Lately, it seems that every man and his dog are talking about The Serpent on Netflix
— the true-crime drama series that explores the compelling story of serial killer Charles Sobhraj who murdered more than a dozen people, with the help of his girlfriend Marie Andrée-Leclerc, along Asia’s hippie trail in the 1970s.
The Serpent isn’t your typical straightforward true-crime documentary, like Making a Murderer or Evil Genis, but rather a clever and well-acted dramatisation starring Tahar Rahim and Jenna Coleman, among others.
The Netflix series was developed by Mammoth Screen and commissioned by the BBC and directed by Tom Shankland and Hans Herbots, who all seemed to sense that audiences would be immediately captivated by the gripping — and gruesome — series of events perpetrated by the criminal couple.
As it turns out, they weren’t the first.
In 2015, a fictitious Bollywood thriller named Main Aur Charles was released and examined the story from the point of view of an Indian policeman named Amod Kanth who worked on the Sobhraj case.
The film stars several big Bollywood actors such as Randeep Hooda, Richa Chadda, Adil Hussain, Tisca Chopra, and Alexx O’Nell and was written and directed by Prawaal Raman.
Main Aur Charles explores the stories of each of Sobhraj’s victims and how they were enchanted by the serial killer, only to meet their grisly end.
If you are keen to check out Main Aur Charles and examine Sobhraj’s depraved activities from a different point of view, you can rent the film on Apple TV+ or watch it on YouTube.
Known as the “Bikini Killer” Sobhraj committed at least 12 murders and was convicted and jailed in India from 1976 to 1997. After his release, he resided in Paris for a time before returning to Nepal where he was arrested, tried, and received a life sentence.
His accomplice and lover, Marie-Andrée Leclerc was also sentenced to life but had her conviction overturned after being diagnosed with terminal ovarian cancer. She died from the illness on April 20, 1984, at 38-years-old.
Watch the trailer for Main Aur Charles below.