Abhishek Kapoor is a master when it comes to making unconventional and emotionally stirring films like Kai Po Che, Fitoor among others. With his new movie, ‘Chandigarh Kare Aashiqui’, he has yet again managed to give the audiences an insight into the minds of a minority population, the transgender population keeping the Indian society alive.
The protagonist of this movie is Maanvi (Vaani Kapoor), a zumba instructor who is a transgender. She has undergone gender reassignment surgery in the past and she is still figuring out how to be her utmost self to experience contentment. Maanvi is perfectly complemented by Manu (Ayushmann Khurrana) who is a gym beast with his gym running in a loss currently. Maanvi’s zumba classes attract a lot of attention and clients which ends up saving Manu’s gym.
The story of this movie then follows a usual route of the guy and girl falling in love with each other but there is one twist which Manu cannot let go off. He cannot bear the fact that his love is a transgender as it questions his taste and manhood. With this character, Abhishek Kapoor has tried to display the immediate reactions people develop towards transgender people. To have a valuable ending, the second half of the movie is about Manu growing to be mature and understand Maanvi as a person which was a good idea.
Through the social support of Manu and Maanvi, we see the difference it makes to have people who exhibit support and acceptance in contrast to others who show micro-aggressions. All this collectively has an impact on the mental health which Vaani Kapoor has shown beautifully and quite bravely. Chandigarh Kare Aashiqui’s story is a new concept which had to be dealt with very carefully so as to not offend or hurt anyone’s feelings while also being informative and eye-opening.
Like all Ayushmann Khurrana films, this one also comes with a social message, “love is love” which is reinforced very strongly. The only difference is that he is not the one who is going through the issue but he has a very good chemistry with Vaani Kapoor. Although this movie lacks the humor that the previous Khurrana movies have had, it is the very minute details which makes the film a good watch. Furthermore, Sachin-Jigar’s music always adds on to the movie, just like this one.
Talking about self-identity and society’s role in that, we humans are social beings and whether or not people agree or disagree, we are affected by what others think. That plays a key role in us forming an identity for ourselves. To think of this from a transgender person’s view, I could imagine the difficulty faced by them in real life as the lack of acceptance from the society might sometimes lead them to not accept their new identity. The process of undergoing a year of therapy and the surgery in order to accept the new self goes in vain, just because of other people’s view. We as a society should take a lesson from this movie about atleast taking the first step towards accepting everyone as humans, irrespective of gender, race, caste, etc because if we don’t, who will?