Review: In Karthik Calling Karthik, Vijay Lalwani, the new director in town brings together Farhan Akhtar and Deepika Padukone in a movie with a quirky name like Karthik Calling Karthik.
Karthik (Farhan Akhtar) is a loser in life, who stays alone and works in ACL Construction Ltd. He has poor social skills, low on confidence and inspite of being a topper at IIM and CA, he gets bullied at work, by his colleagues and his boss. Even his landlord always pesters him for extra money for repairing the lift. As expected, he also loves one of his pretty colleagues, Shonali Mukherjee (Deepika Padukone) but is too timid to express his love to her. He also pays visits to a shrink (Shefali Shah) because of the guilt he carries for being responsible for the death of his sibling during his childhood. When his whole life seems to be crashing down, he discovers a new phone friend, who calls himself Karthik too and calls him every day at 5am and boosts his confidence level. His new found confidence works wonders and brings about a profound change in his life, which includes getting a top position at work and getting the love of his girl. However, when everything was almost perfect, he breaks one rule set by his friend, and shares his secret friend story with Shonali and his shrink. No one believes him and he is advised counselling, which he refuses to accept. Not able to choose between his unknown friend and his love for Shonali, and with one more blunder, his life goes into a tailspin, from which it seems he can't recover. Or can he?
Then the movie takes a completely unexpected turn with strange events unfolding. The director manages to hold the suspense till the end and keeps you guessing about the identity of the mystery caller and the climax. Though, somewhere down the line, you know in Bollywood, people don't deviate too much from the happy ending theory.
Farhan gets into his role very well and gives a great performance. Deepika also delivers a much more refined and confident performance, compared to any of her earlier outings. The music by Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy is good and already climbing the charts. Uff Teri Adaa is the one which stands out...
Quite a few things will work for the movie.
a) The movie will of course draw all Farhan and Deepika fans to the theaters
b) People who want to see, how the pair looks on screen (much talked about off screen too)
c) Of course, a hat ke title and the thriller tag
But, it's not a movie for the masses. People may get disappointed with low entertainment quotient and especially the second half, when it's quite grim and dark at times. It will appeal to the young urban audience, who are also looking at different kinds of experiences and open to new ideas on screen. Personally, am happy to see, more workplace scenes in recent movies and also liked the "workplace innovation" in the ways in which Karthik pursued Shonali. ;-)
Disappointment: There are no intimate scenes between Karthik and Shonali as mentioned in some of the press. Seems like a PR stunt! They played it absolutely safe here.