Charles Enterprises Malayalam Movie
Subhash Lalitha Subhrahmanian's "Charles Enterprises" is a film about people in dire circumstances that force them to do something extreme in their lives. Balu Varghese plays Ravi, a youngster who cannot find a suitable partner due to his night vision problem and faces a job crisis. When the light goes dim, Ravi has to hobble his way home. Ravi works at a modern cafeteria, and his devout Hindu mother Gomathi (Urvashi) is a strong believer in Lord Ganesha.
A Ganesha idol at Ravi's home is at the heart of the film's plot. Ravi's larger family wants his mother to reinstate the idol at the family temple, but she doesn't want to give up her prized possession. There is also a group of artifact smugglers from Tamil Nadu who want a piece of the pie. Will the idol be a boon for the family, or will it bring them bad luck?
The premise is interesting enough. There are multiple blind people here. Ravi has partial blindness at night, whereas his family has blind faith in the power of the almighty. On the other hand, Kalaiyarasan plays Charles, a Tamilian who pickpockets and has a dosa batter business to keep his family afloat. It's not like Charles wants to pickpocket, but he has no other option to keep the lights on in his family. Arguably, the antique smugglers also have similar reasons for doing what they do in life.
Charles Enterprises is a reasonably engaging film, although it lacks flavor. Writer-director Subhash Lalitha Subhrahmanian uses many characters to add some flavor to this otherwise unremarkable film, like a gang in Ravi's colony who tries to catch a thief and a neighbor who hits on him. However, these elements fail to make the film interesting enough.
Kalaiyarasan's Charles makes an entry early in the film but reappears as the plot thickens in the second half. I fail to understand why the film is named after Charles. There are unnecessary sex and fight scenes involving Charles. A love track between him and his Tamil girlfriend would suffice to show that Charles is also a decent human being, but the director adds a sex sequence to the script. For some reason, the plot of the film takes place during COVID. Coronavirus disease is just an excuse to include masks and sanitizers in the script. I wonder why the vast majority of films set during COVID have nothing to do with the health condition.
The film is hardly hilarious and does not have any remarkable performances either. Balu Varghese, Urvashi, and Kalaiyarasan all do decent jobs to make their characters interesting. I liked the warm and gentle relationship between the mother and her son, and Urvashi and Balu Varghese make a good combination. Guru Somasundaram plays Ravi's father, and their delicate relationship is also something that makes for a reasonably pleasant watch. That said, there is only so much the actors can do to elevate the script.