February 26, 2010 (Calcutta Tube): Karthik Calling Karthik is a 2010 Hindi Movie starring Farhan Akhtar, Deepika Padukone. The Hindi comedy thriller is directed by Vijay Lalwani. A Stylish thriller with a tame end. Read the complete Critic’s review at Calcutta Tube.
- Rating: 2.5 out of 5*
- Starring: Farhan Akhtar, Deepika Padukone, Ram Kapoor and Vivan Bathena
- Director: Vijay Lalwani
Karthik Calling Karthik Movie Review 1
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.
[ReviewAZON asin=”B00359RDHQ” display=”inlinepost”]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.
Karthik Calling Karthik Hindi Movie Review 2: IANS
Film: ‘Karthik Calling Karthik’; Cast: Farhan Akhtar, Deepika Padukone; Director: Vijay Lalvani; Rating: ***
Desolation is a distant cousin to suburban seclusion. And ‘Karthik Calling Karthik’ is an interesting if flawed fable of the damned.
The protagonist is Karthik (Farhan Akhtar), so timid he could merge into the woodwork of his office if only the decor was not so much glass.
Karthik is bullied by his boss (Ram Kumar), sniggered at by his smarter colleagues and absent-mindedly ignored by the beauty in the workplace whom Karthik gazes at sideways and writes scores of unsent e-mailS to. She’s the unattainable beauty.
This is the world of ‘Rocket Singh’ without the turban and the placidity. While Shimit Amin’s ‘Rocket Singh – Salesman Of The Year’ was about an office-goer who craved for acceptance, Karthik just wants to be less unhappy in his space. It’s not too much to ask for. But who’s listening? Except a voice on the phone that sounds suspiciously like Karthik’s to his own ear.
The build-up of Karthik’s dreary world captures the claustrophobia of suburban existence without forgetting to add humour to the proceedings. The moments between Karthik and the gregarious Shonali (Deepika) have that touch of lively realism taken from lives we’ve known, lived and somewhere tried to reject. However, the dialogues between the couple try too hard to be ‘cool’.
The relationship that Karthik develops with Shonali is far outdistanced in intensity by the one that he develops with the Chinese phone set. And after a while the ‘extended monologues’ begin to lose their credibility.
But hold on. Debutant director Vijay Lalwani, self-assured and apparently fully conscious of where he’s taking his story, gives us a second-half that is gut-wrenching in its portrayal of the individual as an island.
To escape the dictatorial and tyrannical voice on the phone, Karthik buys a ticket to an unknown city which to our visual delight, turns out to be Kochi. Karthik rents a modest near-dingy room and begins life anew as a battered man seeking supreme anonymity with no telephone lines to break his self-imposed deathly stillness of existence.
The second movement of the quietly simmering plot comes to a poignant if faltering halt in a city whose tranquility the cinematographer Sanu Verghese embraces by a rejection of the urban chaos. However, the revelation on Karthik’s psychological condition surprises no one except Karthik himself, and least of all his shrink Shefali Shah.
‘Karthik Calling Karthik’ is a gripping jigsaw, piecing together a mind that plays games with itself. The winner is destiny. The pace is consciously sluggish suggesting the deep-rooted association of a vigour-less existence with the quality of life that cities offer you in exchange for a comfortable flat in a techno-suffused surrounding.
Farhan, the life and breath of the proceedings, epitomizes urban anonymity in his body language, speech and hesitant attempts to reach out to a world that has no patience with the over-sensitive.
Farhan’s is indeed a super-confident performance as a man lacking self-confidence. The film itself doesn’t lack self-assurance. But the absence of what one may call an energetic exterior could well be mistaken by some viewers as ingrained inertia, a malaise that the film’s protagonist suffers from.
Do not mistake the man for the plot.