Review Main Aur Charles & earn 20 DM Points. Exchange DM points for cashbacks*
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Non-linear narratives are tough; too many things can go wrong. The risk is more so in case of well-known stories like the one about convicted and famous sociopath Charles Sobhraj. Prawaal Raman, the director, doesn't have a huge body of work to boast about. But he surprises you with the executive of this movie. The movie is like a spiral that starts loosely and keeps sucking you in further and further, into the deeper and darker morasmic intensity of a magnetic criminal whose main strength like it is highlighted during the movie, is the physical proximity he gets with his victim.
Aided by stunning camera work by Anuj Rakesh Dhawan and assorted medley of sound tracks by different composers, the movie is not a biopic as much as it is a dissection of a mind that worked in mysterious ways, of a man in peace, who loved indulging in his desires and doing whatever it takes to afford them. Convicted in Thailand, Charles is eventually caught in India but before he could be extradited and executed he plays his own mastergame, one trick after another. Luckily for law, Amod Kanth (Adil Hussain) is a brilliant, honest cop who makes sure Charles doesn't succeed.
The movie highlights the role of media in glamorizing criminals, in how they ate out of his hands as he dispersed his stories in his French accent. The movie highlights the loopholes in law as the criminal bribes one jailor after another and wins them over and the criminals with his charms getting them to do his bidding. But the highlight of the movie is the play of lights, of symbolism, of the shadows and contoures that turn obscenity into art, hinting at fantasies without ever indulging in them, almost reflecting the thought process of the minds at work in the movie and how vulnerable people get sucked into the whorls. The soundtrack is situational entirely and blends into the movie along with the layers of camera work and narrative with minimal dialogues.
Randeep Hooda as Charles is a winner, with his wicket, conniving eyes constantly condescending and smiling at others while his tongue rolled out velvety words for everyone. Hooda's screen presence, his calm demeanour, his mannerisms and his way of talking were all too magnetic almost like the criminal he played. All in all, this is a psychological thriller that is a delight to watch coming from Bollywood, where we are not familiar with too many well-directed thrillers, leave alone a psychological thriller with so many twists, exploding in well-timed manner, almost like letting your mind wander and lose itself in fantasy before being drawn back in.