Director: Nitin Kakkar
Lead Cast: Kumud Mishra, Divya Dutta, Ashish Khurana
The Title sound like Paan Singh Tomar, doesn’t it? Don’t worry, that’ s the only similarity 🙂
With Avarodh and now Ram Singh Charlie, SonlyLiv seems to surely be looking at the online streaming platform seriously. To top it all, the brilliant duo Nitin Kakkar and Sharib Hashmi again spin their magic wand, just like they did in ‘Filmistaan’.
Charlie (Kumud Mishra) is one of the oldest and key performers of Jango Circus, which was started by Masterji (Salima Raza) and her late husband. While she is highly sentimental about the circus and wants to modernize it, her son Nabeel (Akash Khurana), like any typical next-generation entrepreneur, looks at it more practically than emotionally, and convinces her to shut it down due to financial losses, thanks to the evolving modes of entertainment. They part with all their employees with a 3-months pay everyone get on with their lives, except Masterji and Charlie. Charlie always wanted to start his own Circus and Masterji believed he’ll do it one day.
Ramsingh moves to Kolkata with his wife Kajri (Divya Dutta), who was also engaged in the circus and is pregnant with their second child, and their son Chintu, who very innocently hopes to step into his father’s shoes some day. Charlie sends his family to their village till he is able to become self-reliant again. He tries his hand at doing gigs at private events, but it’s only for the money. He doesn’t really enjoy it, as inside him is a performer, an impersonator of Charlie Chaplin and a stage artist. Sacked from that job due to a small mistake at an event, he finally ends up being a rickshaw-puller to make the two ends meet.
Charlie gets acquainted with one of the co-performers Shahjahan (Farrukh Seyer) at a gig, who helps him find a place to just about live with his family. His dream of setting up his own circus gets rekindled when he accidentally bumps into Masterji, which assures him of help whenever he needed it for his own circus. Shahjahan also extends financial help which lends greater force to Charlie to start his Circus.
Kumud Mishra proves his brilliance and versatility again, but this time as the ‘hero’ and not a supporting actor. Yes, the movie rightfully rests only on this one man and his stellar performance. He’s also lost a lot of weight so do justice to his character, running around ferrying people around the city in his rickshaw.
This narrative unintentionally connects to the recently released movie Pareeksha on Zee5, where Adil Hussain is also a rickshaw-puller is seen struggling to earn just enough to give his child good education. It also take you back in time to Raj Kapoor’s ‘Mera Naam Joker’ and the old DD serial ‘Circus’ where you see get to see the struggles of keeping the Circus alive and emotional journey of the Circus artists.
While Circus is no longer the most sought-after mode of entertainment in many parts of India, thanks to the internet, shopping malls, etc. it surely is a backdrop of this narrative for a larger message – passion, dream persuasion and self-belief.
This film got completed way back in 2016 but finally and fortunately got released now, only to become more significant to the Covid-19 pandemic and resulting job losses and shutter-downs.