« Back to articlePrint this article

Kartam Bhugtam Review: Baffling!

May 17, 2024 12:42 IST

If there is any actor who emerges from this wreck with his talent unscathed, it is Vijay Raaz, observes Deepa Gahlot.

What is the likelihood of today's multiplex audience even going to watch a film with a title like Kartam Bhugtam? Not unless they read good things about it on social media, because the only ones who would venture into the cinema would be critics or, these days, influencers.

It is explained several times, however, in this film, directed by Soham P Shah, that what goes around comes around. A better translation would be as you sow, so shall you reap. A rather obvious title for a revenge movie, with a television crime show kind of elementary plot, a slapdash look and relentlessly loud background music.

Pity that the actors who have done better work are trapped in this dud.


Dev (Shreyas Talpade) returns to his hometown Bhopal (because Madhya Pradesh Tourism is laying out the red carpet for Bollywood) from New Zealand, to wrap up his late father's estate, take the money and start a business in Auckland.

Not surprisingly, he hits bureaucratic snags everywhere.

His local buddy Gaurav (Gaurav Daagar) takes him to an astrologer he calls Anna (Vijay Raaz), who predicts everything correctly for him.

When his property and bank matters are stuck, an initially sceptical Dev is also drawn to Anna and his docile wife, Seema (Madhoo), and slavishly performs all the rituals as recommended.

In a superstitious country like ours, with people gullible to occult mumbo-jumbo, Dev's vulnerability is understandable. Shah's script adds exasperating scenes like Dev hunting for a green shirt because Anna said he must wear that for luck.

In no time, Dev is in the clutches of Anna and his wife.

These two are an odd couple -- she speaks Tamil-accented Hindi, he speaks Dakkhani, and they are supposedly from Mangalore -- it's all South India, doesn't matter!

It takes months of ignored phone calls for his girlfriend (or maybe wife) of six years, Jia (Aksha Pardasany) to wonder why he fell off the face of the earth and land up in Bhopal to search for Dev.

She finds him in bad shape and a doctor instantly diagnoses Dev's illness as 'paranoid schizophrenia' advising Jia not to take him back to Auckland because apparently, Indian doctors don't give up on their patients and believe in God!

If the film was merely baffling and boring till this point, it becomes absurd now, moving to Bangkok and an outlandish vengeance scheme.

The visual quality of the film changes for the better.

Apart from the glamour of Bangkok, there is just a hint of suspense.

Shreyas Talpade gets to play a hero type at last, who can pull off tricks in a foreign land with a mysteriously inexhaustible source of funds.

If there is any actor who emerges from this wreck with his talent unscathed, it is Vijay Raaz.

Never mind that who-believes-it-now moral simplicity of Kartam Bhugtam because these days, more often than not, crime does pay.

If there is any takeaway from this film, it is this: Don't take astrologers so seriously and read documents before signing them.

Kartam Bhugtam Review Rediff Rating: