Main Aur Charles (2015): Portrait of the Bikini Killer - Story, Synopsis, Trailer, Poster and Release Date

Via Seema Mukherjee / SaReGaMa

Main Aur Charles (2015) Film Poster - Randeep Hooda, Richa Chadda

Mumbai, Oct 22 (Washington Bangla Radio): In the seventies when travelers could visit countries like Thailand, Hong Kong & Nepal with marginal official processing, Charles Sobhraj used this to his advantage and was on a sadistic murder spree. Young backpackers, hash stoners and idealists from the West were found lost in their fantasies along the Asian Hippie Trail. Charles made sure they reached the permanent state of elevation. His killings would range anything between ten such individuals, up to twenty-four (mostly women). Although the real figure still remains ambiguous.

Watch: Main Aur Charles (2015) Hindi Movie Trailer

He is half-Vietnamese, half-Indian, fluent in various languages, a feline charismatic man with big eyes. Apart from his attractive demeanor, Charles’ personality has high resonance with suave fictional characters like James Bond, Tom Ripley & Hannibal Lecter. No wonder, he once introduced himself to a reporter, echoing Bond as, “This is Charles, Charles Shobraj”. His intellectual bent of mind, found repose in the works of German philosopher, Friedrich Nietzsche. Fully familiar with his book ‘Beyond Good & Evil’, Charles never really considered his killings to have defied his own moral code. In fact, in his confessions, he referred to them as ‘cleaning’ in the light of being a criminal Superman. Using his know-how of what budget travelers needed and his expertise in gem selling, he had his way with all his ulterior motives.

But there was method to the madness as his killings were stamped with his trademark style. He befriended and advised the travelers for best places to eat, teach hacks of gemstone buying and bring them to his Bangkok apartment (shared by his French-Canadian girlfriend) and murdered them. The ritual began by first drugging their drinks and then proceed to choke or stab them until dead. Sometimes, he would take a more hostile route by setting the body on fire – in few cases the victims were investigated to be burnt alive. His other favorite methods were to make the victims ill by using diarrhea pills and itching powder. The intention was to make them weak and totally dependent on him so that he could stifle them, disfigure their bodies with a knife or just shoot them. He was then attributed with the title of ‘The Bikini Killer’ when the bodies of his victims (Teresa Knowlton & Vitaji Hakim) were discovered in swimsuits. This entire murder rampage culminated with his desire to travel the world using the identities and belongings of the deceased.

One of the most interesting element of his criminal record, has been his practice of using psychology as an underlying element. He could easily break into people’s minds and had a knack for spotting flaws in them. In order to suit his evil brilliance, he would then re-shape them as and when required. Until his victims were viciously murdered, they probably found him to be one of the kindest and genuinely friendly people. On being asked, the pre-requisites of being a murderer, Charles had replied that, “Either they have too many feelings and cannot control themselves, or they have no feelings. It is one of the two.” His captivating charm and smile has indeed been an instrument of deceit to hide the raging storm inside his head.

His pursuits have led him to spend most of his time either on the run or in prisons across France, South East Asia  and the Subcontinent. He has done it all from extravagant indulgence in women affairs to criminal conquests with his then wife Chantal Companion, later his brother Andre to escapes from jail (mainly induced by bribery), not once but five times - earning yet another title of ‘The Serpent’. His ability to attract women using his smooth conversationalist skills was quite evident. He was known to have had four Parsi girlfriends during his times in Mumbai, while his lawyer as well couldn’t help herself from falling for him. In Thailand, Charles found an adventurous female traveller Marie Leclerc who soon turned out to be his most devoted follower and henceforth they pulled off a few scams together. Later when he was back in India, he also made a woman clan with Barbara & Mery Ellen in order to trick French tourists.

So there you have it, an intellectual criminal who not only used his charms to fulfill his motives but also could brainwash people into following him with complete devotion. He had a colorful personality, using which he traveled all across the globe, generating his own legendary testaments. Now as always, his intriguing journey has caught the eye of filmmakers like Prawaal Raman, to delve deeper from what’s on the surface and explore the intricacies of the mystery called Charles Sobhraj.

Main Aur Charles starring Randeep Hooda and Richa Chadda has a release date of October 30, 2015.

Here is a infographic that protrays Sobhraj.

Charles Sobhraj Infographic