Director: Vijay Lalwani

Cast: Farhan Akhtar, Deepika Padukone
karthik calling karthik Hindi Movie Review:
Story And Movie Analysis:
In times when you can’t grab the audiences’ attention even by directly speaking to them, here’s a protagonist who speaks to himself and yet connects with the audience amazingly.
The title is giveaway to the gist of the story. Karthik Narayan (Farhan Akhtar), a socially shy guy, has been this geeky loser at workplace with no friends and a frightful-fat boss (Ram Kapoor). He secretly desires to date the sexy hot girl in office, Shonali (Deepika Padukone) but never dares to speak to her.
Life changes overnight when he starts getting call from a voice claiming to be himself, Karthik. However this inner voice is harmless and provides a helping hand in infusing courage and confidence in Karthik that helps him gain respect in professional life and love in personal. But when everything seems to be working in his favour, the voice turns hostile in maligning his image and making him lose everything it had helped him gain in the first place.
Written and directed by debutante Vijay Lalwani, the filmmaker is in complete control of the craft and is a smart storyteller. Right from the outset, the film grips you with a quick establishment of the character and before stretching his misery, the doppelganger is introduced. Under his guidance, the nerdy class-topper Karthik transforms into a cool dude. The sudden switchover in his attitude and body language might seem far-fetched but nonetheless the viewer always admires a winning hero.
The genre smoothly switches from drama to a refreshing romance track and finally gives way for a taut thriller twist in the climax. The love story between Farhan Akhtar and Deepika Padukone is mush-free and rather brewed over fresh and frothy coffee cups and vivacious vodka shots. Through funny one-liners and casual conversations, the couple strikes comfortable chemistry.
As the thriller treatment takes over, the director skillfully takes the drama to the threshold of tense moments. At the same time he plays with the psyche of the viewer, keeping him guessing about the subgenre of the suspense induced. One wonders whether the inexplicable telecommunication has a supernatural connection like in Madhavan’s recent horror flick 13 B . Or there is a psychological angle with a split-personality link like the ones prominently applied in films from Aks to Aparachit . Or Karthik actually has an alter-ego like most superhero films. But the logical explanation that the film offers to the mystery is the most gratifying culmination that the thriller could have opted for and beyond any predictable and perceptible perimeters.
Technically the film is a slick product. The cinematography by Sanu Varghese is commendable and Aarti Bajaj’s editing is crisp. Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy’s breezy tunes complement the couple’s chemistry as much as the background score by Midival Punditz adds effect to the thrills. Niharika Khan’s costume designs are elegant making Deepika Padukone look desirable in short skirts and giving a sassy makeover to Farhan Akhtar.
Vijay Lalwani also extracts impressive performances from his cast. Farhan Akhtar makes a remarkable switch in his character from being socially challenged to self-assured. He never imposes himself above the script and remains subtle and sincere through his act. Deepika Padukone is one of the most confident actresses of present times and glides through the role as smoothly as her persona. Ram Kapoor is notable as the wicked boss. Shefali Shah is decent in her part.
Final view:
Karthik Calling Karthik is a film calling in all admirers and connoisseurs of intelligent thrillers. Amidst several missed calls, blank calls, wrong numbers and cross connections (read tacky thrillers), this call from a new number (read debutante director Vijay Lalwani) is worth attending.

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