Tag Archives: Karthik Calling Karthik

Streaming Video News: December 1, 2019

I updated my list of Bollywood movies on Netflix with the addition of seven Punjabi films — including the 2019 releases Guddiyan Patole and High End Yaariyaan — and the romantic comedy The Zoya Factor. The Sonam Kapoor Ahuja-Dulquer Salmaan-starrer didn’t make a splash at the box office, but I thought it was really fun.

Even more intriguing than what was added is what’s on its way to Netflix. The Hindi version of Saaho arrives on December 8, followed by The Sky Is Pink on December 11. It also turns out that Netflix is the new home for the Excel Entertainment back catalog, which left Amazon Prime last week. (More recent releases like Gully Boy will stay on Prime for the foreseeable future.) Netflix was Excel’s original streaming partner about 4 or 5 years ago. We’ve got new web addresses and a confirmed debut date of December 15 for all of the Excel films that haven’t been on Netflix before, including Bangistan, Dil Dhadakne Do, Game, and Karthik Calling Karthik.

While I can’t confirm that the rest of the catalog will definitely return on December 15, here are the addresses for all of the Excel films that were previously on Netflix so that you can add them to your List, just in case:

I also updated list of Bollywood movies on Amazon Prime with about a dozen Indian films added in the last few days, including the 2019 releases The Gambler (Malayalam), Malli Malli Chusa (Telugu), and Ottam (Malayalam).

Disclaimer: my Amazon links include an affiliate tag that may earn me a commission on purchases made via the links.

In Theaters March 19, 2010

There are few choices if you’re looking for Bollywood movies in Chicago area theaters this weekend. The movie industry planned on losing most of its local audience to Indian Premier League cricket matches and curtailed its releases accordingly. There are no new films opening on Friday, March 19, and just two older releases claim the rest of the allotted screen space.

The comedy Atithi Tum Kab Jaoge sticks around for a third week at the AMC South Barrington 30 in South Barrington and Big Cinemas Golf Glen 5 in Niles. Cop thriller Right Yaaa Wrong gets a second week at the Golf Glen 5.

There are fewer IPL matches scheduled for next weekend, so I expect a number of new releases to arrive in Chicago area theaters on March 26. In the meantime, the Golf Glen 5 is broadcasting IPL matches on weekends at 9:30 a.m.

As of last weekend, My Name Is Khan had earned $3,931,456 during its five weeks in U.S. theaters. Gripping thriller Karthik Calling Karthik earned $286,409 in three weeks.

Other Indian movies playing in Chicagoland this weekend include Body Guard (Malayalam), Suphi Paranja Katha (Malayalam), Vinnaithaandi Varuvaayaa (Tamil) and Ye Maya Chesave (Telugu) at the Golf Glen 5. Sathyam Cinemas in Downers Grove is also showing Ye Maya Chesave, as well as Leader (Telugu).

Opening March 12: Right Yaaa Wrong and Na Ghar Ke Na Ghaat Ke

The Big Cinemas Golf Glen 5 in Niles hosts the only new Hindi movies opening in the Chicago area on Friday, March 12: the cop thriller Right Yaaa Wrong, which stars Sunny Deol, Irrfan Khan and Konkona Sen Sharma, and a little known comedy with a long title, Na Ghar Ke Na Ghaat Ke.

Expect next week to be light on new Hindi movies as well, with wider Chicago area releases of movies featuring big stars resuming March 26.

Other Hindi movies continuing to show in the Chicago area this weekend include Atithi Tum Kab Jaoge at the Golf Glen 5 and AMC South Barrington 30 in South Barrington, Karthik Calling Karthik at the South Barrington 30 and My Name Is Khan at the South Barrington 30, AMC Loews Pipers Alley 4 in Chicago and AMC Cantera 30 in Warrenville.

During its four weeks in U.S. theaters, My Name Is Khan has earned $3,834,048.

Other Indian movies showing near Chicago this weekend are Inkosaari (Telugu), Vinnaithaandi Varuvaayaa (Tamil) and Ye Maaya Chesave (Telugu), which carry over at the Golf Glen 5, and Leader (Telugu) and Chattambi Nadu (Malayalam) at Sathyam Cinemas in Downers Grove.

The Golf Glen 5 is also showing Indian Premier League cricket matches in the morning every weekend through mid-April. Check the theater’s website for match times.

Opening March 5: Atithi Tum Kab Jaoge

One new Hindi movie opens in the Chicago area on Friday, March 5, 2010. The comedy Atithi Tum Kab Jaoge stars Ajay Devgan and Konkona Sen Sharma as a married couple desperate to rid themselves of an annoying house guest, played by Paresh Rawal.

Atithi Tum Kab Jaoge will play at Big Cinemas Golf Glen 5 in Niles and AMC South Barrington 30 in South Barrington.

Thriller Karthik Calling Karthik continues for a second week at the Golf Glen 5, South Barrington 30 and AMC Cantera 30 in Warrenville, having earned $179,643 in its first weekend in U.S. theaters.

Last weekend’s other new release, Teen Patti, leaves theaters after one week.

