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I knew the title "Charlie" was more than just a name. The title had to be something more associative to the protagonist's character in this movie rather than just his name. Charlie is a person who feels that even a name should have a ring to it, and thus randomly comes up with a new and flashy one for everyone he meets. Surely, he couldn't have had a rather simple name like Charlie for himself. Turning to google for help, I did find out that according to urban dictionary, Charlie means "the most amazing guy in the world".
Now, wave your hands, brighten your faces, stress on "Ch" and try saying Charlie slowly, making sure you grin while you do it. See? That is exactly how you feel while walking out of the cinema.
Who doesn't love movies about a hippie. We have all always felt that urge to let go of all the shackles that are holding us back, but are too afraid. We force relationships, stress out on jobs we don't like, study something because our parents want us to, eat to "look" good, say no to fun because money is more important. These are just normal things happening to almost every common person like us on a daily basis. So whenever we come across a person who doesn't bother about any of these, we are obviously going to descry. This is something that movie makers have banked upon. Showing the lead character as a person who doesn't use a cellphone, who doesn't have an address, who doesn't live in a single place for more than a week.
We all loved "Alexander Supertramp" from "Into the wild". How much we wished to walk away from everything, into the wilderness, like Emile Hirsch did. Tom Hanks as Forrest gump, who taught us all that being simple is important to be efficacious. So what happens when you are a rebellious girl who is running away from a cliched family that is trying to get you married off, in which only your grandmother (who used to be like you) is on your side, so that you can learn music, draw and paint and live life like a dream, and you come across a man who is more than just a hippie, more than a free spirit, a person who performs magic tricks, not only with props, but with people's lives, to make them feel better? You fall in love. That is exactly what happens to Tessa. Parvathy has given her career best performance as Tessa, a girl in search of a man whose charisma and spirit is like the one you hear in fairy tales. One which you have to see and feel, to believe. She rents a place where Charlie had been staying earlier. The place is full of stories and surprises and whatever Tessa thought to be as junk, turns out to have a story of its own.
Usman Ikka (P.Balachandran) asks her "Gin pidichu alle?" meaning "you got possessed by the Genie, right?" Charlie is like this Genie. You simply cannot not get affected by it. Tessa doesn't get affected. She gets possessed. She pursues the people behind the story in the comics that Charlie has sketched and left in his room and sets out to find him. Everybody that she meets refer to Charlie like he is unreal.
He is unreal. That's why he is in a movie. See, that is where the (smallest) drawback of this movie lies. The first half is all talk and no show. People are telling you, and you're not shown much of how Charlie's life works. The second half is where we, like Tessa, slowly get to experience Charlie's magic. Now, obviously, all that allure surrounding Charlie is because of Dulquer Salmaan. He knows exactly what he is doing, and he is asking you all to move over Premam. (Like, seriously)
His laugh, his pizzazz, his facetious attitude, simply everything about Dulquer is lovable in this movie. Martin Prakkat, having directed Dulquer previously in ABCD(American Born Confused Desi) knew exactly what he was doing with him. He also made sure Dulquer's acting doesn't overshadow that of others'. Chemban Vinod, Aparna Gopinath, Soubin Shahir and especially Nedumudi Venu, have all done an amazing job and together have defined "Charlie" in a way that you cannot imagine anybody else in their roles.
Martin Prakkat has also made sure that the complete weight of responsibility doesn't fall on Dulquer's shoulder by extracting the best out of cinematographer Jomon T.John and music director Gopi Sunder. Jomon's work in "Thattathin Marayathu" was a trendsetter of sorts, after which more and more directors started paying attention to mood lighting and here too his work is exemplary. Gopi Sunder's music is another highlight and his background score adds to the novelty of this movie.
Like in the movie, witness Charlie before he absconds, no point in regretting later.