Let me start off by saying watching Karwaan was like going on a road trip through the winding, lush green roads of Ooty and zoning out as you stare out of the window. If you’re someone who’d like to go for a movie without reading a review, the trailer of this one should get you to the theatre. The peg of the movie, along with Dulquer Salmaan‘s nerd boy avatar and Irrfan Khan‘s epic punchlines will definitely get you to book tickets.
For those who are apprehensive, sit back, relax and read on.
Avinash Rajpurohit played by Dulquer is an IT professional who leads a monotonous life. His life takes a turn when he gets a very cheery and customer-service like call that informs him of his father’s death. This is the crux of the story. Avinash‘s everyday life is something that’s been shown in a number of other movies- an artiste who buried his dreams for a more secure future, who now hates his life. But what’s different is how the story is told. For instance, a wall in Avinash’s office reads ‘Don’t Complain, This Is Better Than Unemployment’ and an office standee that reads- ‘Always Remember, You’re easily replaceable’ – (I may be paraphrasing here) The movie shows Avinash’s life through a glass of dark humour that makes you want to laugh at his situation. In fact, it looks like his part of the story is a dig at every customer service hotline and customer service executives who are expected to smile through the volley of sh*t that they go through on a daily basis. And this is pretty much how the whole story goes forward. The whole movie seems to be ridiculing the so-called ‘no time for anything’, too-cool-for emotions, practical society that asks you to get along in life just by going with the flow. It almost feels like another world, with dysfunctional people where smiling even after some one’s death seems to be okay. This is what I loved most about the film. Dark humour is finally put to some good use,allowing people to laugh at situations that are grim.
And then enters Shaukat, a character so different from Avinash, you wonder how these two are friends in the first place. Irrfan’s character is the life of the whole movie. Irrfan’s dialogue delivery and too-cool-for-school attitude will win you over instantly even if you don’t agree with his character’s views most of the time. The character is not too developed except for his modest worldviews and kickass punchlines. But, if it wasn’t for him, the movie would have been a total dud.
Mithila Palkar seems at home playing an angsty late teenager. She’s literally every millennial/Gen z ever, with her Instagram addiction and headphones plugged in almost all the time. She’s the woke youth that knocks some liberal sense into the other two seemingly old school characters.
For both Dulquer and Irrfan this movie was their obvious choice, both seem comfortable in their character and acting comes as easily as going for a walk in the park. Going by their choice of films so far, this was nothing too different. I would be lying if I say if Shakaut didn’t remind me of Yogi from Irrfan’s Qarib Qarib Single. Both different of course, but quirky AF.
DQ seems like a huge fan of the slice-of-life genre going by his portfolio of movies and this is just another one to his bag. Although while he might have been the perfect choice for the role acting wise, it was hard to believe that he didn’t know a single word of Malayalam. It may be because as a Malayalee, I’m more used to him talking fluent Malayalam in his movies. But his Hindi did unfortunately remind me of my very own attempts at stringing two full Hindi sentences together. While his Hindi accent seemed great enough for an Avinash Menon maybe, it did not cut the mark for someone as North Indian as a Rajpurohit. There really is no explanation for his accent in the story, which could have been made if needed. And it seems a little more off because Irrfan’s command over the language stands as a stark contrast to his. But DQ makes up for this in the as the movie progresses and when he makes a short speech, you finally feel like okay maybe he could be a Rajpurohit after all.
While the story may have revolved around Dulquer’s character, (since it is the most fleshed out one of the lot) Irrfan steals the show. And I do wish there were more scenes of banter between the three characters than the songs featuring winding roads.
All in all, this would be one movie you’d love to watch on a rainy day and definitely something that you’d want to watch again and again. Also, it’s a sight for sore eyes to see so much greenery on the screen.
I’d say, on a Friday night if I had no other plans and if I’d want to watch a light-hearted movie, this would be my pick.
Cast: Irrfan Khan, Dulquer Salmaan, Mithila Palkar
Director: Akarsh Khurana