Karwaan (Caravan), as much as the name suggests, is a film on a road trip. Like several other road trip movies, self-discovery is a primary theme running throughout the plot.
The protagonist Avinash (played by Dulquer Salmaan), a guy next door, works in a Bangalore based IT firm, albeit against his dreams of becoming a photographer. An unexpected call from the customer care center of a travels company changes his life forever, as he finds himself on a road trip with his dear friend Shaukat (played by Irrfan Khan).
As Avinash and Shaukat start for Coimbatore one thing leads to another and a third person – Tanya (played by Mithila Palkar) joins the two at Ooty.
The film too takes us on a journey through some humorous series of events that take place most unexpectedly around every corner, going onto some warm moments when the on screen characters get to understand each other better
Dulquer Salmaan, quite a big name down south, makes his debut in Hindi cinema with Karwaan. He plays the role of the boy – next door quite effortlessly. He is definitely a fine actor, and whether this film makes a box office impact or not, his acting surely has made a big impact and can be tagged a successful opening in Bollywood.
Each protagonist in the film has a backstory which is revealed much later in the plot though not much is done to go into the depths of each story. Particularly touching is Shaukat’s backstory which he narrates and almost chokes. Hidden in all his humorous one liners is an abusive father and a disturbed childhood. Irrfan Khan is amazing as always and plays the character wonderfully. Mithila Palkar, a popular web series actress but a newcomer on the big screen (being just two films old), does quite a decent job here playing the role of a rebellious teenager. Sharing screen space with fine actors like Dulquer Salmaan and Irrfan is a formidable task. There are a handful of other characters who add some depth to the plot, notable among them are Kriti Kharbanda and Amala Akkineni.
The director Akarsh Khurana, whom we have recently seen as an actor in the web series ‘Yeh Meri Family’, does a wonderful task of balancing emotions throughout the movie. Dead bodies are prime to the plot, but the movie remains less about death and more about life. The plot maintains a good pace throughout and never getting into a boring territory. The cinematography of the film is beautiful, cinematographer Avinash Arunhe takes us on a journey through the hills of Ooty to the backwaters of Kerala with some beautiful shots. Coming to music, songs are used as background score throghout; the song Chota Sa Fasana by Arijit is probably the most beautiful of them, while ‘Heartquake’ by Papon keeps the audience in splits.
Karwaan is a joyful journey from starting till the end and for the acting of Irrfan and Dulquer, is definitely a must watch.
CultureBowl Rating : 3.5/5
Reviewed by Soumyashanto.
He may be reached here: cultcrew(at)culturebowl.com