‘Karwaan’: Irrfan Khan elevates this light comedy | Movie rating: 3/5 | Review of the Hindi film “Karwaan”

Focusing more on the journey than on the goal, “Karwaan”, directed by Akarsh Khurana is a light comedy, conceived as a road film. So obviously you have little road and more comedy that’s offbeat, subtle, and sardonic.

So, like a typical road movie, mellow and sweet, here the main characters leave their house for a road trip, changing their perspective on their daily life. They change, grow or improve during their journey. The story written by Bejoy Nambiar begs the question of what story does it actually offer? While the setup is interesting, the character gains and arcs are flat and unimpressive.

This is not a story of hitchhikers ready to hit the road. But instead, it’s the story of a devoted son Avinash Raj Purohit (Dulquer Salmaan), who ensures he fulfills his father’s last rites after his sudden and untimely death in a traffic accident during of a pilgrimage to North India. Avinash despised his father for not letting him pursue his passion for photography.

Now reluctantly working in the IT industry and based in Bangalore, Avinash goes to collect his father’s remains from the cargo section of the airport with his friend Shaukat (Irrfan Khan), who owns a garage. So it is obvious that he gets the vehicle to transport the corpse.

But after recovering the body, they realize that there has been a blunder. So, to correct the evil, Avinash and Shaukat travel to Kochi to exchange the bodies. En route, they pick up Tanya from her college, she is the granddaughter of the deceased woman whose body is with Avinash.

Their journey sheds light that contains the trio’s own secrets about life and loss and is peppered with moments without major conflict, yet action-packed, sentimental and hilarious.

The key character who lights up the screen and makes the film memorable is Irrfan Khan. Its particular one-liners are what keeps you in the lunges. It’s not that his lines are original, but the way he delivers them, the timing et al, is what makes him unique, absurd and memorable, ensuring a laugh after every delivery.

Dulquer Salmaan slips into Avinash’s boots with grace and ease. He is the epitome of a good and conscientious boy. Mithila Palkar is natural like daring and adventurous Tanya. Amala Akkineni as Tanya’s mother, Tahira and Kirti Kharbanda as Avinash college friend Rumana are gracious and they have their moments of glory on screen.

Visually, the film benefits from the fine work of cinematographer Avinash Arun, who bathes the feature film and its characters in a brilliant naturalistic composition.

All in all, “Karwaan” is a pleasant surprise that ends up entertaining you in unexpected ways.


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