Charlie (2015) Martin Prakkat, Dulquer Salman, Parvathy

Charlie is a 2015 Malayalam film directed by Martin Prakkat with Dulquer Salman and Parvathy in the lead, supported by Aparna Gopinath, Nedumudi Venu, KPAC Lalita and Kalpana, Neeraj Madhav et al. The film is narrated through the journey of Tessa (Parvathy) who goes in search of the tenant, Charlie (DQ) who stayed in a room she rented before her. Among his things he left behind, she finds an unfinished graphic novel. With it begins a search for the rest of the story, the tenant who drew it and a direction for the plot.

The story of Charlie begins thus. It would have been an ordinary story if not for that room, its exquisite interiors with its crafty stairs, paper lanterns, tinted bottles, wind chimes created by the art director, Jayashree Lakshmi Narayan. We enter with Tessa into Charlie’s world through this house, through the caricatures he has drawn of the people he has met and observed.. And stories some of those people have to say about him… Like he says, “what if we are not real and somebody’s imagination”. Sameera Saneesh dresses Dulquer in some very uber cool colourful attire to bring a very touristy feel and a feeling of lying lazily on the beach .. It brings alive the carefree life Charlie leads .. Through Jomon T John’s lens spanning parts of cochin and munnar (i think) a little more of the ever so loving, sanguine and enigmatic nature of Martin Prakkat’s and Unni R’s Charlie is revealed.. Tessa falls in love with the stories she hears of Charlie and the image she has sketched of him.. And goes in search of him..

Between Charlie and Tessa, Charlie is brought up by his father who has given him the freedom to explore his potential. But Tessa turns out to be the rebellious daughter who runs away from home to pursue her music and animation career against her families plans for her. So, her every step is seen as an effrontery in the eyes of her family where as Charlie has such qualms, he is born, brought and lives like the free bird.. the film gives us two characters who almost at the face of it lead the same kind of life.. But, there is a big but.. Through the banner of Finding Cinema, a very apt banner, the producers have tried to explore cinema taking the art director and costume designer also into their confidence to see what happens if Charlie and Tessa are let loose. The film with its choice of props, locations, shots, aesthetics, narration and depiction make an ordinary love story magical and exciting..

All that said and done, Charlie would have been a better film if it had a stronger storyline. The film comes alive in its moments… These moments or episodes are scattered accounts of Charlie by different people. The supporting cast – Nedumudi Venu is a joy to watch, his interactions with Charlie are just spot on.. Kalpana, she is no more as of this morning has a poignant but small role which moves the plot forward.. Dulquer, he has carried off the role of this character well, an extension of his Aju in Bangalore Days except that here, he is backed by his father in his every endeavour. Parvathy as Tesa has given an excellent performance different from what her role and period demanded of her as Kanchana in Ennu Ninte Moideen. The transition in her is worth a watch ..

I felt the first half a tad bit slow, but the film picks up pace in the second half… For the rebellious.. this is their film, .. It revels in such quirkiness and rebellion, from the dress to scenery .. It upsets the stereotypes of the society and its expectations, but shows that benevolent souls exist.

One highlight of the film for me was nobody dies, ails or is diagnosed with those bigger illnesses like cancer or some such… Usually films that build up momentum towards a certain character brings about the climax with such a revelation. Even if Charlie’s character is built up to be this Good Samaritan, the rescue man and benevolent soul like other reviews have said… he is still active and living life, dreaming everything in double by the end of the film.. (like Bunny says in the climax of Yeh Jawani Hai Deewani.) A feel good film.. A happy film..

Watch it for Dulquer, for Parvathy for the art director, costume designer and the cinematographer… A creative film where a lot of thought has gone into the prepping the look. Distributed by Mammooty’s PlayHouse, directed by Martin Prakkat and written by Unni R, all from Mammotty’s film camp.

Blogathon’16 Day 24

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pins & ashes

An Aquarius Woman

27 thoughts on “Charlie (2015) Martin Prakkat, Dulquer Salman, Parvathy”

          1. I loved all the extra items used in there; the tent, the chair, the doves 🙂
            The song when it has the word “maayajalam”, Dulquer is one top of those chairs, that moment 😀

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  1. Nice review… 🙂 The movie felt vague and abstract till Tessa reads the comic and there builds a huge curiosity to know what was in the missing pages… I thought that was cleverly done and also the second half had a very strong plot (reminded me of the doctor in Ayyalum Naanum Thammil) to make up for the build up.

