Main Aur Charles

Main Aur Charles’ has been written and directed by Prawaal Raman. The film revolves around the notorious criminal Charles Sobhraj and how he charmed and manipulated people with is mystique personality. The film is narrated from the perspective of police officer Amod Kanth who handled Charles’ case. Randeep Hooda essays the role of Charles while Adil Hussain plays the role of the police officer. Richa Chadda and Tisca Chopra are also cast in the movie.

Infamous as the ‘bikini killer and serpent’, Charles is introduced as ‘charming, hypnotic, brutal and intelligent’. With an overarching tone of the 70s and 80s era, the film narrates a series of crimes committed by Charles. Newspapers carries the stories, people talk about, bodies of women are discovered, revealing that a criminal mind is at work.

Charles is convicted of multiple murders and is sentenced to death in Thailand, so he flees to India to escape the penalty. Here too, he repeats his acts and charms women, drugs them to death and escapes with their passports. His mysterious personality and charismatic charm works like magic on a bored princess  Malvika seeking adventure, a young hippie girl gets attracted by him, only to be deceived. A law student Mira, played by Richa Chadda who falls madly in love with him and a jail supervisor and others narrate their encounters with Charles.

Director Raman focusses on the daring escape of Charles from the high-security Tihar Jail where he enlists the help of his inmates as well as some prison officials to make his escape. He continues to evade the police of different cities Delhi, Mumbai and Goa who chase him. Even when he is gets caught in Goa, police departments of the different cities fight over the jurisdiction. Journalists write about his cunning ways which gives him a celebrity status.

A Delhi cop Amod Kanth played by Adil Hussain pursues him and becomes frustrated at not being able to lay his hands on the slippery ‘serpent’. He is unable to tolerate the fact that even his wife, played by Tisca Chopra finds the criminal ‘intelligent’.

‘Main Aur Charles’ is the story of Amod’s relentless chase to put Charles behind bars.

The multiple timelines in the film causes a lot of confusion and the script overall is lacking. Otherwise the film has been stylized beautifully. The 80s setting is brilliantly created and the cinematography is interesting with the play of light and shadows.

Randeep has not just nailed the look of Charles in his bell-bottoms, over-seized shades, flat cap or hairstyle, but also with his body language, expressions and accent. He looks every bit Charles Sobhraj that no other actor could be imagined in the role.

Adil Hussain is a fine actor and has done a commendable job, so has Richa who is so much love-struck with Charles’ personality that she helps and defends him. Iranian model-actress Mandana Karimi also makes a cameo appearance in the movie.

The film may not be very much enlightening about the primary character or incidents, but it is high on style and depiction of the yesteryear culture. Above all, Randeep’s portrayal of Charles is praiseworthy.