Amongst the abundant stereotypical romantic movies and comedies, Karthik Calling Karthik is a breath of fresh air – a titillating romantic suspense thriller.
Meek and under-confident Karthik (Farhan Akhtar) goes about life like its a chore. Bullied by everyone, he’s stuck at the bottom, despite his brilliance. The weak personality is a result of being dominated by an older brother throughout childhood and as the movie progresses it gets more complicated than that.
Stuck in a rut in the same company for 4 years, the high point of his days are staring at the unattainable Shonali (Deepika Padukone) and writing mails to her that he never sends.
The last straw is his public humiliation by his monopolizing boss. On the verge of ending his life he receives a mysterious phone call from, Karthik, himself! The slow pace picks up a bit at this point and but gets interesting and even funny. A daily 5 am dose of ‘Karthik’ helps him rebuild his life with a new dapper personality. He gains a sense of humor and uses his intelligence to make his boss plead for his return to a promoted post. The cherry on top is the lovely lady who he woos with style.
Everything is perfect, till the day he makes the mistake of disobeying the telephonic Karthik and reveals his secret to Shonali. The plot gets more puzzling when his psychologist, who claims that it’s his imagination, hears the call herself. At this point the stomach starts churning and the ring of a telephone has the audience jumping.
Karthik banishes himself to isolation to gain some sanity. Can that really happen till the mystery exists and the biggest secret is yet to be discovered? Will Karthik recover or will the compulsive lure of the now avenging caller destroy him?
The story takes its time to build and could have been faster. Sound effects at every point build the mood and the music composition is varied. Farhan Akhtar is a chameleon as his character transitions prove. Deepika compliments him as a co-actor and the two share some deep moments on screen. The last 45 minutes are very intriguing and one is on the edge of the seat trying to figure the mystery.
The makers may not have conquered the territory explored but have left their mark alright.
Contributed by Raashi Malhotra