Lacklustre tale of the infamous Sobhraj

Main Aur Charles

Genre: Crime thriller

Director: Prawaal Raman

Cast: Randeep Hooda, Adil Hussain, Richa Chadda, and Tisca Chopra

Being screened at QFX Cinemas

KATHMANDU: There are times when you cannot fall asleep, but now an antidote has been discovered — watching Main Aur Charles. Slow pace, bad execution, unnecessary stretched scenes... do the trick. Director of the film Prawaal Raman had said in an interview that Main Aur Charles is “not a biopic on Charles Sobhraj. It is based on the jail break that happened in Tihar in 1986”. The story is from the perspective of Commissioner of Police Amod Kanth who was responsible for Sobhraj being behind bars and is Raman’s fictional take on Sobhraj.

The movie is a crime thriller, but it ends and you are not thrilled. Main Aur Charles is about chasing Charles (Randeep Hooda) a psychopath, conman and a murderer by Amod Kanth (Adil Hussain). Charles always manages to escape as he is a charmer and manipulator. Anyone who meets him is under his spell, but this aspect of Charles is somehow not convincing. It doesn’t come through through Hooda, despite meeting Sobhraj to portray the character. The calm yet menacing factor lacks. Also Charles’ victims are mostly women, perhaps the director tries to show that women have a weak spot for bad boys, but what he ends up portraying is offensive. It’s more like — females are stupid enough to be seduced by a man saying ‘you smell good’ or ‘you are beautiful’ in a French accent by a criminal!

One among many such women is Mira (Richa Chadda), a law student. She is mesmerised by Charles and is unwilling to see the truth. You want to slap the character for defending a criminal, which is how well Chadda plays the role. She is naive who is in love with a person she believes is a victim rather than a perpetrator. That rigidity of someone who is brainwashed garners her performance applause.

Hussain as Amod is perfect for the role, yet there is something missing. Amod is driven by the conviction to give justice to the victims but this doesn’t show in the film, not because Hussain is a bad actor — perhaps it’s the script, perhaps it’s the director. An apt Bollywood term for the character’s impact is — thanda.

Mentioning music becomes a must for obvious reasons, but there is hardly any track that is interesting, so let’s just keep it to that.

As trying to write more on this will again put you to zzz... mode.