Cast: Randeep Hooda, Adil Hussain, Tisca Chopra, Richa Chadha, Dijana Dejanovic, Alexx O Neil
Director: Prawaal Raman
Strong on charm and wafer-thin on substance, this glamorized and highly romanticized biopic on Internationally pursued conman-murderer Charles Sobhraj has Randeep Hooda in the eponymous role.
Prawaal Raman’s film on the presently incarcerated deadly impersonator and vicious killer, prefers to focus majorly on his hypnotic charm and magnetic effect on the ladies-rather than give us an in-depth account into the workings of his mind or provide credible answers as to how he managed that now infamous jailbreak in broad daylight. In fact the narrative plays hide and seek with all the possible thriller elements in the film.
The planning is not revelatory, neither are the mechanics involved detailed to a nicety. Instead what we get is a James Bond type (replete with a familiar sounding signature tune) anti-hero whose legendary fatal charm for the ladies is the only steadily highlighted point in this un-dignifying thriller-drama.
The addition of a counterpoint- Amod Kant (Adil Hussain) as the upright, moralistic cop pitted against a steady stream of humanity that sees Sobhraj as a dynamic hero meant to be idolized rather than incarcerated, improves the dramatics but the end result is not deep enough. The period styling, the sub-culture dynamics of the region (mostly Goa) and the casting is commendable.
Randeep Hooda does a bang-on impersonation replete with sexy suavity and accent. Adil Hussain is top-notch and Richa Chadha and the bevy of beauties fill up the spaces with elan. The script is the main defaulter here. The Mystique of Charles Sobhraj still remains a mystery. A fluff piece this, with all its slickness , glammed-up portions and efforts to be eye-pleasing still appears wanting. Even so it’s an enjoyable ride!