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Chandu Champion: A Triumph of the Human Spirit in Kabir Khan’s Latest Endeavor



Kabir Khan, the acclaimed filmmaker renowned for his knack for portraying the narratives of social misfits and underdogs, has once again brought to the silver screen a rousing sports drama in his latest creation «Chandu Champion.» Inspired by the extraordinary life of Murlikant Petkar, India’s pioneering Paralympic gold medalist in 1972, who reclaimed the spotlight after being honored with the Padma Shri in 2018, the film narrates a tale of unwavering resilience and the game of destiny.

Set in the backdrop of wrestling rings, boxing arenas, and swimming pools, «Chandu Champion» symbolizes ‘taqdeer ke khel,’ the interplay of destiny in human lives. The storyline unfolds through a flashback, tracing the journey of a young Maharashtrian boy, inspired by the historic victory of K. D. Jadhav at the 1952 Summer Olympics, who sets out to carve his name in the annals of wrestling.

As fate weaves a tumultuous path in Murli’s life, encountering ridicule, disapproval, and adversity, he ventures into the Indian Army, where a new coach, Tiger Ali, introduces him to the realm of boxing. A tragic turn of events during the 1965 war dashes his ambitions of an Olympic medal, culminating in a life-altering injury from enemy bullets.

Undeterred by his physical limitations and the haunting memories of his past, Murli’s indomitable spirit propels him to transcend barriers and emerge victorious in the Heidelberg Paralympics, heralding India’s maiden individual gold medal in the Paralympic arena. Through deft cinematography by Sudeep Chatterjee and gripping action sequences by Robert Miller, the film encapsulates the essence of Murli’s journey with poignancy and fervor.

Treading the fine line between fact and fiction, Kabir Khan delves into the historical context surrounding Murlikant Petkar’s triumph, resonating with similar narratives like that of Milkha Singh. Kartik Aaryan‘s portrayal of the titular character exudes sincerity and authenticity, marking a watershed moment in the actor’s career as he embodies the challenges and victories of Murli’s life with compelling conviction.

Rachel Adams

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