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Movie Review: Karthik Calling Karthik (Hindi) 110

Following the success of “Rock On” and “Luck by Chance”, Farhan Akhtar seems to have taken a serious plunge into acting. The self professed ‘method’ actor dons the role of a troubled man batting his ambitions, emotions, and himself in debutante Vijay Lalwani’s supposed thriller. While it defies its genre, KCK scores brownie points for Farhan’s believable performance, oodles of romance and some songs.

Karthik Narayan (Farhan) works for Construction Company where his colleagues take credit for his work and boss (Ram Kapoor) abuses him openly. Notwithstanding that he is a CA and an IIM topper, his timidity renders him obscurity, to such an extent that his crush Shonali (Deepika Padukone) is unaware of his existence. Well, considering that it was such a small office, this premise is actually ridiculous, nevertheless.

When suicide seemed to be his only option, things change for good when a mysterious morning caller claiming to be Karthik advices him on repairing his life. In no time, he has a better job in the same company and is romancing Shonali. The transformation from introversion to boldness is neat. Without resorting to overdone machismo, Farhan’s portrayal of guarded optimism makes the Karthik believable.

An hour into the movie, things are going is good. So, it’s time for a conflict. Shonali learns about the calls and convinces Karthik to visit a psychiatrist. So you know, what comes next. The caller suddenly chooses to pull the plug on Karthik’s good life. With no job, woman or savings, he travels to a blind destination and lives his life in a blissful world without phones, in a performance that convinces you to pity him for his plight.

As much as I would have loved to be critical about its plot-holes, it would be difficult to do that without revealing the suspense, if at all there is any. Towards the end, you know what is in store but wonder what would fill up the rest of its minutes. If this was supposed to be the suspense, then lo, we really have a thriller! Repetitive dialog and unemotional dubbing, the bubonic plague of Bollywood flicks figures here too.

A stunner Deepika romancing an average and shorter Farhan is definitely not my idea of on-screen romance. But, this ironically is its strongpoint. Acting seems to be an insurmountable challenge for Deepika, who is at her worst in the scene where she breaks up with Karthik. The mean phone in the film has rather bettered her. Ram Kapoor who has taken time off from playing ‘brother’ on Swayamvars has done well too.

To his credit, Farhan Akhtar’s twice as much effort to justify two Karthiks in the movie’s name is commendable. But it still comes across a love story but not a thriller. I’m not really recommending it, but if you still want to watch it, I’ll say, don’t expect too much.

Rating 5/10: A predictable romantic flick but not a thriller!
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