Main Aur Charles is a solid portrayal of Charles Sobhraj. It is dark & intense.
It starts off by depicting Sobhraj’s activities & history in Thailand with the background music falling in the place at just the right time. As soon as you get to know about his lifestyle in Thailand, the screenplay shifts on to Sobharaj’s imprisonment in India. The story unfolds in a non-linear pattern.
Charles Sobhraj is a French serial killer of Vietnamese & Indian origin & subsequently has been alleged of committing at least 12 murders. He escaped from India’s most highly guarded prison-Tihar Jail on 1986 which helped him get famous among the media.
The director & writer as well of the film, Prawaal Raman, with Randeep Hooda has successfully managed to highlight the charisma of Sobhraj.
Randeep Hooda’s role is a poetry in motion. The style, the hat, the glasses & that typical 80s hairstyle ; Hooda absolutely delves into his role as the time passes by. Every single thing done by Hooda is shrewdly exhibited. One can easily figure out that subtle crispness in Hooda’s attitude & body language. But it’s the french accent what takes you by surprise. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to discover that viciousness in Hooda’s eyes & the way he sits or even stands for that matter, it is pure joy to witness him as he unravels his bewitching charm.
It is easy to forget that Randeep Hooda is a polished Haryanvi speaker yet he literally makes you go in his awe at certain moments while speaking with french accent. There’s a thing called versatility & Mister Hooda masters that art.
The cinematography is immensely breathtaking as Anuj Rakesh Dhawan tinkers with lights & shadows.
Script writing is one of the most important things in a movie & the director seems to fall extremely short at times. 7 out of 10 times, you get to witness Hooda’s eyecatching charisma.
It changes gears from Thailand & shifts to Goa with the dances & the bikni clad foreigners. First half is all about laying off, establishing & making audience underatstand the shady nature & activities of Charles.
There is this scene where Goa, Mumbai & Delhi police start fighting to catch Sobhraj first which will make you chuckle. Detailed description of his dark deeds is narrated from the perspective of an Indian cop, Amod Kanth (Adil Hussain) which makes the title look apt. Hussain as the good, stern, moral police officer is perfect and his wife’s (Tisca Chopra) role is satisfying.
The movie excells in ths second half with Amod Kanth pursuing Sobhraj’s four associates, including his student girlfriend, Mira (Richa Chadda).
Chadda plays a cameo & there is this one scene where she tries to tell Kanth how misunderstood Sobhraj is. Her love for Sobhraj is unquestionable. Her depiction shows the fact how enthralling Sobhraj is.
One of the most underrated roles is that of Satpal (Sandeep Punia) who dazzles the crowd with his typical Haryanvi style & wit.
The last 20 minutes are beautifully shot with Dhawan (Cinematographer) showing the magical prowess in his department.
Main Aur Charles is a dark, intellectual and intense film with some brilliant performances while Hooda carrying the movie on his shoulders, depicting the hypnotic-cum-criminal Charles Sobhraj & managing to create a ruthless show.