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If you were born before early 70’s, you will recall the sensation Charles Shobraj was. Imprinted in your mind will be the images of the chequered cap, slight downward tilt of head, a thin mysterious smile and highly silent sharp eyes shaded behind big glasses. The man who captured the imagination of the nation. He was then the talk of the town without any social media backing him.
If you are born in 80’s and after that, who was Charles Shobraj is a natural question and you most likely found some of your answers in Google and the digital world.
You went to the movie with equally heightened expectations and what you saw was below par. The film does manage to capture uncanny resemblance to Randeep Hooda with the original. And that’s where the film stops.
Hooda maintains the body language, the style sense and the smile that captivated many but told nothing. At times (when not wearing glasses) he used the eyes to express. Look wise he is perfect Charles and he plays the role to full potential. Richa Chadda plays the role of Charles’s girl friend, a Law student named Mir. She does complete justice to it.
Sudhakar (Nandu Madhav) as the cop who goes to chase Charles in Goa and ultimately arrest him is a super underplaying of talent. The warden at Tihaar brilliant. And then you have Amod Kanth (Adil Hussain) who does a decent job but over plays it in mannerism. Amod Nath’s wife played by Tisca Chopra is a wasted part of the film. It is flimsy and shaky. It is so film that it affects mysterious flavour of Charles.
The subject is not exploited enough. Editing is shoddy. The pace unpredictable. Maybe the director Prawaal Raman of ill-
famed ‘Darna Mana hai ‘ forgot that the genre he was directing was different tis time. Many places there is too much of darkness and light play. Many places you wished you had subtitles. The screenplay is jaded. It does not rise to the demands of the story.
The jail break in 1986 from Tihar too innocent. The stark schematic mind not fully amplified. Charles does not come across as Charles, who was called many names including ‘The Serpent’, ‘Cobra’ and ‘Bikini killer’. Ultimately it is a director’s failure than anything else. He fails at many levels.
Music of ‘Main aur Charles’ is decent enough. Unfortunately it fails to helps the director to enhance narration or help create an impact.
Charles Shobraj needed a better director and a better film than this.
Main Aur Charles . Director: Prawaal Raman. Cast: Randeep Hooda, Richa Chadha