‘Ram Singh Charlie’ Movie Review: Nitin Kakkar’s film starring Kumud Mishra and Divya Dutta will tug at your heartstrings
Divya Dutta, Akarsh Khurana, Kumud Mishra, Farrukh Seyer, Salima Raza, Rohit Rokhade
Bollywood Bubble Rating
The life of an artist is a constant struggle peppered with internal conflicts, existential crisis and insecurities. In a highly mechanised world, art may not always bear sweet fruits for artists. In fact, more than often it brings them distress, sufferings, social and financial problems. The only escape for artists is ironically their art. The fulfilment of a performance neutralizes everything that they go through. ‘Ram Singh Charlie’ starring the supremely talented Kumud Mishra, is a film that portrays the struggles of a circus artist. The film is directed by Nitin Kakkar who has also co-written the film with Sharib Hashmi. It follows the life of its title character Ram Singh known by his stage name, ‘Charlie’, as he is left to fend for himself and his family after the circus is closed down in the face of financial losses. Ram Singh’s forte is bringing out the nuances of the great Chaplin to life, he finds solace in his Charlie and when this catalyst of his life is taken away from him, he starts to crumble under the extreme weight of identity crisis.
The film opens with a birds-eye shot of the Howrah Bridge spread across diagonally on the frame with colours resembling an SM Pandit painting. We are soon taken to the streets of Kolkata where Ram Singh, the alter ego of Charlie is sprinting under the scorching sun as he pulls a rickshaw to drop school kids to their home. The circus artist inside him surfaces as he entertains the kids. From here we snap into the flashbacks of how this struggle started for Ram Singh and his family. The sequences of the circus’s closure have been wonderfully executed with the voiceover of the circus owner binding the after-effects of it. Shots of hanging boots, circus tent being pulled down, empty plate, switched off series bulbs, a circus employee fading out, and a safety net telling us about the management’s decision of giving 3 months’ advance salary to save the employees from a financial free fall, everything has been told in a metaphorical sense.
Kumud Mishra has always impressed the audience with his character roles; it’s only natural for him to tug at your hearts as the lead in this film. Ram Singh and Charlie are two different persons and the way Kumud swings between them, renders a tremendous depth to his performance. His body language, dialogue delivery and the exhibition of his character’s vulnerabilities hold you with the power of hypnotism, in every shot that he is present in. The film also stars Divya Dutta, Farrukh Seyer and Akarsh Khurana and all of them have done a splendid job. Divya, who plays Ram Singh’s wife, speaks the most when she isn’t saying anything. Her expressions blended with the silences spell a charm, leaving you asking for more. Only an actress of her calibre could have pulled off this role while perfectly augmenting Kumud’s performance. Akarsh Khurana as the circus owner delivers a good performance that fits in the scheme of the film. However, it’s Farrukh Seyer who stands out with his effortless performance and incredible dialogue delivery. The man swiftly changes gears as per the script’s demand and puts up a marvellous show.
While the direction and performances were good, the writing definitely could have been better, especially the dialogues which seem forced or animated at some places. The screenplay loses the momentum towards the end while trying to do many things. If not for the amazing performances, the film would have imploded at that point. Another highlight of, ‘Ram Singh Charlie’ is its music and score. The soundtrack by Arijit Dutta and Somesh Saha is a good mix of flavours from, ‘Mela’ which is reminiscent of the classic, Indian Ocean vibe, ‘Ratiya’ crooned by Suchismita Das to ‘Jeene Ko’ performed by Dutta himself, the album offers a varied palette despite limited tracks with the background score accentuating the storytelling.
Except for loose writing at a few places, ‘Ram Singh Charlie’ is a wholesome experience that deserves the audience’s love mainly for the performances of its lead, the supporting cast and the music. I am going with 3 stars.