored. It’s only after a journalist and the local cops enquire that the Army is forced to look at his records and he ends up receiving the Padma Shri. 

As an investor, you will be the first to acknowledge that some of your investments may fail. But you need to learn from Murlikant the spirit of ‘never say die’. Keep your focus on the gold medal and keep working at making your dreams come true.

Predictability can be dull

The movie is filled with characters that are boringly predictable: an angry cop who tells Murlikant off, but ends up listening to his story; Murli’s sardarji friend in the army who helps him with English and boxing tips but you know he’s going to die; the Army drill sergeant; army recruits who dance a la Milkha’s ‘Hawan Karenge’ dance; boxing coach who is nicknamed ‘tiger’; Murlikant getting distracted from his goal by a girl during the Tokyo Army games only to lose the next match; strict head nurse at the Army Hospital.

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Each of these characters is deathly dull to watch, even though Vijay Raaz as Murlikant’s boxing coach adds some relief to the goings on. But it’s Kartik Aryan’s bad hair that shows what Bollywood thinks of country bumpkins. The refrain ‘satyanash, satyanash’ from the song in the film keeps popping up as we see Kartik Aryan pouting in scene after scene to make us believe he’s acting.

Smart investors like you will see these standard features every new financial offering presents. Even though dressed in fine feathers and phrases, there is nothing exciting about them after all. 

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The real life story of Murlikant Petkar is so amazing, it’s a pity that the story was wasted in such a poorly predictable template. In the final scene, when the India flag goes up at the Paralympics, you feel relief rather than pride.

Manisha Lakhe is a poet, film critic, traveller, founder of Caferati — an online writer’s forum, hosts Mumbai’s oldest open mic, and teaches advertising, films and communication. She can be reached on Twitter at @manishalakhe.


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First Published:15 Jun 2024, 11:34 AM IST
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