Film Reviews

Karthik Calling Karthik - Movie Review

An unreal autopsy of the twisted mind

Published: Thursday,Feb 25, 2010 13:57 PM GMT-07:00
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Cast: Farhan Akhtar,Deepika Padukone,Ram Kapoor,Shefali Chhaya,Vivaan Bhathena

Director: Vijay Lalwani

Karthik Calling Karthik – Wavering Signal

Karthik Calling Karthik, follows Karthik Narayan and his maddening journey that he has, apparently with himself.

The story begins with Karthik (Farhan Akhtar) being a simple and timid pushover. He gets to his nerves- end when his heartless bloodhound of a boss (Ram Kapoor) fires him for no fault of his. He decides it's time to put an end to his

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pathetic existence since he lacks the gall to set things right.

But then one phone call, yes from Karthik himself, promises to change everything for his personal best. If only he'd do everything that the caller instructs him to, his life would be a joyride. So the caller says.

The transformation of Karthik is quick. He turns into an assertive, sharp and slick Mr. smarty- pants.  One by one, he gets everything he'd wished for. He gets-

1) The landlord off his back, and also gets him to pay up!

2) A better deal at his workplace, so the recognition and respect automatically flows in.

3)  The hottest girl in office (Deepika Padukone) who's got his heart by the hook!

So, Karthik is high on life and the daily dose of pep-talk at 5 am on the phone is his drug. But he is not wily enough to know that the perks bring along their share of problems. So when Karthik breaks his rule of omerta about the phone calls he receives from himself, things turn bad. They turn ugly when he gives in to the demand of his real-life girlfriend to not take the phone call of his virtual well wisher.

This is the point where Karthik's downfall begins and sort of the story's too. While the first half of the film takes you on an intriguing journey of Karthik's loser life turning into a winning one, the second half brings down the pace and interest. The questions that are raised in the first half get loosely knitted answers, and make you go- Am I stupid to buy that?


The music is better than your average score. Editing is crisp and at times trance-like. You get to actually feel the head spinning feeling of the protagonist! Camerawork is interesting at times.

Thumbs-up to stylist Niharika Khan for coming up with flawless looks for Deepika and Farhan. We've seen Deepika in so many looks but this high-collared professional look is another stunner.

Witty and trying-not-too-hard kind of funniness, it's a relief to have that in our films. The easy and creamy chemistry of Farhan-Deepika is delectable! Ram Kapoor is funny as the cunning boss. Shefali Chhaya looks every bit the shrink that she's playing.


Gaping loopholes in the storyline. The explanation to how Karthik gets his phone calls would have been more convincing if the story had been maneuvered a bit to the right side.

While Karthik's rise and fall is fast, his deterioration is slow. The discovery of the truth about the phone calls just sort of springs up. And the logical explanation behind it lacks conviction.

There is an imbalance between the romantic element and the thriller element of the story. It seems as if the makers were unsure till the last minute which side to tip the scale. If they decided on achieving a balance, then it's not come out so fine either.

Deepika falters during intense scenes. She is unable to match pace with Akhtar just a tad bit. Vivan Bhatena looks confused…always.

Yes or no?

The film is of the kind that's supposed to make practical sense. But it sort of doesn't. Instead it gives you that immense gratification whenever any film shows an ordinary guy getting that extraordinarily gorgeous girl and she sticks to him. So if you're the kind who would like a film just because it's got a happy ending and don't give a damn about the nuances of story etc, then you'll enjoy this one!

Rating: ***1/2

Reporter and Author: Susan Jose

Farhan Akhtar Ram Kapoor Shefali Shah Vivan Bhathena Deepika Padukone Karthik Calling Karthik  

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