Karthik Calling Karthik

Innumerable times, I have been disappointed in the second half of a movie after a very promising first half - regular readers (the two of you that are out there somewhere) would remember a lot of earlier reviews, ranting about this very weakness of Indian directors. However, for the first time since I can't remember when, the second half of a movie was immensely better than the first half. And because of it, Karthik Calling Karthik is definitely recommended – a slick psychological thriller quite like the ones from Hollywood.

Debutante director Vijay Lalwani almost messes it up in the first half an hour though, crafting a loser-to-hero story about the submissive Karthik Narayan, who works in a construction firm office. His abusive boss, office colleagues and even his landlord keep bossing him around. Farhan Akhtar is top-notch in his acting and he plays the moping loser very well. However, the transformation from the ugly duckling to a swan was very amateurishly done and you sort of miss Farhan’s previous movies’ attention to detail.

The story moves onto become a fluffy romance till the interval, with Deepika Padukone serving admirably as eye candy and acting passably. However, the mood in the second half undergoes a drastic change – and it is here that director Vijay Lalwani’s script flexes its muscles. Things become quite intriguing and suspenseful as the phone continues to ring – and our guesses about it fall flat with each “tring tring”. A big reason I liked the movie is because it does not spoonfeed you with each and every thought of Karthik as they go through his head – sometimes you have to try and guess what he is upto. Thinking man’s entertainment I like to call it.

The final explanation of the happenings completely took me by surprise – because it was simplistic yet sneaky. Just like a good thriller is supposed to be - and I loved the movie for it. Most directors fall in the trap of treating their audience as dimwits – but not Lalwani. His writing is a good mix of the obvious and the probable – and he leaves a question or two unanswered at the end.

So even though the beginning of the movie might put you off, bear with it and Karthik Calling Karthik will surely entertain you. It is a refreshing and well thought-out story – so it’s a recommended watch for this weekend

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Aseem Behl said...

Hey Pradosh, great job with these reviews man. I really look forward to them every weekend.

Regarding KCK, decent watch but I saw the suspense coming quite early, so the second half also fell flat for me. Plus Deepika Padukone is just too irritating throughout the movie.
Farhan Akthar did ok but was not as good as his last performance.
Background score by Medival punditz was excellent though.

Pradosh said...

Thanks Aseem,
I have heard couple of other people complain that the mystery was too obvious. However, I found it intriguing - maybe I wasnt thinking too much

Anyway, Deepika I think has actually improved from her Chandni Chowk to China and Love Aaj Kal performance

Farhan, well I think his range of emotions is somewhat limited, and within that range he did rather well.

But then thats the good thing about cinema - we can agree to disagree

Hope to hear your thoughts about other movies as well