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Karthik Calling Karthik
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Karthik Calling Karthik More at IMDbPro »

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33 out of 44 people found the following review useful:

Bollywood comes of age, again!

Author: agoyal1979 from United Kingdom
26 February 2010

It seldom happens after watching a Bollywood movie that you walk out assured that this has to be a Hollywood remake, going by the quality of the script and the execution, and then are surprised that it isn't. This is what happened to us when we came back home after watching KCK. First thing I did was checked on the internet but couldn't find any hint of this (to my happiness, surely I'll be disappointed if someone told me that it is a copy). KCK is a fresh flavour in an industry where outdated recipes are the order of the day.

The strongest point of the movie is the script. Taut and to the point. No fuss, no time wasted on useless banter. In the first ten minutes, you are in a 'zone' and that continues for the next 2 hours. The soundtrack is well embedded into the movie and the camera-work has a youthful feel to it.

We didn't have big expectations from the movie, being our first Farhan Akhtar enacted movie, and we only know him more as a director. But he surely lives up to it with a good rendition of Karthik (and surely takes up most of the screen area). Deepika Padukone doesn't have a lot to do, and it could have been any other girl with no big difference. Ram Kapoor and Shefali do well in their limited roles.

Wake Up Sid, Rocket Singh, 3 idiots and now KCK. In my opinion, Bollywood is taking a turn and for the good.

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20 out of 25 people found the following review useful:

A Nutshell Review: Karthik Calling Karthik

Author: DICK STEEL from Singapore
27 February 2010

The telephone has left its indelible mark as a horror film element, thanks to many Japanese films and Hollywood remakes which dwell on mankind's fear of pervasive technology, and it is easy to mistake this Bollywood film, written and directed by débutant Vijay Lalwani as one of the run of the mill horror films which the protagonist get antagonized by strange phone calls made to him in the middle of the night. Thankfully though it steered clear of that formula, although it did become quite the stretch in its home run revelation, to achieve what's relatively short for an Indian film that clocks in just slightly over two hours.

Farhan Akktar impresses and carries the film on his shoulders from start to end. Famous for being a prolific producer and director himself, he has no lack of acting chops and takes on the role as the mysterious Karthik Narayan, a meek man who is agonized by his childhood secret of having been involved in his brother's death. Carrying that kind of guilt while growing up does severe deficiencies as a child, and he becomes very much reserved, often failing to let his talent shine, and being trampled over in his office. He is infatuated with his beautiful colleague Shonali Murkhejee (Deepika Padukone) to the point of being a crazed stalker, accumulating thousands of emails he just had not the guts to send out, and it is this point about being obsessed that is truly scary in the film, especially when these emails were used to aid in the wooing process. Run, girl!

The only other film I watched Farhan star in, is the ensemble piece Luck By Chance, which gave a contemporary look at the Bollywood film industry. Here he cuts his Karthik in two different styles, the first of course which is the shy and gentle meticulous genius with a penchant for solving Rubik cube puzzle. The second develops when Karthik receives anonymous calls on his landline, from a chap to claim to be Karthik himself, dispensing advice on taking personal ownership and standing up for oneself. It's a confidence booster that Karthik's own psychiatrist (Shefali Shetty) seem unable to dispense, and with the prep talk every dawn at 5am, Karthik becomes the confident man as he struts around the office, succeeding in every aspect thanks to those calls, and eventually wooing the girl of his dreams.

The first half focused on the romance for the most parts after Karthik's professional life gets sorted, and here the usual musical montages form the backdrop of the courtship between Karthik and the outgoing Shonali. Deepika Padukone's career so far as been an interesting one, bursting onto the scene with Om Shanti Om and Chadni Chowk to China, both films where she would play two characters each. Thereafter the roles offered somehow didn't challenge the actress, from Bachna Ae Haseeno and Love Aaj Kal capitalizing on her good looks to become yet another romantic heroine. Karthik Calling Karthik again doesn't allow her to break new ground, other than being the clotheshorse in the film..

For a first timer, Vijay Lalwani doesn't become like Karthik in being the bundle of nerves, but pulls this film through with a story that discusses about how technology develops itself despite detrimental effects to health, and mental issues of guilt and intricate complexities of the mind. Through the narrative he challenges the usual norms that one would stereotype this film under, although for a teasing moment decided to let it go a little to offer what a horror film would do with ease. The cards get kept close to his chest with a satisfying revelation at the end of course, but somehow the second half, in which Karthik would be set to challenge the caller after a series of downfalls because of the breaking of promises (and if pushing it, the inevitable trusting of a woman!), seem to be dragging things out for a tad too long, and convenient to boot as well.

No cheap gimmicks were used, and by steering clear of the expected, Karthik versus Karthik manages ring through (pardon the bad pun) as an above average thriller.

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14 out of 15 people found the following review useful:

first psychological thriller from Hindi filmdom...

