Producer-Ritesh Sidhwani and Farhan Akhtar
Director- Pankaj Saraswat
Star Cast: Jackie Shroff, Aadar Jain, Shlokka Pandit, Elnaaz Norouzi, Rajpal Yadav, Bharat Ganeshpure, Girish Kulkarni, Siddhanth Kapoor and Darshan Jhariwala
OTT Platform- Amazon Prime Video
Jobless Chirag Rastogi (Aadar Jain), coolly known as Charlie, leaves Indore and comes to Mumbai to stay with his uncle (Darshan Jariwala), who owns a truck to earn his livelihood. MD Makwana (Jackie Shroff), the eccentric on-the-run fraudster is based on the character of Mallya, whose ‘darling’ Mona (Elnaaz Norouzi) plans to disguise him into a Gorilla and take him to Diu from Mumbai to flee from the country through the sea.
Charlie agrees to transport the Gorilla, called Toto by stealing his uncle’s truck and the film dwells at length on the silly obstacles that he faces during the journey.
In order to create a case of mistaken identity a la in Manmohan Desai’s lost and found films, a real gorilla escapes a plane crash and Charlie also clashes with an opportunistic circus owner who wants to acquire the talented Toto.
What beats me hollow is why is a loud Punjabi item number being performed in a circus tent in Gujarat ?
The biggest drawback of the film is the incoherent screenplay credited to both Pankaj Saraswat and Abhishek Khairkar but to the credit of Pankaj Saraswati who is also an actor otherwise he manages to drive away your blues with his slapstick film.
Jackie Shroff is seen most of the time in the guise of the Gorilla and hence has hardly any scope to act whereas Elnaaz Norouzi who was earlier seen in the Sacred Games and a web series with Kunal Kemmu called Abhay is there in the film as Jackie Shroff’s beloved moll only to sizzle him as well as the audiences
The less said about Aadar Jain the better. Though he does struggle to raise humor with his painstaking efforts to regale the viewer, the guy who was last seen in Qaidi Band is let down with his striking resemblance to his cousin Ranbir Kapoor.
He ought to make it a point to get rid of his hangover and see to it that he changes his mannerisms and facial expression and even voice.
Newcomer Shlokka Pandit impresses in a small appearance as Charlie’s beloved. While Siddhanth Kapoor overacts, Rajpal Yadav is bearable though Bharat Ganeshpure impresses.
Darshan Jhariwala scores with his timing while Girish Kulkarni who is otherwise a fine actor in Marathi films is not able to get any scope at all. Nakash Aziz and Tanishk Bagchi’s One Two One Two Dance (penned by Vayu) is instantly catchy.
If only Pankaj Saraswat had concentrated more on a credible script and plausible comedy, who knows, Hello Charlie could have emerged as a good and entertaining children’s film but unfortunately the film as well as the actors tend to go overboard with their desperation but I’d say that it is a one time watch on Amazon Prime Video.