Movie Review: Karthik Calling Karthik (2010)
February 26, 2010 (Sampurn Wire): Karthik Calling Karthik: Stylish thriller with a tame end
Starring: Farhan Akhtar, Deepika Padukone, Ram Kapoor and Vivan Bathena
Director: Vijay Lalwani
Karthik (Farhan) is timid fellow forever bullied by his boss Kamath (Ram Kapoor) and his workmates. Even his landlord spares no opportunity in pestering him. Karthik is silently in love with the hottest gal in his office architect Shonali Mukherjee (Deepika). But she doesn’t even know that he exists despite working together for years. Karthik keeps getting nightmares of one childhood incident wherein he feels he was responsible for his elder brother’s death. He consults a psychiatrist (Shefali Shah) for the same. One day as his sufferings from the hands of his boss and life in general become unbearable he decides to commit to suicide. Just when when he is about to pop sleeping pills to end his life his landline phone rings. A voice sounding similarly like him tells him its Karthik on the other end and it is no one else but himself. At first Karthik doesn’t believe it and tries to find from the phone company office if such a call actually came. But no such record is shown. Then again same time next day that’s 5 am in the morning he gets a call again with Karthik calling at the other end. Intrigued he gets talking to him. The caller sympathises with Karthik and guides him to become a better and successful person. As Karthik follows the instructions his life changes over night. Not only does he gets Shonali whom he had been dreaming about since many years but also gets a chance to get even with his bully boss and gets a hot shot job profile for himself in the same company where he was insulted. The calls keep coming daily at 5 am and Karthik is happy having found a guide. The caller however cautions Karthik that he should not talk about this secret to anyone. But in a weak moment, Karthik makes the mistake and reveals about the calls to Shonali. He not only stops at that but on Shonali’s insistence avoids picking up further calls. What hell is unleashed on Karthik by the mysterious caller and how Karthik faces his demons forms the rest of the film.
A very hatke concept, Karthik Calling Karthik (KCK) has been stylishly shot like a taut Hollywood thriller. Keeping you much intrigued with what will happen next, the film is a good exercise of the guessing game but up to the last twenty minutes. It derails big time in the closing reels. Since it’s a suspense thriller much can’t be revealed at this point. Certain cinematic liberties taken and a disappointingly predictable climax loosen the final impact. The much needed climax punch is sorely missing. The revelation though interesting doesn’t give you that, “Oh I didn’t know this was coming” feeling! But these things apart KCK is a good one time watch for many reasons. Debutante director Vijay Lalwani shows terrific spark and more can be expected from his future projects. The cinematography, background score by Medieval Punditz and Karsh Kale enhance the thrill. The art direction deserves special mention. The dialogues are very good, in fact the intelligent one-liners will have you in splits.
Farhan Akhtar is only improving as an actor with each passing film. Just when you saw him confidently portray a self assured character in his first two films, in here he oscillates well between playing a meek guy and a super confident person. Deepika fits the part perfectly. They both make an unusually cute pair. Vivan Bathena and Ram Kapoor are aptly cast. Shefali Shah is good in the three scenes that she gets.
Shankar Ehsaan Loy’s music is already ruling the charts and is superbly incorporated in the film with the song numbers being well shot. Karthik Calling Karthik could have been better had there been a cracker of a climax but nonetheless, it’s a good film that deserves one viewing at least.