Aadar Jain might not be a ‘Kapoor kid’, yet he garnered much hype when he made his acting debut with Qaidi Band in 2017. Four years later, he’s back with his next, Hello Charlie (on Amazon Prime Video), and I couldn ‘t help but notice the uncanny resemblance he bears with his cousin, Ranbir Kapoor. Not just that, even his voice sounded like Kapoor’s. But there’s another hero who’s constantly vying for your attention – Toto, the gorilla.
Here’s a line in Hello Charlie: “Jo hazaaron ka loan leta hai woh duniya chhod kar jaata hai, aur jo lakhon ka loan leta hain, woh desh chhod kar jaata hai.” For a moment, I thought the film would actually try and be preachy, but it’s a relief that writer-director Pankaj Saraswat decided to stick with the mindless comedy.
Watch the Hello Charlie trailer here
A young boy (played by Jain), a gorilla, and several other characters come and go as we witness a series of adventures unfold. This is one of those totally time-pass films that you watch, laugh a little, feel bored also at some places, but nonetheless, it entertains and acts as a stress-buster in these tough times, when the world is struggling with a pandemic .
From what we saw in the trailer, a wanted fraudster, MD Makwana (played by Jackie Shroff) is trying to evade the arm of the law after duping banks in Mumbai of ₹15,000 crore. His girlfriend Mona (played by Elnaaz Norouzi) comes up with a plan to disguise him as a caged gorilla, Toto, so that no one finds him. Meanwhile, a real gorilla, also named Toto, who was being brought to a village zoo, escapes and is being searched for.
Chirag Rastogi aka Charlia (Jain), is a problem child who can’t seem to hold a job. Even when he gets the contract of transporting Toto to Diu, several mindless series of events happen along the way, one of them being him meeting a circus acrobat-dancer Padma (debutante Shhloka Pandit), who tags along with him for no reason.
Talking of performances, Jain doesn’t overboard, but there’s a lot more he needs to put into his acting skillset. Pandit is given very little screen time, and has little to do other than look pretty, though she sizzles in a peppy song and dance sequence.
One of the most convincing parts of the film is the gorilla suit. It’s as real as it gets and no point looks shoddy. I read somewhere the producers said they spent nine months searching for this perfect costume and that it costs a whopping amount.
Another problem area is the dialogues. It’s unfortunate that despite having actors that aren’t bad with their comic timing, Saraswat hasn’t written the lines in a manner that evokes instant laughter. Jokes fall flat at most of the places and honestly, there aren’t many, anyway.
Even the supporting characters – Girish Kulkarni as the shrewd circus owner, Rajpal Yadav as the forest ranger and Bharat Ganeshpure as a veterinary doctor – try to look funny with their appearances but not with what they say or do.
All in all, Hello Charlie doesn’t give you a headache but doesnt make you go gaga either. Let your kids watch this; they deserve a break from online classes.
Director: Pankaj Saraswat
Cast: Aadar Jain, Shhloka Pandit, Jackie Shroff, Elnaaz Nourazi
hey also deserve a break from the online classes.