Project Name – Hello Charlie
Cast: Jackie Shroff (MD Makwana), Aadar Jain (Chirag Rastogi aka Charlie, Shlokka Pandit (Padma), Elnaaz Norouzi, Darshan Jariwalla (Mama Ji), Rajpal Yadav (Forest Officer)
Direction: Pankaj Saraswat
Ratings: 3.5 stars
‘Comedy’ as a genre is always in demand, especially in today’s strenuous times. However, to make people laugh is no ‘monkey’ business. However, Amazon Prime Video’s latest movie offering Hello Charlie proves otherwise. It has a Gorilla named ‘Toto’ who tickles you to glory. OTT shows and films across platforms usually tend to deal with ‘stone on a shoulder’ kind of heavy subjects and storylines, so, a rib-tickler like Hello Charlie comes a welcome change.
The story starts when Chirag Rastogi aka Charlie (Aadar Jain) comes to Mumbai in hunt of a job to pay off his debts. He selects his uncle’s house (Darshan Jariwalla), who runs a transport business, as his abode of heaven in the city and makes an attempt to make a new beginning in life. However, twisted destiny sends life in a tizzy. Remember Akshay Kumar’s ‘Panauti’ act in Housefull? From serving as a pizza boy to a salesperson, he tries his hands in everything but fails miserably thereby facing money troubles.
On the other hand, there’s MD Makwana, the CEO of a billion-dollar empire (Jackie Shroff) on the run after earning the tag of a loan defaulter worth millions. He’s desperate to get out of Mumbai and eventually the country but is short of ideas. That’s when his love interest (Elnaaz Narouzi) comes up with a fascinating idea of sending Makwana inside a gorilla suit to cast the impression in public that the animal whom she has lovingly named ‘Toto’ is on its way to Diu to perform at the circus. And guess who pops up in the situation as a savior to help him travel out of the city to Diu in exchange of big money? None other than Charlie. However, he’s completely unaware of the fact that it’s actually Makwana inside the gorilla suit and not a real gorilla that he has pledged to deliver to Diu.
What follows is a series of hysterical side-splitting incidents unfolding one after the other and Charlie’s journey with ‘Toto’ gets all the way more exciting and dramatic. However, there is an interesting twist, Charlie’s truck keys get stolen by an immoral and impish person, Patel. That’s pretty much a ‘blessing in disguise’ for Charlie and also Padma (Shlokka Pandit), who has been trying to flee from Patel’s evil clutches for a very long time. Both of them seek help and support from each other and that’s where the real story begins. But will Padma be able to free herself? Will the world ever get to find out about Makwana’s gorilla truth? What if actually, a real gorilla came in the scene to add to the overall beer and skittles factor? Well, no more spoilers here.
Hello Charlie did rake in a lot of buzz before its release owing to Aadar Jain’s debut, the ‘chiraag’ of the Kapoor clan. Well, he certainly creates an impact with his charm and expressions and he pulls off his comic act effortlessly. Jackie Shroff, like fine wine, gets better with age. Classy as ever. He makes ‘Toto’ enjoyingly endearing with his palpable gusto. Shlokka Pandit shines with her flair, right from her introduction dance sequence in Soneya Ve song till the end, she slays it big time. Elnaaz Narouzi, Rajpal Yadav & Darshan Jariwalla add dollops of masti to the funny flavour. The screenplay flows seamlessly keeping the audience entertained and engaged, without any dull moment. Pankaj Saraswat’s direction is on point as he sticks to the basic.
Toto is the star of the film and the movie is a true family entertainer for your weekend binge list. With Hello Charlie, let’s laugh a little.