KARTHIK CALLING KARTHIK is not your average Bollywood masala flick. This one involves you until the last frame. It's creatively plotted, artfully executed, brilliantly emoted and very well presented. A complete product, which will make the maker proud of his work. That is what every creative person looks for; satisfaction in his work. Debutant director Vijay Lalwani has done just that. Audience appreciation is something that is out of his control. Take a bow Lalwani, for an intelligent film. Of course, it has its genesis in A BEAUTIFUL MIND, the Russell Crowe film that won accolades. But therein ends the similarity.
Karthik (Farhan Akhtar) is a loser in life. He does not know how to say no, is low on self-confidence and is a below average dresser. He is constantly being plagued by a dream of him having killed his older brother, albeit accidentally. This is what drives him to a shrink who tries in vain to convince him that it was no fault of his and he should stop blaming himself for his brother's death. But Karthik's psyche has been deeply dented.
At the work place, though he is the workhorse, his efforts are never appreciated. A colleague piles his work on him and even the gorgeous Shonali (Deepika Padukone) has never even once noticed him in the four years they have worked together. To top it, he has been fired from his job. But all that seems to be heading for a change as Karthik, on the verge of committing suicide, gets a call from Karthik who guides him to reclaim his life and live with confidence.
There's an instant metamorphosis in Karthik's character. He walks in with newfound confidence into his old office, dressed in a smart suit, walks into his boss' cabin and cleverly makes him aware of his contribution. Result, Karthik is offered his old job back. But he is in no mood; he demands a bigger post with staff under him. Then begins the wooing process and he does this with style, too.
Life reclaimed, Karthik's calls continue daily. He is warned by the caller not to mention this to anyone lest they think him to be nuts. But he mentions to Shonali who thinks he should see a shrink and from there on, his life takes a dive down to where it was. "I will finish you," says the voice from the other end, angry that he has let out his little secret. "If I could make you, I will break you." He manages to do just that.
Farhan Akhtar is moving from strength to strength as an actor. No words would be enough to describe his rise as an actor of repute. Deepika Padukone, as the most sought after girl who has burnt her finger in many wrong relationships portrays the angst of many such women with aplomb. She is cute (as the role demands), confident and has evolved as an actor. She has worked hard on her body language and this shows in every scene, unlike in films like BACHANA AE HASEENO. Ram Kapoor as the khadoos boss is a powerful performer. Nor frills, just solid performance. Special mention to Vivaan Bhathena too, who fits into his role as the playboy-cum-office bully.
KARTHIK CALLING KARTHIK is an emotional journey with the principal character. You feel his pain when he is down, celebrate his success when he takes charge of his life and love with him when he romances Shonali. Even when the final card is revealed in the end, you once again feel his pain.
It's all in the mind, you see and Farhan brilliantly guides you on to this wonderful journey immensely helped by Vijay Lalwani.
This is not candyfloss cinema. It will find its audience in those wanting to get involved.