Charlie – The Unbearable Lightness of Being

charlie malayalam

Deus ex machine is a contrived plot device – at least that’s what the dictionary says about the idea. Someone who changes the story or bring about a change in the central character of a movie, play, novel, etc is DEM. And it has been there for centuries. A long long time back, Greek plays based on mythological stories gave us this term.

But what if you have a story that’s all about the deus ex machine for many people at different crossroads of life? Martin Prakkat, the director of Charlie and Unni R., the scribe, have achieved the impossible. It’s a complete package.

The movie is about romance and how romance is far away from reality. And Charlie tackles this theme beautifully – if ‘far away’ were actually the reality, then how will it be!

There’s nothing to write home about in terms of a big story of epic proportions. But the writers have loaded the film with plenty of love, affection, humanity and more importantly, empathy. We know from the beginning that this was a concoction prepared with a lot of care.

I realized that my fears about the movie being a commercial version of Kutty Srank, the Mammootty starrer were misplaced as I left the theater. There’s much to chew on after watching Charlie.

Dulquar Salman is top notch as Charlie, the Bohemian without roots or attachment. The character is simply magical – there’s a sparkle in his eyes and more than the costumes and the body language, we are made comfortable thinking that this is a living, breathing character. I don’t think anyone can play a Bohemian unless there’s a little bit of that inside the person! 😉

Parvathi as Tessa continues her dream run after Ennu Ninte Moideen. Aparna Gopinath comes out good in her difficult role. Nedumudi Venu has to be mentioned here – he is going from strength to strength as an actor with an amazing range. The rest of the actors like Chemban Vinod, Kalpana, P Balachandran are excellent. Soubin Shahir adds laughter to the proceedings and Neeraj Madhave shines in the small role. Tovino doesn’t have a full-fledged role but does well with whatever material the screenplay has for him.

Kudos to Gopi Sunder, the music director. The BGM and the songs were out of this world. And for the camera, nothing can describe the work by Joemon T. John. The visuals raise the screenplay to a different level altogether.

This is one Malayalam movie that will stand us in good stead. This is the kind of movie we’ve always discussed when we see a French, German or an Iranian movie on a foreign film channel!

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