Frankly, the interest of the elite audience may remain alive in the first half because of the freshness with which Karthik and Shonali’s love story has been tackled and also because the viewer keeps assuming that the telephone calls are a figment of Karthik’s imagination – in much the same way as Dr. Kapadia assumes, and even tells him so. But the moment Dr. Kapadia speaks with the caller, on Karthik’s telephone, the film becomes a suspense drama which it isn’t till then. From there on, the drama keeps dipping and begins to bore the audience. As for the masses, they will find it even more difficult to comprehend and appreciate what’s going on in the last few reels. The entire track of the telephone and its features, elaborately dealt with in the pre-climax and climax, is dull and far from exciting.

All in all, while the love story of Karthik and Shonali works to an extent, the track of the medical condition of Karthik is too elitist and also quite boring after a point of time. Even Vijay Lalwani’s dialogues are more class-appealing than mass-appealing.

Farhan Akhtar does well. He plays his character with understanding. Deepika Padukone looks sexy and does a good job. Ram Kapoor is efficient. Shefaali Shah also performs ably. Vivan Bathena gets limited scope but is okay. Vipin Sharma leaves a mark. Yatin Karyekar and the others lend the desired support.

Vijay Lalwani’s direction is just about fair. Not only is his script class-appealing but his narrative style is also easy-going and not fast-paced, adding to the boredom of the masses. Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy’s music is good. ‘Uff teri ada’ and ‘Hey ya!’ are excellently tuned songs and will be loved by the youngsters. Their picturisations (Uma-Gaiti) are energetic. Javed Akhtar’s lyrics are easy on the lips. Sanu Varughese’s cinematography is nice. Editing (Aarti Bajaj) is sharp. Production and tech- nical aspects are good.

On the whole, Karthik Calling Karthik is a film with limited appeal for a section of the audience in the big cities only. At other places, it will be rejected. The film will, therefore, find the going at the box-office tough.

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