Akarsh Khurana directorial 'Karwaan' revolves around the life of Avinash played by Dulquer Salmaan an IT guy working in Banglore who is informed about his father's death by a travel company and has sent the mortal remains through a consignment. He is then invited to a sudden unplanned journey only because the packages are exchanged with a stranger and Avinash has to reach out to pick it. In this road-trip which is full of uncertainties, he is accompanied by his only friend in the town Shaukat Ali played by Irrfan Khan. They are heading to Kochi down south just to get the right consignment and this journey unleashes some picturesque locations which are an awe to the eye. Another addition to this road trip is Tanya played by Mithila Palkar who the daughter of the lady where Avinash's father's mortal remains are accidentally exchanged.
The three of them belong to a different tangent of life but have one thing in common, they are all lost souls and fate, or rather deaths, bind them together. Karwaan is a simple story where a depressed and repressed man Avinash, in his late 20s, is leading a life he never wanted for himself. Repeated flashbacks make us realise that the person to blame is his father played by Akash Khurana who plays a strict father yelling at his son to quit photography and focus on his career.
You don't get fully baked characters but every one of them is convincing enough to entertain you making you stick to the film's narrative with all your attention. The journey looks cliche but then you have Irrfan Khan the show stopper as his character serves you half the entertainment all by himself. This time Irrfan plays a small town guy with a lot of conviction and with his Surma Bhopali accent he makes us laugh and giggle with many funny moments that unwind with the film's narrative one by one. Kriti Kharbanda has a cameo to play as Avinash's good old college friend Rumi. There are some pleasant unsaid conversations taking a look back at the college days. The climax is thought-provoking and finally, Avinash understand's his father's strictness, as all his harsh words were like a carpet of flowers in his life guiding him to follow his dreams. Akarsh Khurana brings a simplest of film with too many funny moments to cheer for. By the end, the three strangers become best of friends. You will definitely move out of the theatre with a long lasting smile on your face.
The songs of the film are a true treat to this road trip comedy-drama. Arijit Singh's number 'Chota Sa Fasana' explores some lush green endearing locations from Kochi and traditional fresh coconut water fresh as ever just chills your spine. Surprisingly the man with the director's hat Akarsh Khurana has himself laid the lyrics. The choice of artist for the songs is spot on and the not so famous folk artist 'Prateek Kuhad' has sung two soulful songs straightaway connecting with the audiences with a lot of feelings. Audiences would search for the song artist especially and yeah it is a huge shoutout for Prateek. Created two melancholy refreshing songs 'Kadam' and 'Saansein' are two hard-hitting numbers audiences can rejoice for a long time. 'Heartquake' by Papon adds crisp romantic flavour to the narrative and showcases the funny Shaukat aka Irrfan Khan trying to impress his love interest. Not to forget song is 'Dhaai Kilo Bakwaas' by SlowCheeta a soft-hearted rap number where its Malayalam verses are penned and performed by Anish John and Sanjeev Kumar Nair.
Technically, the film could have been a little bit better and more cinematic as we had picturesque Ooty and Kochi to explore through the camera lenses. Although drone shots were missing and we can conclude that the director of photography Avinash Arun has done quite a decent job by not overdoing it with the camera in hand. Also, the direction and screenplay from Akarsh Khurana stand tall as the sailor of the ship has kept things crisp whether it is humour or emotions. Dialogues by Hussain Dalal sounded surreal and some meaningful lines are an ode to life especially when we hear it from Irrfan.
Overall, Karwaan is a feel-good film taking you on a pleasant road trip where many of the unanswered questions get you a reply. A thumbs up for 'Karwaan' as this comedy road-trip ride is worth your time.