Chandigarh Kare Aashiqui became the most-streamed content on Netflix within 24 hours of its January 7 release. As the film travels throughout the world, we examine it not only through the perspective of gender inclusion, but also through the view of a Chandigarhian!

While the city gets its due in songs—Ranjit Bawa’s Yaari Chandigarh Waliye, Hardy Sandhu-Dila Badshah’s doon ghar Chandigarh mein, and Hardeep Singh’s original Chandigarh Kare Aashiqui (remixed for the film)—the Ayushmann Khurrana-starrer puts the city’s name in the title. While Ayushmann has been given credit for the title, the actor from the city explains that the title originated from his other half, Tahira Kashyap, who is also a local inhabitant. So, what was the connection between this Chandigarh da munda and this Punjabi character? Ayushmann, a Chandigarh native, may have been a far cry from Manu Munjal, but as he puts it, “In Chandigarh, one sees individuals like him all the time.” You run into people like this all the time, especially at gyms, who place a premium on physical fitness. Even while I was in college and playing cricket, I met a lot of people like him.”

Manoj Lobo’s cinematography brings several of the city’s most famous sites to life. In terms of cultural influences, the city, which was created by a French architect, is ideal for many people of adjacent towns. It’s no surprise that Vani Kapoor, a transgender lady seeking to make a new life in this city, comes from Ambala.

According to choreographer Jas K Shan, whose quick glimpse is seen through the zumba moments, the film, directed by Abhishek Kapoor, justifies its title. “The picture has a metropolitan vibe to it, even though it was shot in Covid times,” she explains.

The subject is emphasised by the many characters’ contributions to the plot. Characters like the overbearing sisters in control of their brother’s love life, as well as Yograj Singh as the mentor, are characters that everyone from Chandigarh can identify to. “Not only do you get to view Chandigarh’s sights, but you also get to observe the typical Chandigarh attitude.” According to Jas K shan, “the video depicts how a normal Punjabi might react to a sensitive matter.”

“I felt as if the city never became a character in the film,” says Neelam Mansingh Chowdhry, “and because Chandigarh is in the title, I hoped for more signages.” But I enjoy that the film tackles an unusual subject.”

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