A still from the movie Karthik Calling Karthik Image Credit: Supplied

Karthik calling Karthik
Cast Farhan Akhtar, Deepika Padukone
Director Vijay Lalwani
Rating G

It's the position of the coloured squares on a Rubik's cube that sets the pace for Vijay Lalwani's unusual story about the bespectacled genius Karthik Narayan.

Karthik's a loveable, quirky guy who lets his co-workers bully him and prefers to hide his love for one of his colleagues in unsent emails that he saves in a drafts folder. His past plays spoilsport with his present, forcing him to undervalue his own brilliance. It is only when he replaces his old phone that his sad life takes a turn for the better. But this fairytale hits a roadblock when he makes a wrong move.

Lalwani definitely deserves praise for creativity but Arti Bajaj's lazy editing poses a crucial setback. The tedious first half could've easily been cut to accommodate a more gripping second half. Despite having all the ingredients to cook up a wicked climax, Lalwani plays it boringly safe. The story requires more clarity and detailed research would've gone a long way to tightening the loose ends.

Lalwani is no Hitchcock, so let's not humour ourselves into believing that he hit the bull's eye in his debut venture. Yet, we should credit him for attempting to set a higher standard for Bollywood suspense thrillers. Farhan's meek voice helps in his portrayal of the underdog. However, his makeover into a savvy model is too sudden. Deepika doesn't have much to do - except play pretty.

Farhan is a talented director, but hasn't had much luck with his acting. Perhaps his true calling is behind the camera. Looks like it's time to pass on the message. Pick up our call, Farhan!