Southern star makes the grade and he and Irrfan Khan and Mithila Palkar all give as good as they get…
IF YOU LIKE road movies, and you have some interest in India, new and old, you’re probably going to quite enjoy ‘Karwaan’ (‘Group of Travellers’).
It certainly has its moments – with ‘Shaukat’ (Irrfan Khan, who gets all the best lines) and the charming, very likeable ‘Avinash’ (Dulquer Salmaan, one of the big stars of South Indian films and the son of Malayalam film legend Mammooty in the film) – and ‘Tanya’ (Mithila Palkar, a rising star), there‘s much to savour and enjoy.
The story might seem far-fetched…anywhere else, but in India. Two dead bodies get mixed up and the caskets end up in the possession of two different families after a road accident in the Himalayas.
Avinash is the much put on IT executive in Bangalore, who detests his job and yearns for the creative life he left behind as a young photographer trying to make it.
He elicits a very natural sympathy, except when he takes Tanya to task, much like his old man saying ‘work is God’ and it is most certainly is in IT, banking, lawyering – forget photography.
Palkar plays the new India – slightly brash, headstrong, independent, smart and very open (pregnancy test and all – and no shame or embarrassment in that).
Shaukat is Muslim and from a different era altogether. He doesn’t like Tanya and her short skirts but she has substance (not substances) and is more than the sum of her parts.
The three of them learn a lot about each other and more about life. It’s fun and funny – but it is a little painting by numbers (nothing wrong with that in itself) and falls short of being something truly memorable because of it. However, the beautiful Southern locations add another level of pizzazz to what is an entertaining ride, mostly.
Good performances, a reasonable story and huge lashings of quaint sentimentality straight from a bottle will work for many.
It either goes down very nicely or a little uncomfortably, because it’s just a little too tidy. We might tend slightly to the latter, but fans of Irrfan and Dulquer won’t be disappointed.
ACV rating: *** (out of five)
‘Karwaan’ is out globally now…