Kannada Movie – 777 Charlie
Director – Kiranraj
Actor – Rakshit Shetty and Labrador
Early on a Sunday at 10 a.m., the theater was packed with heartwarming assurance of how good clean movies always get good audiences. The joyful cheers and loud sighs spoke of a lot of sensitivity. I am writing about 777 Charlie, the long awaited Kannada movie about a dog. I can’t help but compare it to another blockbuster that got rave reviews and rave reviews – Vikram.
Now I know fans of the latter will protest saying there is no comparison between Sunny Leone and Meena Kumari but ultimately both are women, and Charlie and Vikram are movies. So stay with me.
Charlie comes as a whiff of a good family entertainer and it was heartwarming to see lots of little kids accompanying their parents into the theater room, which the more frequent types like Vikram, KGF, RRR don’t really encourage. A film where the heart is at the center, and a film where violence is at the center, leaves no room for indecision. But so-called action thrillers are drawing more and more crowds, making one wonder what’s so much blood and gore that’s so inviting?
Educate us about animal cruelty
It’s not about audience engagement, as Charlie keeps you glued to the screen with a mix of great script, acting, music, and cinematography. He also does his part to educate the uninformed about what amounts to animal cruelty, punishment, and some of the bad practices that occur in the business of breeding dogs for money.
Many friends have complained of seemingly healthy dogs succumbing to illnesses at a young age, and veterinarians have noted with concern the consequences of inbreeding and hormone injections being administered. It also raises questions about why there is no regulation about them. Time to.
A simple story of a dog cruelly treated but saved in time warms the hearts of the public. The transformation or rebirth of the human protagonist from a gruff, selfless angry man to one who loves the sights and sounds of life is Charlie the Dog’s journey mission.
Gem of an idea
For some, it will bring happy and sad memories of furry companions and for others, a jewelry idea to adopt one. A few masalas are added, but these can be easily ignored in what is ultimately a most unconditional love story. It will leave you with a soft warm glow in your chest.
And then there’s the story of a drug mafia, a rogue cop and the intelligence guy, full of gore and gore, stabbings and heavy gunfire, mean men and even meaner. The only saving grace is a heroic savior who can take on an army of bloodthirsty demons.
But as you walk away, you wonder what it was for. What is it called entertainer? In the way he terrorizes someone? Or totally desensitizes the viewer to violence? A youngster seriously showed me the different “creative” ways of killing that the film demonstrates! The film grossed over Rs. 100 crore in less than ten days in TN alone.
What, if anything, are these movies trying to convey? Or is it a mindless trap like video games are on the rise? Technical magic has its captive audience as can be seen in the multitude of recent action movies. But are stunning cameras and kickass graphics a substitute for a story with a soul? Unfortunately, the media without accountability rules today.
Music, the main force
The music also deserves a mention. One is noise and chaos (Vikram), the other uplifting. Nobin Paul’s music for 777 Charlie is one of the strengths of the film, with a combination of tradition and modernity. Good editing by Pratheek Shetty, direction by Kiranraj K and cinematography by Aravind Kashyap lend weight to an excellent performance by Rakshit Shetty and the charming, talking-eyed Labrador.
The only small grouse I have with the creators of Charlie is – why wasn’t an Indie cast for the role? A mass film like this has the power to transform the way people think. With so many Indie puppies in adoption centers and all around us, a change in attitude from dog lovers can go a long way in giving these strays a home. They are as lovable and as loyal as purebred dogs and often more hardy as well.
777 Charlie, the film and its reception, gives hope for other films of this genre with heart.