Hello Charlie review: Not a madcap comedy

There’s an idiotic, entitled man child who’s projected as a simpleton, there’s an absconding fraudster and his arm candy, there’s a circus owner and a dancer-performer and then there’s a gorilla, you would think that’s a recipe for a madcap comedy, except that it’s not. Hello Charlie employs all the comedy tropes, but the gags are unoriginal, the plot is waferthin and the characters not engaging.

Aadar Jain plays the role of Charlie. He comes to stay with his uncle in Mumbai to earn money and pay off his father’s debt. Though his intentions are good, he’s good for nothing. He is unable to hold onto any job because of his lackadaisical ways. Jackie Shroff plays the role of a banana-hating fraudster Makwana (this becomes a running gag). His girlfriend unsurprisingly called Mona (Elnaaz Norouzi) suggests he escapes the country wearing a gorilla suit and enlists the help of Charlie to transport him to Diu.

Thus, ensues the adventure between Charlie and Toto. Throw in a greedy circus manager, a dancer (Shhloka Pandit) for some romance and a forest ranger (Rajpal Yadav) and that’s the plot of Hello Charlie. There’s also a twist in the tale – there’s another gorilla, a real one, who’s roaming around the forests of Gujarat after a plane crash.

You would think Charlie is the protagonist of the film, but he’s not. Toto is the film’s hero. He changes tyres of the truck, provides comic relief, pushes the truck when it stops running. At some point in the film, a veterinary doctor tries to revive an unconscious gorilla without realising that it’s actually a man in a gorilla suit. The makers of this film were really aiming for mindless comedy. You are forced to ask, is a film really worth watching where the gorilla gets the maximum screen time?

Aadar Jain tries hard to play a character that’s not at all endearing. Shhloka Pandit and Elnaaz Norouzi have very little to do. The film has a talented set of comic actors with Rajpal Yadav, Darshan Jariwala, Girish Kulkarni, Bharat Ganeshpure but the dialogues and poorly etched out characters fail them. Jackie Shroff who spends most of his time pretending to be a gorilla deserves better. If you are looking for something light and fun to watch this weekend, pick anything but this.

Title: Hello Charlie

Platform: Amazon Prime Video

Cast: Jackie Shroff, Aadar Jain, Shhloka Pandit, Elnaaz Norouzi, Rajpal Yadav

Director: Pankaj Saraswat, Advait Kapoor

Rating: 1 star

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