'777 Charlie', presented in Telugu by Suresh Productions, is a Kannada-language original. It was released in theatres in multiple languages this Friday.
An orphan named Dharma (Rakshit Shetty) is still stuck in the past, as his tragic childhood keeps haunting him in the form of ever-present nightmares. Back when he was a child, his mother, father and sister were killed in a fatal car-flip accident, leaving him a shattered child.
As an adult, Dharma is living a disciplined work life and a reckless personal life, complete with boozing and smoking. With no girlfriend and zero intentions to get married, he is content to be a loner. But the entry of a Labrador pup named Charlie results in a roller-coaster ride of emotions. How do the two share love for each other and what prompts Dharma to take his pet on a tour (and the consequences thereof), is what the film is about.
Rakshit Shetty's performance is effortless. He manages to not bore us despite the camera being fixated on him and his surroundings for the most part of the film. Very few Kannada actors have historically made any impact on the audiences of other languages. Shetty has the potential to impress the audience by doing a straight Telugu film, if it can happen in the future.
Sangeetha Sringeri plays someone who can be loosely called the female lead. She gets overshadowed by Bobby Simha in the second half.
The tracks that play in the background define the musical style of '777 Charlie'. At times Nobin Paul's BGM does get boring, but most of the time, it aids the stylized editing and dexterous cinematography. Arvind S Kashyap's camera work is in full form.
Director Kiranraj and the story department write an elaborate screenplay that stays away from typical ingredients in the first half. The trailer gave the impression that the story trajectory would be pedestrian. But the first half unfolds in a slightly innovative fashion.
The narrative worth of this film becomes all the more clear if you compare it with the recent OTT release 'Oh My Dog'. The film was unapologetically formulaic, where the villain was a cardboard character, the shots involving the dog were basic, the scenes around the pet were conceived in a bland fashion, so on and so forth. Everything looked sudden and hurried in that film.
In comparison, '777 Charlie' is a sincere and creative film that exactly knows how to make it all about the Labrador pet Charlie and its doting owner, Dharma.
The film manages to stay away from the adventure-road film template for a good part. But once it enters the predictable territory, things go on a downward spiral.
'777 Charlie' is a watchable film. At about 2 hours and 40 minutes, its narration is unhurried and the detailing is adequate. But some familiar elements in the second half can bore you.