Charlie Chopra And The Mystery Of Solang Valley Star Cast/ Actors: Wamiqa Gabbi as Charlie Chopra, Naseeruddin Shah as Dr. Rai, Lara Dutta as Wilayat Hussain, Neena Gupta as Janki, and Ratna Pathak Shah as Ms Bharucha.
Charlie Chopra And The Mystery Of Solang Valley Director: Vishal Bhardwaj
Charlie Chopra And The Mystery Of Solang Valley Release Date: 26 September, 2023
Charlie Chopra And The Mystery Of Solang Valley Released/ Available In Languages: Hindi, Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam, Kannada, Bengali, Marathi
Charlie Chopra And The Mystery Of Solang Valley OTT Platform: Sony Liv
Charlie Chopra And The Mystery Of Solang Valley Season: 1
Charlie Chopra And The Mystery Of Solang Valley Number Of Episodes: 6
Charlie Chopra And The Mystery Of Solang Valley Release Pattern: All episodes released together
Charlie Chopra And The Mystery Of Solang Valley Episode Duration: 40 minutes
Charlie Chopra And The Mystery Of Solang Valley Critic Review:
Vishal Bhardwaj sets the mood without much ado. An eerie séance with cultish movements in the house of Dr Rai (Naseeruddin Shah). A girl giggles, Rai is disturbed, someone’s possessed, a photograph crashes.
Rai announces, the Brigadier (Gulshan Grover) is dead.
The motley group of adults at Rai’s séance react in different ways. When Brigadier Rawat can’t be reached over the phone, his closest friend heeds no advice and sets off to Manali to check on him in the snowstorm.
The Brigadier has been murdered.
Someplace else, Charlie Chopra (Wamiqa Gabbi) makes a smashing entry at a wedding far away. Unmistakably Punjabi in her accent and swear-asides, Charlie Chopra introduces herself with panache. Especially the way she tilts her neck sideways to deliver the punchline, ‘Jinna mushkil fees unni katt’.
Vishal with co-writers Anjum Rajabali and Jyotsna Hariharan, moves to the snowy slops of Himachal Pradesh to Indianise Agatha Christie’s The Sittaford Mystery with her famous flawed characters, moral lapses and red herrings strewn all over.
The Brigadier was a wealthy man and every friend and family member had a reason to want their hands on his money. But whodunnit?
Charlie becomes the self-appointed detective when her fiance Jimmy (Vivaan Shah) is arrested for the murder. But with the Brigadier leaving behind a pregnant fiancée, it’s the vulture-like circle of close ones Charlie puts under the lens.
Quite unwittingly, Sitaram Bisht (Priyanshu Painyuli), the cheeky media guy who conned her to get a breaking story, teams up with Charlie to look at the alibis the police didn’t bother to crosscheck. And the chinks in every sanctimonious armour begin to show up.
One more ‘accidental death’, a near-fatal mishap for Charlie herself, men and women harbouring secrets, and a star cast of performers including Neena Gupta as the Brigadier’s psychiatrist sister in-law Dr Janki Rawat, Ratna Pathak Shah as Ms Bharucha in a wheelchair, always ready for a quick gossip and to dispense brandy as the cure for all situations, Wilayat (Lara Dutta) who’s in a hurry to push nosey Charlie out of the door and Manas (Chandan Roy Sanyal), the best-selling author. The variety adds spice to the watch.
Illegitimate kids, infidelity, fake claims, and Charlie too with a past of her own, make it furtive business all around.
Tassaduq Hussain’s camera moves deftly into snowstorms and enclosed spaces to create the mood.
Vishal Bhardwaj’s original music, the theme tune that almost seems like an ode to ‘Monica…o my darling’, and the appropriate background music add to the sense of mystery and fun. But the nasal tones of ‘Yun mere sang raho’ don’t suit Lara’s bass voice.
The best part of the casting is that despite being circled by stalwarts, Wamiqa Gabbi carries off the title role with the same ease she showed in the retro series Jubilee.
The dead Brigadier too has an interesting part, villainish in some parts, also vulnerable in a way.
However, the overdose of Punjabi is a bit of a put-off. But most of all is the unoriginal and absolutely annoying tool of breaking the fourth wall that Vishal overuses with Charlie talking to the camera. Charlie introduces Jimmy’s family with a line solely for the camera, like a brother-in-law whose hugs are prolonged, or ‘behendi…’, ‘WTF’, ‘bad actor’ and so on. It may be fun for a performer to go from a snarky ‘Pra ho ye jaisi’ to a treacly sweet greeting. But for the viewer who has seen this technique overdone ever since Kevin Spacey did it with flair in House Of Cards, it’s, ‘WTF Vishal, et tu?’
Charlie Chopra And The Mystery Of Solang Valley – Watch Or Not?: Watch it for Wamiqa Gabbi.
Charlie Chopra And The Mystery Of Solang Valley Review Score Rating: 3 out of 5 (i.e. 3/5)
Charlie Chopra And The Mystery Of Solang Valley Official Trailer: