The early birds that have caught debutant director Akarsh Khurana’s slice-of-life comedy Karwaan are wishing lead actor Irrfan Khan had been around to give the film that extra fillip required in this competitive weekend with Fanney Khan and Mulk also opening tomorrow.
Box office trends are sometimes dictated by the promotions that actors do in the countdown to their film’s release. In Karwaan’s case, Irrfan who is being treated for a neuroendocrine tumour in London was unavailable. It is not known how serious Irrfan is. The actor, in a recent interview, said he had the fourth cycle of chemo. “There’s no guarantee of life with anybody,” Irrfan added.
Karwaan is the actor’s last release of the year. