Charlie Review – Charlie is a Malayalam romantic comedy released in 2015. A young woman Tessa moves into a house and finds the previous tenant Charlie has left his things as is in the house. As she cleans she finds the narration of incomplete incident and attempts to find more about it. Her attempt turns into a journey of her life and she falls in love with Charlie before she meets him.
Charlie is a soul searching journey filled with love. It seems to be a fairy tale of sorts that each one of us try to find in our life. The characters in the movie are sketched beautifully and each one of them stays in your mind later as well. The comic tone of the movie adds to a pleasant watching experience. Dulquer Salman and Parvathy Menon have essayed their roles with perfection. As the movie progresses they grow on you. The curiosity and eagerness to meet Charlie grows on with Tessa. As it grows on her it grows on the audience too. The other significant character in the movie is played by Aparna Gopinath. She is a great addition in the second half.
The screenplay never dulls for a moment and it is one of the best interval blocks I have seen for a romantic movie after Vinnaithandi Varuvaya. The movie also captures the essence of the culture of Cochin very well. The background score and songs merge with the sequences well. The climax sequences happening amidst of Thrissur Pooram has been done well. Kudos to Director Martin Prakkat and team for believing in Charlie and being candid in presenting it.
High Points: Fresh screenplay, Characterization of the artists, Comic flavor to the whole movie, Culture of Cochin, Performance of the lead actors.
Low Points: Not many low points here.
Overall, if you have been complaining about the usual cliches in movies go and watch Charlie it is fresh, emotional and provides a great viewing experience.
O Kadhal Kanmani Review – O Kadhal Kanmani is a Tamil romantic drama released in 2015. Aditya and Thara move into a live-in relationship without any commitment to marriage. The plot revolves around their lives.
Director Maniratnam has yet again narrated a light hearted romantic tale in O Kadhal Kanmani. The movie has most of the Mani’s signature style shots like the lead pair cuddling near the door passage on the train, travelling in public bus, short and sweet dialogues. Yet the movie is fresh and sees the world through the eyes of the newer generation. The plot is not new as it has already been explored in Bollywood in movies like Love Aaj Kal and Shuddh Desi Romance. Maniratnam has his signature touch to the plot which makes it very enjoyable watch. If you are deeply looking for a very intense storyline then there is nothing much in this, but the movie is a mere exploration of love in the present era. Cinematographer PC Sreeram and Maniratnam can create magic on the screen. The visuals are stunning. Once the hero, a video game designer and the heroine, an architect are introduced; their first outing Mental Manadhil song is a motorbike ride across Mumbai going through all beautiful architectures across the city and the visuals are like that in a video game. The treatment is absolutely stunning. The characters of Ganapathy sir and his wife Bhavani played by Prakash raj and Leela Samson adds a much interesting layer to the story. Within the walls of a small apartment in Mumbai, Maniratnam has painted the difference between the love of yesteryear and the love of the present times. The movie slows down a bit post the first half and then gets back on track during the climax. This is a point where the director seems to have struggled pushing the narration which is not based on a strong story line. Choice of Dulquer Salman and Nithya Menen is a good one. This would be a very memorable performance for Nithya as she has carried of the chirpy, bubbly character very well. Her mannerism for smiling for everything is a very intelligent representation of how she takes life casually.
High Points: Maniratnam’s direction, A R Rahman’s music, PC Sreeram’s cinematography, Casting of the characters.
Low Points: The movie does not have a strong plot, the use of disconnected narration to keep the element of surprise might not engage everyone
Overall O Kadhal Kanmani may not be the best of Maniratnam’s movies but still an enjoyable watch for the entertaining narration and stunning visuals.