Karwaan had the potential to be a great meditative film
Karwaan, a film by Akarsh Khurana, is a road trip with difference. Here, three individuals, who are different from one another, happen to travel together with a purpose. How the journey helps them to undergo the process of self-discovery and acceptance forms the story. The plus point of the film is the combination of two most effortless actors - Irrfan Khan and South Indian heartthrob Dulquer Salman. In fact the concept of the film is also nice that how one's life itself is an ongoing process of constant self-discovery, exploration, acceptance, change etc. The film also focuses on how important it is to be tolerant towards others' perceptions too. The minus point of the film is that in an effort to treat the concept unconventionally, the film takes a very subtle tone throughout, the screenplay has tremendous scope of improvement. It is a likeable film.
Dulquer makes his debut in Hindi films through Karwaan. He plays the character of Avinash representing those people, who left their passion behind by succumbing to the authority figures of their lives. He always wanted to be a photographer, but yielded to his father's command to be employed with IT Company in Bengaluru. Avinash is dispassionately living his job and life. He feels that his father is responsible for this unhappy choice which he had to make in his life. One day, he gets the news of his father's death in an accident.
He contacts Shaukat (brilliantly played by Irrfan Khan) to help him with a vehicle to fetch his father's body. Shaukat decides to join Avinash to fetch his father's body. Shaukat’s van has Majrooh Sultanpuri’s shayri written on it:
मैं अकेला ही चला था जानिब-ए-मंज़िल मगर
लोग साथ आते गए और कारवाँ बनता गया I
Wrong corpse is given to Avinash. On enquiry, he comes to know that his father’s body has got exchanged with Tahira (Amla)’s mother (Cochin). Tanya (Mithila Palkar), the grand-daughter joins Avinash and Shaukat and that is how Karwaan begins. Tanya represents the youth who does not believe in any rights and wrongs, and not at all apologetic for her relationship. She lives her life like a free spirit who chooses to live life on her own terms and conditions.
All the three characters are different from one another but the commonality between them is that all of them are emotional and sensitive in their own manners. What do Shaukat, Avinash and Tanya discover about self during this journey, and which aspects of their personality get exposed to the viewers? This Karwaan turns out to be functional for them or not? Do they realize, how they want to handle their lives ? Do they learn the art of forgiveness and tolerance?
About the cast, Irrfan is superb. He is an acting school by himself who carries the role with so much ease. His spontaneity in delivering the dialogues is very nice. Wish him speedy recovery from the dreaded disease. Dulquer who is known for his screen presence and effortless acting in the south is absolutely comfortable in the skin of Avinash.
Karwaan plays out like a fairytale of sorts where the forgiving characters go about on a journey that does not disclose any logistical parameters neither sheds light into what matters. It dances on the periphery and strives to add comedy to everything, even death, which is counter-productive to what it sets out to be. The performance, comedy, and the overall positive vibe earn it four stars, but as a road movie, it still is a middle-bencher. TN.