Chhatriwali Review: Rakul Preet Singh Shines As She Is Out To Teach, Not Preach | Bollywood

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I could never wrap my head around Bollywood’s obsession with constantly addressing condoms as a chhatri or an umbrella. Not only is it cringe to hear repeatedly, but it somehow defeats the whole purpose of making films about these subjects. Moreover, picking a taboo topic and making a movie about it can turn out to be quite risky if you don’t stick to the agenda and don’t beat around the bush. Thankfully, Rakul Preet Singh’s Chhatriwali, directed by Tejas Prabhaa Vijay Deoskar, doesn’t stray much and follows a clear screenplay. There are some flaws here and there, but with all the humor and lighter moments, those can be somewhat overlooked. (Read also: Janhit Mein Jaari review: Janhit Mein Jaari movie review: One of the most hilarious movies of the year, ruined by unnecessary drama)

It all starts when Sanya Dhingra (Rakul), a chemistry graduate who is homeschooled, gets a job as a condom tester in a factory called ‘Can Do Condoms’ in Karnal, keeping it a secret from her mother, sister, husband and wife. parents in law. While she’s at it, Sanya realizes that the topic people don’t talk about – the use of condoms, or even the professions associated with their manufacture, is actually a means of saving lives and keeping women from opting for abortions and miscarriages due to unwanted pregnancies. At home, when her in-laws come to know her truth, Sanya does not give up and continues to fight with stronger determination and wants to deliver a message of safe sex, and especially sex education to children.

And there are many characters that Sanya has to deal with in this journey that she undertakes. Her husband Rishi Kalra (Sumeet Vyas) is a loving, caring husband who drives the woman to the gate of her factory every morning, but is oblivious to the fact that she doesn’t even work there. There is Rishi’s elder brother, Rajan Kalra, also known as Bhai Ji (Rajesh Tailang), a biology teacher in a school, who is an orthodox patriarch of the family and does not allow women to say much about household decisions. Nisha Kalra (Prachee Shah) as Bhai ji’s wife is a helpless housewife mainly seen in the kitchen who suffers from various health problems due to taking birth control pills regularly. Their daughter Mini (Riva Arora) goes to school, but is shocked to see why her father won’t teach her about biology. Then there is a condom factory owner Ratan Lamba (Satish Kaushik) who makes sure that Sanya’s secret stays safe with him, Dhingra Aunty (Dolly Ahluwalia) as Sanya’s supportive mother and Madan Chacha (Rakesh Bedi) as a drugstore owner who just can’t understand why every man in Karnal has suddenly become so aware and wants safe sex.

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Chhatriwali starts off as a movie that aims to make men understand the importance of having safe sex, and gradually shifts to why sex education is important with children of a certain age. Though the story is quite engaging and doesn’t get off track much, the story of Sanchit Gupta and Priyadarshee Srivastava needed a bit more depth. It largely talks about the problems on the surface without going deep into the root cause and why such a mindset still prevails in society. That said, what I liked and liked is that Chhatriwali does a lot of teaching on issues that matter without sounding preachy once. Some time ago, we even saw Janhit Mein Jaari (2022) starring Nushrratt Bharuccha – a film about a similar genre in which a woman who sells condoms overcomes resistance from her family and the entire city. Chhatriwali takes it up a notch with its treatment, comedy and impact.

Sumeet Vyas and Rakul Preet Singh in Chhatriwali.
Sumeet Vyas and Rakul Preet Singh in Chhatriwali.

And it won’t be wrong to say that it is a Rakul Preet Singh film from the beginning. Coincidentally, Rakul was recently seen in Doctor G (2022), a movie that talked about male gynaecologist. And now that she is with Chhatriwali, she seems confident that she can handle such taboo subjects with ease and maturity. As Sanya, Rakul is a true revelation and she slips so effortlessly into the skin of this well-educated, self-assured girl. There is nothing extraordinary about Sanya’s character and that’s the beauty of how Rakul adds so much to this ordinary part. The character of Sumeet Vyas is endearing and quite likeable. I wish there was more to his story than being a shop owner selling puja ka samaan and shown as a 12th failed good-for-nothing man. Rajesh Tailang is stern, gritty and emotes well with his expressions. Prachee Shah looks refreshing but again with a very half-baked character. In places she brings the most crucial twist to the story, but it’s so on the sidelines that you find it unsettling.

Chhatriwali provides you with plenty of relatable moments from when the biology chapter is avoided in classrooms, children curious about the reproductive system to husbands who don’t want to take precautions while having sex and the elderly in the house who are still not comfortable to talk openly to talk about sex. That said, it’s a family entertainer that should be watched with kids and the elderly because that’s the message the movie also wants to convey. Chhatriwali is now streaming on Zee5.

See also  Chhatriwali trailer: Rakul Preet Singh takes charge of delivering sex education | Bollywood

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