Karthik Calling Karthik
Directed by: Vijay Lalwani
Producer by: Farhan Akhtar, Ritesh Sidhwani
Starring: Farhan Akhtar, Deepika Padukone, Ram Kapoor, Shefali Chhaya, Vivaan Bhathena, Vipin Sharma, Yatin Karyekar
Music Dir: Shankar Mahadevan, Ehsaan Noorani, Loy Mendonca

Farhan Akhtar with recent successful directions - 'Rock On!' and 'Luck By Chance' - comes with his third good movie. This time though he plays an actor, not a director. This establishes him as both a successful director and also an actor. Farhan exudes confidence for he faces fierce competition from none other than the Big B and Ben Kingsley starrer 'Teen Patti' releasing the same Friday, February 26, 2010.

In the movie, Farhan plays Karthik, a character completely ignored, discarded and exploited by his boss who calls him a strange fellow. He is shy and an introvert, who loses confidence and performs poorly at office. As a result, he goes unnoticed by his office colleagues. It's another matter that Karthik loves his colleague, Shonali. But for her, he doesn't exist. He writes many mails to his ladylove expressing his feelings, but never clicks send. He believes that nothing could better his life. His brother dies and he holds himself responsible for it and therefore gets usually disturbed at night.

No counseling helps him. Suddenly, a magic bell rings. He gets a call from someone who is also named Karthik. The phone call has his own voice at the other end. This voice tells this IIM-topper and diligent worker to think of improving his life. Then, lo and behold, Karthik's life changes. Karthik's phone rings at 5 a.m. sharp. He is able to woo his ladylove and also performs well at office.

Things go well until he talks to Shonali about the calls. As the luck would have it, this voice that was guiding him on how to tackle his problems turns hostile. Karthik's life starts going downhill. The first half proves a nice drama. The second half is pretty much about whether Karthik can tide over his difficulties. The premise isn't all that solid.

Critically analyzing the movie, we find that the script is beautifully textured and constructed, though the screenplay isn't that good. Vijay Lalwani fares well as director and also as dialogue writer. He manages to get the best out of all the cast. His storytelling is innovative. Acting-wise, Farhan Akhtar rocks as the title character, and one sees him as a master of all trades. Ladylove played by Deepika Padukone isn't far behind. She dons that girl next-door charm, making it real. That perhaps is the reason why the movie is simple and lacks the glamour sizzle and the entertainment quotient.

Lalwani should have given her more opportunity to shine and attract the audience. Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy's music is melodious, especially "Uff Teri Ada". Zaved Akhtar's lyrics are laudable. Niharika Khan is creative with costumes for the different occasions. Sanu Verghese excels with cinematography as he captures the varying moods of the lead actor along with different locations. Overall, 'Karthik Calls Karthik' makes an interesting movie and is worth watching.


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