In Karthik Calling Karthik (KCK), Farhan Akhtar plays the title role. Karthik is basically a loser, a simple, middle class guy who lacks confidence and is forever bullied in life. He does not like to use mobilephones – for the same reason that Rizwan Khan (Shah Rukh Khan) in My Name is Khan doesn’t use them.
Karthik is gullible, naïve, and cannot strike deals at work. He likes a girl in office, the hot architect Shonali Mukherjee (Deepika Padukone), but is never able to tell her. He’s working there for the last four years, but she never notices him. Karthik is always under-confident, as a childhood incident has affected him.
So, what brings about a sudden change in Karthik’s life, and for the better? You guessed it right, a phone call from a man who is his namesake and knows everything about him. Karthik calls Karthik everyday, and guides him through the day to get whatever he wants – that hot position, that hot chick, whatever. Now, if only everyone had a mentor like that!
Until this point, KCK seems like a lesson in self-confidence. But the twist comes when this caller Karthik becomes our loser Karthik’s enemy and begins destroying the same life he helped build. That’s when the film takes a dramatic turn. From then on, poor loser Karthik builds his life back bit by bit. How he does it, is what touches your heart.
Writer-director Vijay Lalwani has made KCK with a lot of love. Its Hollywood style treatment is good and so is the editing. It’s an old story in a new format, but the humour in the dialogues makes it watchable. The cinematography also does the trick.
The film makes you sympathise with Karthik. And yes, you get the jitters every time the phone rings. Even the shrink (played by Shefali Chhaya) runs away from it!
The director has effectively been able to make a thriller out of a story about the games our mind plays. The treatment is edge of the seat and smooth.
Even though it’s pretty clear by the interval what the film is about, the suspense remains till the end. You don’t know till the end if it’s about something supernatural or not. Watch the film to know the truth.
Farhan Akhtar excels in his third outing as an actor. He has good screen presence, and truly possesses the ability to get into the skin of any character. Here we have a great actor in the making, if he keeps going the way he is right now.
Deepika Padukone is as fresh as she was in Love Aaj Kal, and plays her bindaas girl part well. There’s not much scope for her in this film to show her acting, but she makes a hot pair with Farhan Akhtar. We wish there was a li’l more screen time for them in terms of songs and stuff.
Ram Kapoor, Vivan Bhatena, Tarana, Shefali Chhaya and Vipin Sharma fit into their parts well.
The chartbusting songs provide a li’l bit of relief from the slow pace, but the undercurrent of the tension onscreen remains – which is both good and bad.
But Karthik Calling Karthik never gives you that high you expect from a thriller. It will also remind you of some Hindi or English films on the same subject, which I’m not revealing on purpose. Nevertheless, it’s a touching tale.
Verdict: Vijay Lalwani shows that Taare Zameen Par and My Name is Khan are not the only two ways to treat sensitive subjects on celluloid. But the film does not have repeat value once you know the suspense.(IBNLive)