Author: Thomas Anderson from India
5 May 2010

This is the first review I am writing and I am writing it because I just had to. So impressed was I after watching this movie. I am still surprised that it has come from Bollywood and not Hollywood. The script is the strong point of the film (I shall not delve into it as it is a suspense story). It is original (as far as I know) and neatly does the job of keeping you guessing till the end. Though some people are not happy with the ending I was quite satisfied with the explanation given. It is an acceptable resolution from a psychological point of view. This film must be the first psychological thriller from Hindi filmdom and quite a credible one at that.

The execution of the script is also exceptional. Acting by all the key people (which by the way is only a handful) is very spontaneous and natural. Cinematography is in line with the thriller genre with a lot of shadows thrown in for good effect. Music (both songs as well as background score) also fits the mood of the film perfectly. Editing is tight and there is no lag in the movie. Overall this debut effort by Vijay Lalwani is quite appreciable as he steers clear from stereotypes and clichés. Kudos to the whole team behind KCK.

Alongwith "A Wednesday", "Rock On", "3 Idiots", "Dil Chahta Hai", "Munna Bhai 2", "Chak De", "Lagaan" & "Rocket Singh" this movie makes it into my list of all time favorite Hindi movies in recent times.

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15 out of 18 people found the following review useful:

Karthik calling karthik: really bollywood's to be proud material

Author: ANISH GUPTA from India
21 April 2010

hey everybody, don't listen critics, this is a superb movie which leaves u engrossed for the whole runtime and never runs away from its point, the characters are real and u feel part of them. the storyline is perfect, the songs are well embedded, farhan and deepika are just brilliant. and the suspense is worth sitting, the background score is enough engrossing that u feel a part of it, the moment it begins. Somehow, I could correlate to KARTHIK from the word go and loved it, I was so into the movie that I watched into full one stretch and didn't even move a single inch here and there, come what may. So forget critics, watch this superb movie and be proud that in this totally blurred and commercial age of bollywood in which actors like SRK and AKSHAY don't know nothing except to be making films for own motive, we have actors like FARHAN which r sincere and want to work from their heart, not because they want to earn money, but because they want to act.

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12 out of 13 people found the following review useful:

The best way to give yourself a call

Author: Peter Young from Earth
18 May 2010

Farhan Akhtar stars as Karthik, a young square man who blames himself for his elder brother's death at childhood and who lives a very unsocial life, working at a big company where he has to bear his boss' daily humiliations, while Shonali, the girl he is interested in does not even know of his existence. One day, he gets a phone call and the caller surprisingly identifies himself as none other than Karthik himself. From then on, things change for the better for Karthik. Nightly calls from this very person consist of constant positive advices of how to run his life and different encouragements, and consequently Karthik turns into an altogether different person, much more secure, happy and easy-going. He finally catches the eye of Shonali. Things seem perfect, but the story takes an unexpected twist.

That's Vijay Lalwani's directorial debut, Karthik Calling Karthik, which is for the most part a successful psychological thriller. The best thing about it is the fact that it's not superficial. It has some hidden sentimentality and it gives the viewer an insight into the complexity of the human mind. Though at times the film is a bit too slow, the story is generally well written and narrated, and the subject is handled quite well. The film does manage to be as disturbing as it probably intends to be at some points, and in other moments it is uplifting as it shows us how a person can build his happiness on his own, using his imagination and inner feelings.

The film's first half is for the most part a romance, and unfortunately an overly simplistic and boring one. The main concept and the mysterious phone calls get somewhat sidelined in this part until the story takes shape and becomes more intriguing and watchable in the second half. The film is benefited, however, by a great soundtrack by the reigning trio Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy. The songs are nice though not always do they suit the film's proceedings, and sometimes it feels like they stretch the narrative to no end. But then the film turns in a rather interesting way, and the viewer gets ready to get all the answers to his questions, of which he may have already forgotten. The suspense in the second half is well done. The film becomes thrilling and remains continuously unpredictable.

The acting in Kathik Calling Karthik may not be exemplary, but it is definitely effective. Farhan Akhtar is the tormented hero. He is good at some points and one may feel for him at times, but as the insecure guy he is quite unnatural. This is not entirely his fault. His character's transformation was too quick to be believable anyway, so it's the writers who are to be blamed for this. Deepika Padukone is okay and though she evidently tries to do her best, she does not really succeed in delivering the confusion her character must be going through and her dialogue delivery is weak at points. Shefali Shah appears in a smaller role as Karthik's psychiatrist, and she is outstanding as expected.

All said and done, Karthik Calling Karthik is entertaining, gripping and enjoyable. It is a worthy effort with an interesting study of human psyche through such terms as consciousness and subconsciousness. The ending was quite good, though it was not completely satisfying. I suggest you to watch the film with family or friends. It may be serious, but it should not be taken seriously.

