Main aur Charles closely follows events that took place in Charles Sobhraj’s life, though it never officially claims to be Sobhraj’s story. In the 70s and 80s, Charles Sobhraj was widely known, maybe even admired in some quarters, for his success with women and his image as a suave operator. There were tales of how he seduced and murdered nubile young women for their passports. He even got the moniker “Bikini Killer”, an epithet some men may envy.
Prawaal Raman’s film is high on style. There is nothing in the story which is not part of the public knowledge. Within 10 minutes of the film’s start, the story jumps 18 years to 1986 when Charles escaped from Tihar jail. The rest of the story revolves around Charles and top police officer Amod Kanth’s dogged determination to catch him.
This film will push Randeep Hooda to the top on the acting barometer. You forget you are watching Randeep and not Charles on screen. He becomes the character. His walk, side parted hair, dark glasses, slither, smirk and half French accent is perfect. He has an air of superiority which befits the character.
Adil Hussain, as Amod Kanth, impresses though he has done better work previously. He is restricted by lack of depth to his character.
Richa Chadda as Mira is competent as a lawyer smitten by Charles and who believes Charles is a result of his dysfunctional family.
It is the script that pulls the film down. Nothing in the story captures the enigma that Charles is. The film plays in a non-linear fashion cutting between past and present so frequently, it is hard to keep track of the characters in the story. First half is meandering which wanes audience interest. It feels like Main aur Charles can’t decide whether it wants to be a thriller or a drama.
Rating : 3/5
Starring: Randeep Hooda. Adil Hussain, Richa Chadda
Director: Prawaal Raman