Have you ever received a call from yourself? Is it possible in the first place? There are several theories doing the rounds about the two Karthiks in this movie. So what is it? Is Karthik hallucinating? Does he have a double role? Or a split personality? For most parts of the film, you actually buy the explanation that Karthik does receive calls from, well, Karthik.
Let's accept the fact that a concept like this instinctively generates curiosity in the film. But the real test is to make the story work in those 2 hours. Also - this is vital - the identity of the caller should come as a jolt when the film concludes. Karthik Calling Karthik works in parts, but during the penultimate part, when the story shifts from Mumbai to Kerala, the sand castle, so beautifully built by debutante director Vijay Lalwani, gets washed away.
One doesn't want to challenge the behavioural patterns of a person with a certain disorder, but when it comes to the big screen, when you are narrating a story on celluloid, you need to do a lot of spoon-feeding and make it look convincing. In this case, unfortunately, the finale is just not convincing and therefore, acts as a spoilsport.
Meet Karthik [Farhan Akhtar], an introvert by nature and shy by choice. Karthik suffers with huge confidence issues and is miserable at his average job that yields less than average results. His boss [Ram Kapoor] treats him like dirt. Shonali [Deepika Padukone], his colleague, who he secretly loves, doesn't even know that he exists. Karthik is a loser. He knows it. He accepts it.