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Antithesis to a Farhan Akhtar film!
Mar 03, 2010 02:31 AM 3877 Views
(Updated Mar 24, 2010 09:23 PM)





You know, when Farhan Akhtar directs a movie, he appears to generally take a very simple theme (DCH, a movie about friends, Lakshya- coming of age, Don- reworking of an old movie!) and executes it in such an engaging way that one is convinced that it is a great movie...and it is! The fact is, movies are great because of the way they are executed, not because they are necessarily novel when they are conceived. Therefore, I call "Karthik calling Karthik" an antithesis to a Farhan Akhtar film...novel idea, poor execution!


Karthik (Farhan Akhtar) is a brilliant IIM graduate, CA, who is generally overlooked in life because of his meek personality. Bullied by his boss (Ram Kapur), used by his co-workers, lectured to by his shrink/psychiatrist (Shefali Chaya), overlooked by his office crush Shonali (Deepika Padukone), he really doesnt have a great life! Until he starts getting phone calls from another Karthik (who sounds just like him) telling him what to do, and getting him miraculously to do it! Overnight, Karthik gets his dream job, his girl, and the respect he has craved for. Alls well until he tells his girlfriend Shonali about the calls. Then all hell breaks lose....his madness stares him in the face, and he crumbles....Watch the movie to find out what happens next!

My Take:

Director Vijay Lalwani takes a very interesting premise to begin with, and I am sure Farhan Akhtar would have been very excited when he heard the story. However, the debutant director falters badly where it comes to telling that story in this particular movie. For example, I didnt like the way "loser" Karthik was portrayed....too much of a caricature. Has been done many times before in movies, and better. Neither did I like the way the "winner" Karthik was portrayed...again the transition from nerd to cool guy has been done to death in other movies.

The movie only started getting interesting for me when Karthik tells his girlfriend about the calls he gets. I like the sequences following that. It builds up as bit of a thriller post that revelation...however, and there is a big the end of the day, "Karthik calling Karthik" is about mental illness...and mental illness is sad...not in the least bit thrilling. I really dont know what the director could have done to maintain the momentum of the second half, given the fact that his basic premise of mental illness would have brought a road block in any case!

Farhan Akhtar is a fabulous director, and can be a good long as the character fits him. In my opinion, he has a limited range of expressions as an actor, very little screen presence, and should appear on screen every once in a while, and not as often as he has! DeepikaPadukone is lovely and un self conscious on screen. She too is limited in her ability to emote, but she is so lovely that one forgives her where one cant forgive less good looking actors!

The other actors were limited by their characterisation. Shefali Chaya gets to play a very bad psychiatrist. I am a therapist, and there is no way I am confronting a patient who is schizophrenic and lecturing him out of his delusions! Ram Kapur, a good actor, gets to play an evil boss and not much else.

I liked the soundtrack...especially the title track. Really added to my "thriller" expectation of the movie. But at the end of the day, "Karthik calling Karthik" is NOT a thriller...and THAT is the problem. 3 stars for a novel idea, some good scenes, and a good soundtrack!

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