hello charlie

A scene from “Hello Charlie.” (Publicity Photo)

The wannabe Disney feel is there in the relatively breezy first half. Makwana (Jackie Shroff), a notorious scamster absconding from the police, wants to migrate to safer shores (read Dubai) and his mistress, model Mona (Elnaaz Norouzi) suggests he don a monkey suit and be carted to Diu, the sea-port from where a boat can take them there.

Enter Chirag a.k.a. Charlie (Aadar Jain), a young, nerdy man who has to repay his father’s debt and, against the express wishes of his uncle (Darshan Jariwala), who owns a truck he says must not be touched except to be cleaned, uses it when Mona offers him a grand amount to cart the caged Makwana, dressed up in a monkey suit to Diu.

The (mis-)adventures that follow include absurd to more absurd developments, a real gorilla that has escaped from a crashed airplane and belongs to a zoo, and a crazy vet, apart from Makwana’s aversion to the monkey’s favorite fruit, the banana, and a greedy circus owner.

At times mildly funny, the film keeps a brisk tempo and can make susceptible kids chortle at the goings-on, which thankfully do not have anything offensive. The end is wrapped up, all things said and done, quite smoothly. But then, the wannabe feel of a Disney film goes totally missing. The dialogues are reasonably witty when the situations permit.

Aadar Jain makes the best of his role. Jackie Shroff, poor man, is helpless in his monkey suit, while Darshan Jariwala is his usual competent self. The two girls and the rest are okay, with Rajpal Yadav given a straight comic role.

“Hello Charlie” had the potential to be a classic, but is just about fun only while it lasts—provided you are an undemanding audience, kid or otherwise.

Rating: **1/2

Produced by: Ritesh Sidhwani & Farhan Akhtar

Directed by: Pankaj Saraswat

Written by: Pankaj Saraswat and Abhishek Khairkar

Music: Tanishk Bagchi, Gourov Dasgupta, Kanika Kapoor, Rishi Rich, Kiranee & Don D Marley

Starring: Jackie Shroff, Aadar Jain, Shhloka Pandit, Elnaaz Norouzi, Rajpal Yadav, Girish Kulkarni, Siddhanth Kapoor, Bramha Mishra, Bharat Ganeshpure, Darshan Jariwala and others

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