July 04, 2020
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The film has a surreal quality charged with elements of mystery and fantasy.

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Starring: Dulquer Salmaan, Parvathy Menon
Directed by Martin Prakkat
Rating: ***

Overwhelmed by the ennui of her job, her life and a tiresome marriage proposal to a rich oaf, Tessa (Parvathy Menon) just flees from it all. She rents out a dilapidated room at the top of the stairs in Fort Kochi. When she steps into her room, it takes on a life of its own. It transports her into a mesmerising land filled with art works abandoned by the mysterious previous lodger (Dulquer Salmaan). Tessa, broom and brush in hand in a bid to clean up the room, stumbles upon a brilliantly sketched graphic novel. And the story comes alive: the room, the former roomer and a thief who comes a-robbing. Tessa, spellbound, learns that the roomer accompanies the thief on his nightly adventure. They clamber up a roof and look down through an opening and what they see shocks them. The novel ends abruptly there with the rest of the pages left blank. This intri­gues Tessa no end and she sets out on a magical journey to find the characters of the novel and the former roomer, a secretive man who slips in and out of people’s lives. Is this for real? Is he a djinn? The film has a surreal quality charged with elements of mystery and fantasy. Charlie sure has the potential of crossing borders and becoming a pan-Indian phenomenon: a veritable Charlie industry.

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