As we wait for him to appear (forgive me, I am shallow, and all I wanted to do was meet Randeep Hooda), the girls and I discuss the film, Main aur Charles, which is making a considerable amount of noise in the social media. D is quite vocal about the movie, and its ability to make the audience feel sorry for the ‘Bikini killer’, Charles Sobhraj, and the way the movie has highlighted him as a dark creature, who is loved and hated equally.
We are sitting with Randeep Hooda, who plays the controversial Charles Sobhraj, and switches to a French accent while speaking, that is bound to make women swoon (and it does! M almost falls off her seat as he finishes his short speech), and I see the way the man brings the character alive right in front of us. With a wide smile, which makes you feel that you’re the only woman in the world, and a swagger that is unmistakably arrogant, he plays himself, and he plays Charles, switching between the two roles effortlessly, and the audience is mesmerized.
Speaking about the movie, Randeep Hooda talks about several incidents which were strange, yet mesmerizing. If asked whether he used the line “Coffee or sex?” to someone, he smiles wickedly, and says, “coffee never came into the question”, and we all burst out laughing because he is audacious and bold, and its all Charles as we had seen him.
The director, Prawaal Raman, spoke about the way the movie came together. “It wasn’t very difficult for me, after I had received the permissions I needed. The movie was partially from the point of view of Commissioner Amod Kanth, and the chase gave it a definite edge which kept the audience wondering what’s next. The fact that most of it was real was another bonus.”
Main aur Charles has received mixed reviews – there are questions about the authenticity of the costumes, the plot, which often sympathizes more than it should with the serial killer, or the fact that there are some times when the plot tends to fall apart. But, despite the news, one of the few things where critics agree is the fact that the movie is all about Randeep Hooda, and the way he brings the character to life quite easily. And that, along with the rather lovely music (we had a couple of them sung by Saugat Upadhaya and Subhradeep Das at the meet), makes the film one of the better watches this year.
Main aur Charles is currently playing at the theatres, and is definitely a good option to watch. On asking what his Diwali plans were, Randeep cheekily declared “I’ll be watching Prem Ratan Dhan Payo”, and then quickly added, “Please be responsible and while lighting patakas, make sure you are safe”.
Disclaimer: Poorna Banerjee was invited to the event.