Charles Enterprises movie review: A quirky, witty and probing tale on faith and fate
What: Charles Enterprises – the Malayalam movie starring Urvashi, Kalaiyarasan , Balu Varghese in main roles could have been an overwhelmingly sweeping path breaker but still the first feature by Subhash Lalitha Subrahmanian establishes its own identity in giving a quirky, witty and probing tale on faith and fate.
Charles Enterprises movie synopsis
Charles Enterprises is a story of Ravi Kumaraswamy (Balu Varghese) a young man from Kochi suffering from retinitis pigmentosa (night blindness and is unable to see without sunlight). Ravi works in a popular local coffee cafe. It’s the period of pandemic but not a lock down situation. Ravi’s mother Gomathi (Urvashi) is a staunch devotee and in her house the statue of lord Ganesha – Pelliyar is a treasure received by her from her ancestors and she guards the ancient Pelliyar idol with extreme care.
Balu wants to change his fortunes and incidentally one day he gets an offer to steal the ancient Pelliyar statue in exchange of good handsome amount.
A Tamilian pickpocketer who also makes dosa idli banter played by Kalaiyarasan comes for help. What happens next?
A social satire twined with a family drama that winks at faith and fate coined with subtle humour, friendship, love, dreams and more.
The first feature of Subhash Lalitha Subrahmanian who has made some good shorts gets ambitious and attempts a a social satire laced with subtle humour that winks at faith and fate.
Charles Enterprises is also a tease between believers and nonbelievers with Ravi’s mother Goamthi a staunch devotee and Ravi’s father a non believer a leftist. Without taking any particular names the movie manages to make a comment.
In Malayalam cinema this subtle attacks are common, and the bigger challenge for Subhash Lalitha Subrahmanian in Charles Enterprises was that he was dealing with Lord Pelliyar ( Ganesha – Ganapathi n this part if the world) and it’s like walking on a tightrope. Precautions need to be taken otherwise it could bounce back in the wrong way and turn into a complete disaster. Subhash Lalitha Subrahmanian shows his caliber to successfully make Charles Enterprises work without any fear of religious backlash.
Other things that work in the favor of Charles Enterprises are its simplicity, true nature and flowing story telling that begins uniquely with a fairy tale of two robbers and Lord Pelliyar’s statue told in animation.
The story of Charles Enterprises that follows is the extended version of the fairy tale we just saw in animation.
A different technique and approach by Subhash Lalitha Subrahmanian, in other movies for example in Tarantino’s Kill Bill etc, the animation part is included with the actual real movie sequence, an animated summary before the actual story is not a normal phenomenon. At places there are sly comment on faith and fate.
The performance by the actors are very natural were Kalaiyarasan , Balu Varghese are very good, Urvashi makes her presence felt. Abhija Shivakala makes an impact while Sujith Shankar is good as well.
Technically sound and shot in real locations, the milieu and the atmosphere is apt.
The humour does drops considerably during the final hours and in between it goes round and round without finding any purpose, the characters of the society where Ravi stays could have been given more scope and dimensions to add humour/satire.
Charles Enterprises final words
All said and done, Charles Enterprises may have been a overwhelmingly sweeping path breaker considering its potential but to be honest Subhash Lalitha Subrahmanian in his first feature establishes his own identity in giving a quirky, witty and probing tale on faith and fate.