Farhan Akhtar is by far one of the best in industry from the New Age lot. In fact, he could easily claim his own genre of films that are commercial enough to sell but yet manage to be different; seriously different. He rose to fame with his meaty role in Rock On! followed by a selfish act in Luck By Chance and now a more mysterious one in Karthik Calling Karthik. Trust Farhan to support a debutante director, Vijay Lalwani who decided to debut in the most un-Bollywood of ways by making a psychological thriller and encourage new talent. Lalwani’s script managed to convince Farhan enough for him to produce the film and even bag Deepika Padukone to play the lead heroine. And with this comes a serious problem; expectations of KCK were sky-rocket high. The music became a rage with listeners almost instantly and of course who can expect anything but an uncommon performance. Will you be redialing this one or is KCK engaged?
Meet Karthik (Farhan Akhtar), a complete introvert who refuses to stand up for himself and thus gets pushed around by everyone. So it isn’t surprising to know that Karthik is secretly in love with Shonali (Deepika Padukone), a fellow colleague. Finally he hits a saturation point when he loses his job and just when he is about to call it quits with his life, receives a phone call…from Karthik. Of course this isn’t anyone else but his more secure self-conscious who teaches him how to live life on the edge in a new fashion. Eventually, his life changes and he even declares his love for Shonali. From here on, it all goes downhill for Karthik and his relationships, including that with himself.
Initially you are drawn to the film because it is very Farhan-Akhtarish. It’s different, young and mysterious. However, when Karthik decides to become honest about his secret phone calls is when the film falters and the plot plummets. As a director, kudos to Lalwani who does an immaculate job but is unfortunately hurt by his own weak script. And of course, it’s the second half that becomes draggy and boring. It is packed with unnecessary songs that are just pasted in to fill space and slows down the already slow pace of the film. Immediately you are bored and then like a speed breaker, the film comes to its climax abruptly. You are left asking for more or wishing it ended way back.
Performance-wise, KCK is Farhan Akhtar all the way. He has never failed to disappoint in the past and has does not yet again with Karthik Calling Karthik. He does complete justice to his role in KCK and you simply can’t imagine anyone but him playing Karthik. The transition from hermit to extrovert is inevitably hard for an artist but Farhan does it with great ease. His best work so far? Absolutely. Deepika Padukone is good for the most part — nothing much to talk about on her part. She reminds you of Meera from Love Aaj Kal. Ram Kapoor is spot-on. We really need to see more of him. The same goes for Shefali Shah.
Musically the soundtrack is pretty average except for the very amazing ‘Uff! Teri Ada’ which is on its way to becoming a national rage if it isn’t already. And the choreography for the hit song is fun and masti-filled. A quick word on the witty dialogues is a must; not only are they written superbly but spoken even better by the protagonists in the film.
KCK will work in the cities more than anywhere else because such films cater to a niche group of people who will understand and even appreciate such cinema. Watch it for Farhan and Uff!