Charulatha (2012)
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Movie: Charulatha
Starring: Priyamani, Skanda (Suraj), Seetha, Saranya Ponvannan
Director: Pon Kumaran
Producer: Ramesh Krishna
Banner: Sax Pictures
Music: Sundar C Babu
Genre: Thriller, Horror
Release Date: 21 Sep 2012

Charulatha (2012)

Good: Priyamani’s excellent acting, glamour where necessary, background score, camera and the twist in the end.
Bad: Comedy, guessable scenes, one song, stereotypical scenes and illogical scenes.
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Charulatha, which is directed by Pon Kumaran, is horror movie and it is inspired from the 2007 Thai movie Alone starring pop singer Marsha Wattanapanich in the lead role. The filmmakers deserve a special appreciation for getting the remake rights from the original filmmaker. The movie, which is made simultaneously in Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam and Kannada, is the story of a conjoined twins. Priyamani is playing identical twins, while Malayalam actor Skandha appears as protagonist in the film.

Charulatha features Saranya Ponvannan, Seetha, Sai Sasi and Aarthi in other important roles. Priyamani’s performance as a conjoined twins is going to be the biggest highlight of the film.

Thus far, in Tamil films, we’ve seen brothers, uncles and aunts, mother and son, father and daughter, friends all being separated. But in Chaarulatha, a conjoined twin is separated. Well, this is told in a very thrillingly; thanks to the racy script. The director has included paranormal activity, loud violin sounds at the background, with some unexpected twists and turns to make the story interesting.

Charu and Latha are conjoined twins with different attitudes altogether. While one is calm the other is the rough-and-tough type. To substantiate this, the director has ensured that both of them sport a totally different get-up! Both of them love each other very much and make it a point to stick together no matter what.

Both the girls are interested in violin and start attending classes to learn the instrument. During these classes they meet Kamal, the hero. While both of them fall in love with him, he is attracted towards Charu. When Latha comes to know about this, problems arise between the sisters. They decide to undergo a surgery and separate. Unfortunately, during this surgery, Latha dies.

Even after her death, Latha roams around as a spirit with the sole aim of separating the lovers. The rest of the story is aimed at finding the answers to: What happens to Charu and Kamal’s love? What happened to Latha’s spirit? (Apart from this, there are a few twists as well. It is better left for the audiences to enjoy at the theaters!)

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10 Reviews

  1. IANS

    The film was inundated with too many sub-plots, which in the entire running time never seem to have synced with the actual story of the movie. As the story switched back and forth between past and present, it was left to the audience to connect the dots in order to understand the film. To add to the woes, the love track between Priya and Skanda appeared contrived.

    Barring the last few minutes, Priya Mani, a National award winner falls way below expectations and leaves everyone in utter disappointment. She can`t be blamed entirely, because it`s the director who is to be blamed for etching such a weak character.

    Skanda barely has any part to play besides comforting his lady love from frequent visits from her dead sister.

    The unpredictable twist was commendable, but it wasn`t handled well. Direction by Pon Kumaran is best when spoken the least. In an attempt to make the film appear scary, he struggles to make the audience connect with the film.

    Music by Sundar C. Babu is not something you look forward to in the film. His attempt to scare everyone with the background score only turns irksome.

    ‘Charulatha’ is proof to how a pathetic film can sabotage the ability of a talented actress.

  2. Top10

    Though stories about paranormal activities are not new to Tamil cinema, this film is because it is about a conjoined twins. Scenes where Latha takes on the injection when Charu is unwell and flying twin kites etc., are appreciable.

    Priyamani has carried the entire film on her shoulders throughout. Particularly in the climax when she delivers dialogues both furiously and calmly, she deserves a special applause.

    As usual Saranya has done her role perfectly well and Seetha, though her role is small, has done a good job as well.

    Director Pon Kumaran should be praised for fragmenting a big flashback into small bits and including it where necessary. The director has not included gruesome scenes despite it being a horror flick but has employed other tricks to scare the audiences. The twists here and there make the film interesting.

    Aiming to bring the audiences to the edge of the seat right from the start, the director has included the clichéd birthday party scene. The comedy scenes involving Aarthi and her brother could have been done away with. They are certainly boring to the core.

    For a thriller, the most important aspects are the BGM and cinematography. The director has realized this and has made the best use of their services. Music director Sundar C Babu and cameraman Panner Selvam has done a good job. One example is the scene where Priyamani lies on the bed and this is shown from the top angle. Similarly, when Priyamani is shown as a conjoined twin, they had not completely relied on computer graphics but the cinematographer has done tricks with his camera making it pleasurable to watch her in action. CG is ok. The director could have avoided that sole duet. Thank god! There were no duets after that!

