Karwaan: Irrfan, Dulquer Salmaan & Mithila Palkar make for a fun ride, but there’s a but

You know you’ll have fun when you’re watching Irrfan on screen, you just know it. But did you also know that you’ll have an equal amount of fun watching Dulquer Salmaan on screen? Of course both Shaukat (played by Irrfan) and Avinash (played by Dulquer) are two very different characters and as Shaukat is jovial, Avi starts off as a bit of a khadoos. But they’re both such talented actors, that you really have a good time.

Karwaan is about Avi, who is stuck in a dead end job. One fine day, his father dies while on a religious trip, and the body delivered to Avi is not his fathers. So he sets out from Bangalore to Kochi to exchange the body of a woman’s mother with his fathers. And on the way encounters a lively teenager who hops on board.

The canvas for director Akarsh Khurana is huge and the expectations are even larger. Making a journey film isn’t so much of an easy task, especially when you have the lovely Irrfan who has set a benchmark with Shoojit Sircar’s Piku, a film of the same genre. And for me, this film stumbles. There is less of story telling and more of just telling. Random background stories are added while main background stories are omitted. In a journey film, the journey is the key. While Khurana tries to make this journey the key, it somewhat doesn’t. What becomes the key here, at least for me, was Irrfan and his fabulous performance.

You cannot doubt an actor like Irrfan. He plays Shaukat to perfection and with so much wit. The character is a crack, and beauty of Irrfan is that he becomes that crack. He’s also given the best lines. Dulquer Salmaan and Mithila Palkar make their Hindi film debuts with this film, and they’re both really great actors, one finer than the other. Salmaan plays Avi with a great sincerity. Perhaps it is his experience down South that allows him to play this character and also emote as the character demands. In front of both Irrfan and Dulquer, Palkar seems like a debutante. Even though she seems raw, she shows a lot of potential to grow, and perhaps be an upcoming star.

The lovely Kriti Kharbanda makes a special appearance and she genuinely made me fall more in love with her. She’s too radiant!

All in all, Karwaan is shot beautifully, has some great performances but the story and writing lack.

If I had to rate the film, at least five to six times I saw a Piku angle to the film. Did you?

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