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    1. I loved the film ayal njanum thammil..(there shd be a post somewhere here) It was such a well made film.. From the title onwards the story leads the way..

      In charlie, the film falls on track from the graphic novel. But there is a contunity problem though..

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      1. Yes Ayal njanum Thammil was indeed a good movie… did you know it is an adaptation Red Beard by Akira Kurosowa… It is a well made adaptation…
        Charlie’s script is epistolary in nature, hence we feel it to be discontinuous. If you remove that aside the movie would have become a flat and cliched romantic tale. I thought the treatment made it stand out…

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        1. The treatment of Charlie is indeed what makes it different, epistolary ..starting with the graphic novel..so the thief, the fisherman, house owner/broker, man with the goat and the doctor.. A non linear narration… As and when tessa finds them.. Charlie in this way looks metaphoric of christ somehow.. (Just a stray thought as I was listing the narrators).

          I did read it is an adapatation of Red Beard, haven’t watched it though I watched Rashomon and a few others of Kurosowa.

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  2. Nobody Dies? Kalpana does I think…….I guess she jumps off that boat…..
    It was a beautiful movie…..and had a fascinating climax…..
    The only scene where I cringed is when Charlie and his male companions talk about Death over DRINKS……..Agreed that Charlie is free spirited…..but he still drinks …..I could not take that!!! May be because I am a teetotaller !!

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    1. When I said nobody dies, I meant it in a way Charlie nor Tessa does not die. Usually in such films, like unnikale oru kadhaparayam, the very positive lead character has to die! Kalpana did jump off the boat! Ah! Free spirited can be anything. They need not always drink they can be teetollers too. But the popular assumption is such that it equates free spirtedness to drink/drugs/ or some form of addiction and rebellion.

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      1. I think I forgot that movies climax…..
        But I do remember the song by the same name “Unnikale Oru Kadha Parayaam”….And yes I your last line seems to be correct….These days its hard to come across a malayalam movie without one of these components Liquor, Gulf and a Bengali. But again Cinema is a reflection of the times we are living in right? The way Kerala’s society is evolving!!

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        1. Yea. Im glad that certain stereotypes have been replaced and new inea are emerging thru the so called new gen films. Yes, shows the evolving kerala in it’s spirit, migrated labour and the metro. What r unni said about kochi in big b is applicable to every where in Kerala and also malayalam films … 😊

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          1. Talking about Kochi….I just watched Ezra since it released it here today…..Many gave it rave reviews…But frankly It could have been better….Please Read my reviews on Guppy, Oru Mutthashi Gadha and Kammattippaadam….ONLY IF you have watched them…I try to dig deeper.. And Leave you comments down below…And once again Thank You for following my blog..Looking forward to reading your posts too!!

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            1. Haven’t watched any of these films. But reading your review of muthassi gadha i feel like watching it in spite of the all the bad reviews I’ve heard about it. Nice bumping into you as well. It is always fun talking films to a film buff 😊 cya around Aneesh.

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              1. Do watch Oru Muthashi gadha….Who other than Jude Antony has the courage to reverse the trend and make a granny his heroine……
                Watch and Then come and read my post…..I guarantee you that you will take away something you didnt notice about the character, scene or even the movie while watching it….
                Kammattippaadam is available on Hotstar website….You can watch it for free…..A quality thriller….with some great performances…….

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                1. I missed watching it on TV when it was aired during one of the festivals. But I feel kammattipapadam requires a certain kind of mood to watch. You seem to be a fan of Jude! Is this a nivin Pauly script? I hear somewhere his second project was nivin’s idea. Will watch and re read your post 🙂

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                  1. Nivin just said Oru Paavam Mutthashiyeyum Oru Bhayangara Mutthashiyeyum Ore veettil thanichakkiyal enthundaavum….Jude developed this thread and made it into a film……Movie has its moments but I thought it could ve been better…but its a comic movie you see…..These days I am quiet mad about Malayalam cinema…..and watch many directors…..But I liked Nazriyas character in Om Shanthi Oshsana….which was Jude s film.
                    As of now…….waiting for Oru Mexican Aparatha…………
                    Any ways Its all good!!
                    Catch You Later

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