The film could well be described as the “relationship between a man and a dog” but director Kiranraj ensures that he packs in emotion and light-heartedness in equal measure that we are engaged all the time Can a dog change your life?
The makers of recent film 777 Charlie certainly think so. And their latest work is a deeply heartfelt cinematic presentation of that fact.
Dharma (Rakshit Shetty) is a loner who feels that what he does is always correct. “How others view me isn’t right,” he says, in a voiceover early in the film. You can’t find fault with the others; after all, he rarely bothers about the colony he lives in or his neighbours and is mostly grumpy and unkempt. His house is always in a mess, with cigarette butts and liquor bottles strewn around. At the factory he works in, he is one of the best workers — he doesn’t take a single day of leave — and prefers to keep to himself, thus earning the ire of most of his colleagues.
Simply put, he’s a loner without any friends, family or bonds. Until a Labrador pup, which he later names Charlie due to his love for Charlie Chaplin, comes into his life. And then, life, for Dharma, becomes topsy turvy.
This is predominantly a man-animal relationship film, but it is also a travel film and a musical. When director Kiranraj isn’t showing you pictureseque locales (cinematography by Arvind S Kashyap) during Dharma’s life-changing road trip, he’s making you invested in the story thanks also to its music (by Nobin Paul), with wonderful little songs peppered in the screenplay, like the occasional barks that Charlie lets out.
This writer watched the dubbed Tamil version of the film (which is a primarily a Kannada film, with many well-known faces from the Kannada film industry), but the makers seem to have ensured that it feels very original. The sign boards are all from Chennai — the colony the protagonist lives in is in Ambattur — and the actors do a commendable job with the lip sync.