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Here are 7 reasons to watch Charlie Chopra & the Mystery of Solang Valley

Review of Charlie Chopra & the Mystery of Solang Valley: Following the Shakespeare trilogy, Vishal Bhardwaj goes to Agatha Christie for one of the best Hindi whodunits.

Here are 7 reasons to watch Charlie Chopra & the Mystery of Solang Valley ADC
First Published Sep 27, 2023, 12:32 PM IST

Any text you give Vishal Bhardwaj will acquire a life of its own. From his William Shakespeare trilogy (Maqbool, Omkara, and Haider) to Ruskin Bond's Susanna's Seven Husbands (Saat Khoon Maaf), he is a master at adaptations. He now focuses on Agatha Christie, one of the greatest crime writers of all time. And the fact that he doesn't let us down yet again is a big praise. Here are seven reasons to watch the film:

  • Vishal adapts Agatha's 1931 British book The Sittaford Mystery and puts it in Himachal Pradesh's Solang Valley and Manali. But the only visual parallels between the altered text and the original one are the snow-capped mountains and the old-world mansions.
  • The ethnic diversity of India benefits the characters' and their backgrounds' local tastes. Charlie Chopra (Wamiqa Gabbi), a Punjabi woman betrothed to Jimmy (Vivaan Shah), an entrepreneur who has been detained for the death of his maternal uncle, Brigadier Rawat (Gulshan Grover), is the investigator looking into the crime.
  • It turns out that Gulshan, who has a reputation for always being portrayed as the "bad guy," was the one who died in this incident. The actor's refined demeanour and inherent depravity give him a supernatural intrigue that permeates the entire plot.
  • Speaking of haunting, those of you who viewed the show's June pilot episode will be aware that it opens with a supernatural/horror component. A spirit that protects the Solang Valley is called Lady Rose by Roy (Naseeruddin Shah), a paranormal investigator, who then declares Rawat dead.
  • That moment seems like it might have been taken right out of a play thanks to Naseer's intense histrionics, the bizarre costumes by costume designer Abhilasha Sharma, and the staging by cinematographer Tassaduq Hussain. 
  • Although Charlie Chopra's scene is theatrical in nature, unlike Agatha's novel, which also begins with a table-turning session, it is very evident that this is not a supernatural murder mystery.
  • We observe that the other players in the room share our enjoyment and scepticism towards the mumbo jumbo because it is over a century after the original text.
  • Charlie breaking the fourth wall is yet another effective theatrical device utilised by co-writers Vishal, Anjum Rajabali, and Jyotsna Hariharan. Before donning the detective hat and starting to track down the groom's stolen jootis, Charlie makes a memorable entrance by dancing in a baaraat. We don't see her break the fourth wall with a Punjabi curse until she gets a call regarding his fiancé's incarceration.
  • When she asks us to look away while changing her clothing and when she closes the door on us after an uncomfortable incident, the tactic elicits immediate reactions. 
  • The unique selling point of Charlie Chopra & the Mystery of Solang Valley is the way Vishal skillfully blends the background stories of each character into the course of the investigation. 

Even for those who have read the original book, Charlie Chopra & the Mystery of Solang Valley is a completely different experience because of these desi additions of music, humour, and characters. For others, it can initially appear a little overpowering, but it will quickly draw you into its world of deceit and empathy. Empathy for the accused, who are merely attempting to survive during difficult times rather than pursuing power.

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