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14 out of 18 people found the following review useful:

Rare thriller from bollywood

Author: bollywood hollywood from United States
26 February 2010

As the strange name "Karthik calling Karthik" forces you to think about movie, ditto with the well maintained suspense. It forces you or better says engages you for 2.5 hrs that most other bollywood movies never accomplished even for few mins. It's nice to see lot of bollywood movies coming up with tight script and engaging direction. Even most traditional film director/actor is coming with as bold movie as "My name is Khan"!! . As bollywood is always blessed with powerful actors, but it's only since last few years we are seeing above par script and well crafted direction, and on top of that versatility of subject selection is like icing on cake. Let's hope this trend will continue.

As movie is suspense thriller, it's not worth to discuss story. At glance it look more like beauty and geek kind of material, but turns into more meaningful storyline that keeps you engaging till end. As for Deepika, she is still learning and did as expected to do but Farhan Akhatar is improving with every film. At first he started acting for fun, but now he seems more sincere about the same.

Nothing negative about this movie but, I still miss Farhan Akhatar as director. For me "Dil Chahta Hai" and "Lakshya" are much worthy then any of his film as actor. Hope he will not let his inside director vanish completely.

All in all KCK is one more movie from bollywood this year that is worth watching. 7.5/10

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20 out of 30 people found the following review useful:

Five minutes into the film and i was hooked!!

Author: Naman Kapur from India
26 February 2010

Ring Ring! Karthik picks up the phone and speaks to someone he never thought he would.. The person speaking claims to be Karthik!

The person claiming to be Karthik calls Daily at 5 am and says he is there to change Karthik's life......


Karthik is an IIM topper and the record breaker of CA exam.. His job sucks and he is frustrated of his life.. His boss tortures him and the girl(Deepika Padukone) whom he secretly loves doesn't even know he exists or not!


Karthik is a changed man! Shonali(Deepika) is now his girlfriend! He has been promoted on his job! His boss is now polite to him! Thanks to his 5 AM friend!

But you keep guessing that is it possible? Can you ever get a call from yourself? This is what you keep thinking till the climax unfolds and you come to know the truth behind that mysterious phone call!

Special Kudos for débutante director Vijay Lalwani for making a great thriller! This is Farhan Akhtar's third film as an actor and it must be said that he takes giant strides when it comes to acting.. This is by far his best work! Not many movies in bollywood have been made under the genre of psychological thriller and that is main highlight of the film.. Vijay Lalwani's writing is superb and direction is fantastic! The music of the movie(Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy) is an asset for the film! Background score by MIDIval Punditz is great! Deepika is getting worse! She definitely needs someone to train her!

The main aim of a suspense movie is to keep the audience guessing what will happen next and Karthik Calling Karthik succeeds in doing that!

To conclude:

Positives: The suspense is maintained well, Superb acting by Farhan and excellent music!

Negatives: The ending of the movie may NOT be appreciated by some!

My Rating : 7/10

Thanks and Regards

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11 out of 13 people found the following review useful:

Good movie

Author: PD from India
28 May 2010

A kind of movie that keeps you glued to the seats, and keeps u wondering for what would happen next.

Nice movie, excellent direction and portrayal of angle's. Definitely have to appreciate the director and team for a good movie far from typical bollywood crap item songs, crap scenes, etc.

If u really enjoy movies that would thrill you, it is indeed a must watch. It is a movie that you have to watch frame by frame.i guess people who didn't like it skipped scenes hopping to see some action and fights. I guess.

Hats off team

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10 out of 12 people found the following review useful:

a film not for bollywood old viewers.KCK bringing bollywood to higher level

Author: shahz_ca from Pakistan
18 April 2010

a marvelous job sir vijay..wat a a film screenplay and direction... the film end depict that director has really did research to bring a awesome end......wat a master piece. though by all Indian website reviews it was not regarded a good film so i prepared myself that this film was a flop so would not be good but as movie reach to its hour the film itself changed my mind and gave birth to feeling within myself that i am not watching a bollywood film but a film of Hollywood....farhan akhter and vijay(director,screenplay writer) really deserve some recognition for his work... otherwise Bollywood would be unfair to him. really bollywood hasnot yet prepared for a standard film which is free from all that unrealistic things such as songs and love triangle..

most of Indian film critics gave it rating 2 0ut of 5 but i will rate it 4.5 .

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11 out of 14 people found the following review useful:

Well made movie

Author: S Rao from Dallas, Tx, United States
27 February 2010

KCK is a well made movie that does not insult the intelligence of the viewer. The script, editing and story telling is crisp. Acting is believable. Overall I came back very entertained. Not the typical film from Bollywood that gets put out in the name of "masala". A special word of praise for first time director Vijay Lalwani for trying something bold and off-beat in his very first movie. Also Farhan deserves special mention; he dons the cap of lead actor and does a very commendable job. He is truly the "master of all trades" -- a good director, producer, writer, singer and now an actor. Shefali and Ram Kapoor have also turned in good performances.

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