Death unites us all. It’s when we come face to face with the reality of the final rest that we realise the true value of life. And it’s only when someone close to us passes away that we realise that the differences, the angst, the separation wasn’t worth it. Unlike life, death doesn’t offer a second chance, however. We can only learn from the tragedy and move on, perhaps to take more chances, perhaps to let go of our inhibitions and lead a healthier, fuller life.
Avinash (Dulquer Salmaan), loses his father in a road accident up North. Tanya (Mithila Palkar) loses her grandmother at the same accident but the coffins get swapped. Avinash travels from Bangalore to Kochi in the van of his friend Shaukat (Irrfan Khan) and picks up Tanya on the way from her hostel at her mother’s insistence. They keep getting into one misadventure after another and somehow get out of them unscathed. The film ends with them finding closure from each other and from their own selves as well.
While Karwaan is a laugh out loud comedy, it also carries an emotional undercurrent. Dulquer’s troubled relationship with his father is at the heart of that. Little instances makes him remember his father, and ultimately makes him realise that he wasn’t as bad a parent as Dulquer thought he was. The Malayalam star, who happens to be superstar Mammootty’s son, makes an assured entry into Hindi films. The way he expresses the emotional angst through minute gestures speaks of his pedigree. And he’s spot on with his reactions to Irrfan Khan, who has been given the onus of providing the broad comedy in the film. Irrfan had played an unwilling driver before in Piku but the difference is that along with carrying eccentric passengers, he’s also carting a dead body around this time. He does get the best lines and his deadpan delivery fetches the most laughs. Shown to be a guy who cannot digest the rising hemlines and promiscuity of the youngsters, he’s both fascinated and repulsed by Mithila Palkar’s character, who plays a true-blue bohemian teenager more interested in sex and booze than anything else and thinks she’s got life all sorted out. Palkar is a natural in front of the camera and is surely someone to watch out for in future.
This comedy is also a roadtrip and Avinash Arun’s cinematography gives the film a picture postcard quality. We’re used to seeing the North in Hindi films and the lush beauty of South India offers a pleasant contrast to that and reminds us how beautiful our country really is in totality. The one-line plot point isn’t without hiccups. For instance, Mithila’s mother has no qualms asking a complete stranger to check on her daughter and drop her back home. Mithila herself plonks herself on the bed of a man she hardly knows because she couldn’t sleep. She and Dulquer do share a nascent chemistry but the director thankfully keeps it real and doesn’t turn it into something from a typical Hindi film.
Watch the film for the fine acting by the entire ensemble cast. This comedy will surely tickle your funny bone and would make you reflect on life as well…