The only other Hindi film showing in the Chicago area this weekend is My Name Is Khan, which has earned $3,634,423 in the U.S. so far. It continues its run at the South Barrington 30, Cantera 30 and AMC Loews Pipers Alley 4 in Chicago.

Other Indian movies playing in Chicagoland include Aagathan (Malayalam), Leader (Telugu), Vinnaithaandi Varuvaayaa (Tamil) and Ye Maaya Chesave (Telugu) at the Golf Glen 5 and the Telugu movie Sadhyam at Sathyam Cinemas in Downers Grove.

Movie Review: Karthik Calling Karthik (2010)

3 Stars (out of 4)

Buy the DVD at Amazon
Buy the soundtrack at Amazon

If Shutter Island has piqued your interest in psychological thrillers, check out Karthik Calling Karthik, which manages to turn a corded home phone into a terrifying piece of communications equipment. I think I need to cancel my landline.

KCK stars Farhan Akhtar (the film’s co-producer) as Karthik, a hard-worker who’s unwilling to stand up for himself. Karthik’s meekness stems from the fact that he blames himself for his bullying brother’s death during a scuffle when they were children.

When he finally tries to stand up to his overbearing boss, Karthik is publicly humiliated and fired. At home, his suicide attempt is interrupted by a call on his recently purchased home phone. The caller is Karthik.

This voice-only Karthik knows enough details about his corporeal counterpart to convince Karthik that he’s not being duped. The voice promises to help Karthik improve his life, and his advice works. Karthik gains a new confidence that helps him land a better-paying job and a date with his dream girl, Shonali (Deepika Padukone). Karthik comes to accept these conversations with himself as something natural.

The voice insists that Karthik never mention his calls to anyone. But when Shonali asks Karthik for complete honesty, he tells her about the calls. The voice on the line isn’t pleased, and the consequences of Karthik’s disclosure are severe.

There’s an undercurrent of fear throughout Karthik Calling Karthik. Even during playful scenes of Karthik courting Shonali, it’s impossible to forget that they owe their romance to Karthik’s disembodied voice. The voice is terrifying because there’s no physical person to connect it to, and because it’s never clear what the voice is getting out of the phone calls. If Karthik really is calling himself, then anything that benefits corporeal Karthik benefits voice Karthik as well. But he can’t really be talking to himself, can he?

Akhtar deftly handles the challenge of playing essentially three different characters: shy Karthik, bold Karthik and disembodied Karthik. His voice acting is good enough that, even without reading the subtitles, it’s obvious when disembodied Karthik is providing encouragement versus threatening retribution.

Writer-director Vijay Lalwani’s debut effort is a strong one. He gets a little heavy-handed manipulating colors in scenes where Karthik is supposed to be confused or frightened. And there’s an epilogue that feels tacked on, undermining some of the film’s emotional impact.

But Lalwani deserves credit for providing a satisfying explanation for the phone calls. It would’ve been easier to leave the reason ambiguous under the guise of “letting the audience decide what happened,” but Lalwani manages to tie the threads together in a way that makes sense in retrospect.

And it speaks to Lalwani’s skills as a storyteller that I found myself inadvertently covering my ears during several scenes of the phone benignly sitting on a bedside table. The next time my own telephone rings, I’m making my husband answer it.

*Karthik Calling Karthik’s runtime is listed as 2 hrs. 35 min. It’s closer to 2 hrs. 15 min.

Opening February 26: Karthik Calling Karthik and Teen Patti

Two new Hindi movies open in Chicago area theaters on Friday, February 26, 2010. Karthik Calling Karthik stars Farhan Akhtar as the shy title character who secretly loves his coworker, Shonali (Deepika Padukone). Their lives change when Karthik gets a phone call from a man also claiming to be Karthik.

I’m not sure what to expect from KCK. The official description makes it sound like a romantic comedy, while the trailer makes it look like a thriller. But Akhtar and Padukone are my two favorite actors, so I trust them to make a compelling movie.

The other movie opening this weekend is Teen Patti. The thriller stars Amitabh Bachchan, R. Madhavan and Ben Kingsley as mathematicians who find a way to win at teen patti (a card game similar to poker) and recruit some college students to help them test their equation in casinos. The premise sounds similar to that of the 2008 Hollywood film 21.

Both films are showing at two suburban Chicago theaters this weekend: AMC South Barrington 30 in South Barrington and AMC Cantera 30 in Warrenville.

The South Barrington 30 and Cantera 30 are carrying over My Name Is Khan for a third week, which continues showing at AMC Loews Pipers Alley 4 in Chicago and Big Cinemas Golf Glen 5 in Niles as well. MNIK earned over $700,000 in its second week in U.S. theaters, bringing its total earnings to $3,253,168 so far.

3 Idiots leaves U.S. theaters after 9 weeks, having earned $6,523,103.

Other Indian movies showing at the Golf Glen 5 this weekend include Drona (Malayalam — not Abhishek Bachchan’s Drona), Leader (Telugu), and Vinnai Thaandi Varuvayaa (Tamil) and Ye Maya Chesave (Telugu), which are the same movie filmed at the same time, only in different languages and with different actors in key roles. Both VTV and YMC feature music by A. R. Rahman.