Charlie Chopra and the Mystery of Solang Valley review: It keeps you on your toes in a fun interesting way where even if you know the story and the killer, you'll love the way these six episodes of pure investigation unfold!
Charlie Chopra and the Mystery of Solang Valley review: I love Sherlock Holmes so much that I can literally be called SherLocked! But it's not just Mr. Holmes that gets my detective juices flowing though, it's the genre as a whole. From Holmes, Hercule Poirot to Miss Marple, and others, I thoroughly enjoy a genius mastermind unraveling the mystery where everyone is a suspect. If you are like me and you loved watching the unique twist that Enola Holmes brought to the table within this genre then Charlie Chopra is something you'd love too because this investigating murder mystery is not just dramatic but funny and emotional.
Made by Vishal Bhardwaj and also produced by him in association with Agatha Christie's films, Charlie Chopra and the Mystery of Solang Valley is an adaptation of Agatha Christie's The Sittaford Mystery. Out of the six episodes, the first one had already been released on Sony LIV as a marketing strategy earlier so most people know that Brig. Meherbaan (Gulshan Grover) dies and Charlie's (Wamiqa Gabbi) fiance, Jimmy (Vivaan Shah) is held responsible for it. But given the circumstance of Meherbaan's will being discussed just after his death, it seems that everybody from friends and family is hiding something. And as Charlie uncovers the truth, beans start to spill leading her to the real murderer in the mistful valley of Solang connecting to Manali.
Now, Charlie Chopra has everything that a genius detective usually needs. From an exciting background score, a slang, address style introduction, an exceptionally cool look, a sharp brain, and of course, a partner in the form of Sitaram (Priyanshu Painyuli), a local Himachali journalist who dreams of breaking big news and moving to Delhi. Sitaram to Charlie is like what Dr. Watson is to Sherlock! But given that Charlie has a direct and witty relationship with the audience just as Enola has with the fourth eye camera, Sitaram is not someone whom audiences rely upon and hence has an entire trajectory of his own just like Lord Tewkesbury.
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The spices to make a perfect dish are all there which will help Charlie evolve from being just the daughter of a detective, and a helping hand in need to a full-fleshed detective. Starting with a murder in Manali that involves a seance informing about that murder in Solang, a falsely accused fiance with a secret of his own in jail to the police system too wrapped in its own prejudice to look into clues, extended family and friends that are behind Brigadier's money with each one holding a secret of their own and a journalist who turns from foe to close friend.
Bhardwaj's style and essence are sprinkled all across the show. As the genius of adaptation, he knows very well how to take an already-known story and make it his own with the story's rootedness in Indian context and politics and a huge ensemble cast that's exceptional in bringing out these fleshed-out characters who sometimes make you chuckle while others tug at your heart. And of course, the involvement of music, which is not just an added advantage but a character in itself. Wamiqa's Punjabiness with her energetic and enthusiastic energy and Priyanshu's dedicated subtle play of a local journalist tells us that they got their director's memo of making these characters their own. But beyond everything, the show talks about women's monetary struggles at the hands of being dependent on men and whether it turns them into frauds or living a life at the mercy of others.
What I absolutely loved about the show was representing a genius mastermind detective and even the murderer as just people acting and reacting to situations. Charlie is not someone who is separate from any of us and so is the murderer who you actually feel bad for! This idea of giving you a rush while making it real, irrespective of whether you have read the book or not, makes for a wholesome watch. Also, the fact that one of the most beloved and enjoyed genres all across the world finally gets a worthy make in India! I hope we get to see Charlie going on many more adventures and solving mysteries, of course with her Sitaram!
Charlie Chopra The Mystery of Solang Valley is currently streaming on Sony LIV!
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