Charu In ‘Khufiya’ Explained: What Happens To Wamiqa Gabbi’s Character?

Despite being new to Bollywood, Wamiqa Gabbi has showcased her excellent acting skills, which is quite evident in her role of Charu in Khufiya. She has established a phenomenal presence in the film industry with her amazing work in films like Fursat, 83, Dil Diyan Gallan, among many others. The transformation of Chaaru from a docile housewife to a secret agent working for R&AW has been beautifully carved by the director, Vishal Bhardwaj. Charu’s frantic search for her child and the longing of a mother to reunite with her children despite several obstacles have been depicted in Khufiya. How did the transformation in the character of Charu happen? Let us explore the plethora of reasons behind it!

Spoilers Ahead


Was Charu An Accomplice Of Rajiv?

The R&AW had suspected that Charu was an accomplice of Rajiv and that she was involved in delivering the document parcels to a third party. She was one of the prime suspects as she used to take her child to a club for swimming classes, which was a hub for other diplomats. The suspicion of the agency was proved wrong when, after days of keeping a close watch on her through secret cameras, they found her background to be clean. Her innocence comes to the forefront when she asks her husband about the expensive necklace that he was gifting her. She had no knowledge of the black money that Rajiv was earning.

While keeping a close tab on her, the agents find her engaging in all kinds of innocent yet guilty pleasures, like smoking cigarettes or grooving in her lingerie to old Bollywood songs, with nobody around. Later, her innocence is proven to them when Rajiv talks to his mother, Lalita, about the deal. Upon doing a background check on her, they find out that Lalita’s husband was in the army, and after retirement, he became an arms dealer for the country. This had led to Lalita’s training under him. The real accomplice of Rajiv comes to the forefront, and it is hence proven that Charu knew nothing about the incidents all along.


How Did Charu React To The Revelation Of Her Husband’s Secret?

The reaction that we get from Charu when she hears about the disloyalty of Rajiv to his country is quite unexpected. We expect that she would flee the country along with her husband, but she stays back. She tells him that, belonging to a family of soldiers, she could never betray her country. Rajiv tries to persuade her to leave by telling her that he was thinking about the benefit of his own country. He thinks that she is naive enough not to understand his real intentions and goes on to tell her that he was trying to help the CIA drive the Taliban out of Afghanistan, which in turn would benefit India. After refusing to leave, she is left gravely injured by a bullet shot at her by her mother-in-law. Her son is taken away by Rajiv and Lalita, and she struggles to get him back with the aid of KM. We see a major shift in the character of Charu from a seemingly naive housewife to a secret agent working on such a dangerous mission along with the R&AW.


What Did Charu Do To Get Her Child Back?

We see a complete change in Charu’s personality, turning from a docile woman to a desolate mother desperately seeking her child. She had approached KM, pleading with her to get her child back. The desperate cry for help from a mother is heard by KM, and she decides to include her as an agent to bring Rajiv back to India and kill Mirza. She trains Charu very strategically so that she is not caught during the mission. After searching for Rajiv and Lalita in South Dakota, they were finally able to locate them. The sudden arrival of Charu astonishes them at first, and they look at her with suspicion. They keep a strict check on her activities and Charu skillfully manages to deceive them, posing as the devoted housewife she used to be. 

Only the audiences have the access to have a look into her desperation to free herself and her child from their clutches and just return to India. The major shift in her personality is seen when she hears one of her favorite Bollywood songs on television and does not give in to her guilty pleasure of dancing casually anymore. She is seen to become more mature over the course of Khufiya, with a clearer goal set for herself. The disgust that she has on her face during the sexual encounter with Rajiv is quite evident. Her patriotic self was restricting her sexual desires for a man who had betrayed his own country. Later, she talks to KM about her frustration, and she advises her to put up with it for her child. She also tells her that she has chosen this path for herself, knowing its consequences. KM’s support had been pivotal in helping her get her son back. She eventually turns in her husband and mother-in-law to the agency, who are further used as stepping stones to reach the real culprit, Mirza.


How Did Charu Evolve As A Character?

Charu is initially shown to be a dutiful housewife, rejoicing in her guilty pleasures occasionally. Her habit of smoking secretly or dancing around in a carefree manner all seem to have faded as she has recognized her responsibilities towards her child and her country. She is seen to be searching desperately for her family, and when she finally gets the opportunity, she does not let go of a single chance to reunite with her son. However, despite all the challenges that she faces, she is still a compassionate character, as she gets mad at KM for having killed their neighbor. She feels a sense of guilt at being the direct cause of someone’s death and is seen crying inconsolably. After a lot of sacrifices and shedding blood and tears, she is finally able to reunite with her son. She also advises KM on how to make her relationship better with her own son, advising her to give him a call on his birthday.


Final Thoughts

The phases of transformation in Charu’s character are seen throughout Khufiya, making her role one of the most unique. Her love for her son overpowers all her other emotions. We see her role as a dutiful mother when her son forgets to take his inhaler to school. In a hurry to deliver the inhaler, she falls down the stairs and hurts herself critically. The emotions of Charu are in contrast to those of KM, as she is very feminine and feels the urge to protect her family and prioritizes their needs over her own. The well-knit film gives better leverage to the intricate development of the character of Charu. Khufiya comes out as having a female-dominated plot, as we get to see different shades of women throughout.


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Debjyoti Dey
Debjyoti Dey
Debjyoti’s obsession with creativity and travel fervor has helped her branch out into the entertainment genre. Her love for psychological thrillers helps her get a daily dose of adrenaline. A regular caricature of the films and its characters is what keeps her going!

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