Among the X'mas releases, the one which had garnered the maximum pre-release hype was Martin Prakatt's "Charlie" with Dulquer Salmaan essaying the role of the protagonist. The well crafted trailer had aroused the curiosity of the audience to such an extent that it registered record number of views within the first 24 hours of its launch in you-tube. So will the actual movie live upto the fanfare after all the queues for the other releases proves that it's not going to be a one horse race.
Tessa (Parvathy Menon) was a strong willed individual who wanted to live life in her own terms rather than adhere to the norms that her family had put for her. On the eve of her brother's engagement, she makes a discrete exit from her home when she learns that her mother was planning to fix her alliance as well. With the help of her friend, she finds herself an abode in Kochi which seemingly brings about a turn in her life. As she poured over the belongings of the previous tenant, Charlie (Dulquer Salmaan) which was left behind, his quirkiness & distinct character caught her fancy. What subsequently follows is her search for Charlie, who touched the lives of whoever he came in contact but whose whereabouts was oblivious.
It's been a couple of years since Martin Prakatt's "ABCD" had hit the screens which was a commercial success & I have to admit that I liked both his previous ventures with his debut being "Best Actor". Actually his latest venture "Charlie" is the best among the lot as it has been brilliantly conceived & executed. An equal share of the credit goes to Unni R as well who has come up with another gem of a protagonist after C K Raghavan of "Munnariyippu". The film instills the element of suspense surrounding Charlie but the fact is there is no such hidden aura about him & it's the craftsmanship of Martin in the screenplay which made it appear so. All the characters had some purpose or the other rather than just for the numbers. Though it will surely appeal to the target audience, I am not quite sure how the others will respond to it as it's got a kinda unconventional treatment. When the DOP is Jomon T John, nothing else needs to be said after all he is a genius at what he does. If Gopi Sundar's music disappointed in "Two Countries", over here he was in top notch form be it Akale or Puthumazhayayi & even the BGM was in sync with the mood of the movie. Another aspect which had caught my attention was the costumes by Sameera Saneesh as it was vibrant & hip and likely to set off a new fashion trend in colleges.
There is no doubt that the film relies on the charm of Dulquer & he has done absolute justice to the character in his own unique style. Even though there was risk of him appearing psychotic due to the myriad of emotions, he was able to tone it to an adequate measure. Parvathy was brilliant & to her credit the character seemed totally fresh without hangovers of her previous performances which speaks volumes about her ability. Aparna Gopinath & Nedumudi Venu makes their presence felt in the limited screen space. As for the rest, Soubin Shahir was hilarious while Chemban Vinod, KPAC Lalitha, Tovino, Neeraj Madhav etc did their parts aptly.
Verdict: Well a cracking initial was expected which eventually translated it to be the Malayalam movie with the highest ever initial collection. In all probability, it will be a blockbuster & which it truly deserves after all it's quite different from the usual run of the mill. In short, dont miss it!!!