Charles wants to catch hold of Karthiga and make her understand his love for her. Shaffiq needs Karthiga to get back the smuggled diamonds that he had entrusted with her. Meanwhile, Karthiga witnesses a murder at her deserted office and the killers are after her.
Charles Shaffiq Karthiga
is a thriller that happens mostly in the course of a single day. Charles is madly in love with Karthiga, who works in a diamond company, but she decides to call off their relationship after his mother refuses to accept her. She decides to resign and return to her hometown but is shocked when she finds that she is in possession of extremely valuable diamonds that were given to her by Shaffiq, a friend, who, due to his family circumstances, has become a courier for a smuggler. She has an accident and is left unconscious in her office, where she witnesses her colleagues Sanjay and Chandru murdering Viswanathan, the manager, who has caught on to their wrongdoings. Now, the two are after her but can she survive, given that there is no way out of the office complex and they are the only ones in the place?
Working with a multi-strand narrative, Sathiya Moorthy Saravanan comes up with a nail-biting thriller that is minimalist in its setup but richly rewarding. Like
Tamizhukku En 1-Ai Azhuthavum
earlier this year, this is one of the small surprises of the year. The characters of the three leads are strongly written and that makes us care for their fates. We want Charles to succeed in his romance even though he almost stalks Karthiga because we see that he dearly loves her. We understand that Shaffiq had no other way to lessen the burden of his poor family than by deciding to do illegal work. As for Karthiga, we appreciate why she wants to break up with Charles, and are concerned for her when she discovers the diamonds and then witnesses the murder. And, Sanjay and Chandru manage to be menacing so that despite their many misses they do not seem like bungling criminals. The performances by the actors are also convincing that we buy into the premise easily.
The film does feel a bit overlong and at times, we get the feeling that Karthiga makes far too many narrow escapes. The director also prolongs the moment when Charles becomes sure that his lover is trapped in the building needlessly. And, the track involving Shaffiq takes the backseat in the second that at one point, we completely forget its existence as we are preoccupied with Karthiga's survival.
If there is one aspect of
Charles Shaffiq Karthiga
that makes you want to stand up and applaud, it is the characterization of the heroine. She is a damsel in distress but in a refreshing twist, the director, Sathiya Moorthy Saravanan gives us a heroine who rescues herself from a live-threatening situation instead of waiting for the hero to save her. Initially, she is stricken with fear and freezes when she is hunted down by her pursuers but after a near-death experience, the character gains courage and takes the fight to her attackers. And, even after the hero arrives on the scene, she doesn't become a passive witness but takes on the villains standing by his side.