    If the director had concentrated on the screenplay, included some new scenes and thought about logic, he could surely have scared the audiences just as Kanchana did. In total, the director has managed to scare a little and bore a little.

    In total: Those who love thrillers can see this film once!

  3. Pankaj

    Watched Charulatha…i m give it 5*/5…just rockingggg….priyamani u r fabulous…love u a lot

  4. Shyam Prasad

    Charulatha interval. Good. Better if u know not the plot beforehand

  5. suryaxxxx

    charulatha is awesome.go mr. surya and xxxx or xxxx yourself..surya xxxx oliga.charulatha hituda surya xxxx xxxx

  6. The Hindu

    The U certification for Charulatha is surprising, because eeriness, paranormal activities and the suffering of the spirit seeking revenge may not be exactly suitable for children. That apart, Charulatha has a few scenes dubbed into Tamil, though most of it has been re-shot to warrant a straight Tamil film tag. Touted as a bi-lingual in Tamil and Kannada, Charulatha could have been a big break for Priya Mani. Her performance, particularly in the climax, is commendable, but neither the story nor the screenplay helps her make it memorable.

    The idea of a story of conjoined twins sounds novel all right, but the effort to make it convincing doesn’t seem enough. So most of the time it’s like two girls putting their arms around one another! No strain, no pain, no suffering — except for their measured steps while walking, they seem to be quite comfortable as they are! In these days of hi-tech exercises in cinema Charulatha’s attempt at CG, appears insufficient.

    Skanda from Malayalam cinema plays the hero, but his role is restricted to comforting the heroine, who dreads the spirit that haunts the house. He plays a mere second fiddle to the twin heroines.

    An actor of Saranya’s calibre is wasted in the role of the mother, because she’s confined to the bed most of the time. When children are made to talk like adults the irritation could be suffocating. Master Manjunath, the boy who plays comedienne Harthi’s sister, gets on your nerves.

    Songs or RR, Sundar C. Babu’s music for Charulatha isn’t appealing. But the significant solo violin bits are an exception.

    For those who wish to watch the spirits of the dead that don’t frighten you much!

    Bottomline: Not doing enough justice to the borrowed line

  7. DC

    Priya Mani appeals in her each and every frame showing variations – as the soft and timid Charu and bold and confident Latha. The dusky actress also scores in the climax. But her full potential has not been exploited because of lack of coherent screenplay. Skandha passes muster. The romance between the lead pair is uninspiring.

    Paneerselvam’s cinematography is just about adequate. Sundar C. Babu’s background score adds to the scariness. The script had all the potential to become an engaging thriller had the director concentrated on the execution.

    Charulatha review: Double treat from Priya Mani

  8. Behindwoods

    Priya Mani carries the film on her shoulders with a nuanced portrayal that delineates her two characters perfectly. It’s just not the spectacles or the hair style but her sharp body language of the docile Charu and the aggressive Latha, that works in favor of the film hugely. And her unique voice for Latha adds a special touch to the role.

    Plaudits to the special effects team who has done a good job in the sequences involving the conjoined twins. The scene when the twins dance and climb down the stairs is certainly the highlight of the visual effects work. Visual opulence and grandeur mark the work of cinematographer Pannerselvam who gives a rich and an extra chic canvas of Charulatha to the audience. It is palpable that Pannerselvam has played a major role in translating the director’s vision on to the big screen.

    For a horror film, RR is integral to up the scare quotient and sadly Sundar C Babu’s score does not have enough spunk in it to aid in this sector. There are just about two songs which are pedestrian. Comedy in the name of the small boy and Harathi are downers and the boy’s voice especially is an aural sore of top order. In fact the portions involving these two artists impede the progress of the film.

    The suspense element that is revealed towards the climax is really a rocker on a totally unexpected line and is well handled. Kudos to the director for this knot! With just about two characters in the main fray and two more in the supporting bay, Pon Kumaran has woven an interesting and an engaging story.

    Priya Mani’s house looks straight out from the pages of a fairy tale book and the camera captures it in the apt angles and lights. Saranya Ponvannan and Seetha have delivered their parts well with the latter having more screen space.

    For a horror film, there is not much of spookiness or eeriness but for the oft-repeated ‘spirit’ual sojourns.

    Nevertheless Charulatha gets its brownie points for the novelty factor, good performance and fitting visual effects coupled with a fairly engaging narration.

    Verdict: Fine performance, novel theme and good visual effects mark this flick

  9. Akbar

    It is good movie with thrilling… I will rate 8.5 / 10 ratings…

  10. Hari

    Who is charu in the movie is it the girl who wear glasses or the other one??? I wanted to watch this movie but really could make time because of my exams

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