‘HELLO CHARLIE’ IS UTTERLY NONSENSICAL

Rating: 0.5/5
Why Excel Entertainment backed this film is a question that will haunt even Farhan-Ritesh for life

Hello Charlie is probably the stupidest film you would have ever watched. After this one, all the slapstick comedies in the past or the ones you couldn’t sit through will instantly start seeming cult classics. The makers thought this could evoke laughter? May Almighty instill some sense in them for their future projects.

Watch the trailer here:

PLOT

Chirag aka Charlie (Aadar Jain) is a simpleton, day dreamer, currently a pizza delivery boy, who finds himself driving his uncle’s truck, Girnaar Express, to deliver a gorilla from Mumbai to Diu in a jetty. Charlie is unaware that the gorilla is disguised business tycoon M D Makwana (Jackie Shroff) who is on the run after a multi crore scam. A mad road journey is the result.

STORY/SCREENPLAY/GENERAL

The story is written by the writer-director Pankaj Saraswat. The additional screenplay and dialogues are written by Abhishek Khairkar. Or is anything even written? You watch this film and wonder how this film would have been shot. They must have thought of an idea, and went straight on to some set, and just started shooting with whatever kept coming in their minds. You don’t find any element of a screenplay, no structure, nothing that could give you a sense of a film experience.

The situations created to carry on with the drama are so idiotic that those ant-elephant jokes or the worst PJs seem highly intellectual. One thing stupidly converts into another and you just keep watching with a plain face, rather a dull one. The film was supposed to be a comedy. In an attempt to make the film hilarious by incorporating incidents and events and what actually makes the story move forward with these events joined together, the film becomes a cringeworthy potboiler that doesn’t induce even a single smile, forget the laughs.

hello charlie, amazon prime, hindi, film, review, 2021
A still from the film (image source: amazonprime)

It is 2021. If the makers thought that by being loud or resorting to crassness, the film gets funny, they must now seek advice from someone sensible on how to make a film. May be Farhan Akhtar, who himself is a complete package when it comes to cinema. What happened to him? Didn’t he read the script? Didn’t he watch the film? Was he forced to give money for this film? How could he? If this story can find a producer, that too a house like Excel, you sure have a lot of ideas much worthier. Just head to Mumbai and have a film of your own.

The scenes with the gorilla (the caricature, even when it’s showed to be the real one) are so primitive that you wonder if they actually took any effort to shoot. Or is the film shot by a 5year old kid? Or no, even that would have been made better with atleast a childlike innocence.

PERFORMANCE

Aadar Jain performs well. Yes he does act nicely as per the requirements of the role. He comes across as a whacky weird guy which does give some respite while you’re watching the film. But he clearly seems to be imitating his cousin Ranbir Kapoor, big time.

Shloka Pandit doesn’t have much to do in the film, except for rendering glamour. She performs okay.

hello charlie, amazon prime, review, film, hindi, 2021
Aadar Jain during film promotions (image source: indiatv)

Jackie Shroff is capable of so much more, we know. Did he have bill to pay that he nodded to do this one? There’s nothing in his performance that is cherishable. He is loud and lousy, both.

Elnaaz Norouzi has an important role but even her sketch isn’t something to look for. She performs averagely. Rajpal Yadav like many of his poor ventures, here also gives in to the demands of the makers of doing utter nonsense on screen in the name of comedy.

Darshan Jariwala also has a typically awful role. He does okay but in such a role, there’s nothing that can excite you. Siddhant Kapoor also seems to be short of work to a high degree. He has a small role and he clearly could be better. But who cares?

OTHER TECHNICALITIES

The songs are the best for one reason. You know nothing will happen in terms of narrative there, so you can easily skip them. They are painful. The score by John Stewart Eduri is decent as per the scheme of the screenplay.

Cinematography by Andre Menezes is below average and uses a lot of VFX, which doesn’t seem out of place atleast. Production design by Shailaja Sharma, Sonam Singh and Abhijit Gaonkar is dramatic and artificial and over the top. Luckily, it suits the nature of the film.

Editing by Chandan Arora and Mitesh Soni is poor to say the least. Anything and everything happens in the narrative, but nothing of a substantial nature. Good that the film is 102mins long. Still excruciating but imagine your plight if this was longer.

0.5 rating is also because it’s a full length feature film and we shouldn’t give a zero. Why was this film made? Why did Excel invest? Bigger question- why did Amazon Prime buy this? We can get answers to the biggest mathematics theorems ever or the toughest physics problem, but not this.

Rochak Saxena

Rochak Saxena a Mass Media Teacher, former journalist at DNA and an ardent lover of Hindi films - literally. The blog derives its name from the popular term ‘Willing Suspension of Disbelief’, most commonly used in the world of literature and cinema. Meaning to immerse yourself in an unreal world (where you know what you see on screen is fake) with a self-proclaimed/declared belief/wish to consider it real, the willing world becomes magical. It’s the same magic every Friday that drives Rochak to share things in the perspective that it needs to be observed with. Every film is different. And the difference needs to be cherished.

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