In the A-Z Challenge today we are going to see C for Charlie.
Charlie is a veteran actor primarily works in Tamil Film Industry. Introduced by K. Balachander in Poikkaal Kuthirai in 1983, Charlie had done many more roles. Ranging from a comedian to supporting actor Charlie had showcased a wide variety of roles. Not often we come across actors who adapt themselves to the changing scenario in an industry. During the 90s and 2000s, he played in many more movies in a comedic role. His casual performance and his ability to communicate innocence differentiated him from the rest of the other actors. He is one of the few actors who displayed subtle comedy in the sound performance dominated comedy arena.
Be it Poove Unakkaga, Puthu Vasantham or the many more movies in the 90s his casual guy next door roles gave him the opportunity to be present in all movies. But one of the best performances came in the 2001 movie Friends. His role as Gopal, the painter tickled the funny bones. It was the deadpan humour at its best. His counters made a roaring success. But I am not going to talk about that.
He came back strong in the movie Kirumi, where he played Prabhakar, a police informer. This movie explored the other image of this well-known comedian. He acts as a father/brother figure to the protagonist and the matured and subtle performance of Charlie showcased the versatility of Charlie. Then came Oru Naal Koothu where he plays the role of Benjamin, a 42-year-old bachelor and looking for marriage opportunities. His ability to sync well with the current generation actors and their sensibilities holds the comedic track well in the movie. While seeing the active funny bones of Charlie in ONK, he comes up with the role of a cab driver in Maanagaram and his performance proved his excellence. But I am not going to talk about any of the above movies, but rather I wish to talk about a TV Serial of Charlie which is not much known.
The serial is Cheran Express, a microfiction serial written and directed by K. Balachander. The story revolves around an expecting mother waiting for the arrival of her husband who is a Train Driver. The total running time spans around 60 odd minutes captures the human emotions beautifully. In this serial Charlie along with Dhamu plays a role of a Thanjavur Thalayaatti Bommai (A Doll). It is nearly an impossible task to bring those dolls into life. You can see the excellence of their wits as two Dolls giving a fresh perspective to this serious drama. The serial remembered well for the excellent writing of K. Balachander holds a special place for Charlie’s performance as a Doll.
You can watch the serial on youtube on the official Rajshri Tamil’s channel.
- Charlie has completed his MPhil long back and is pursuing a doctoral research on the topic of “Humour in Tamil Cinema 1937 – 1967” in Thanjavur Tamil University.
- Charlie is an avid reader and you can see him in some serious literature discussions.
- Apart from the well known Cinema, he actively works on street plays, theatre and of course television.
- He has submitted a thesis on the Topic “Impact of Tagore’s plays on modern Tamil theatre” in a Sahithya Akademi symposium. And he is the only actor to do so.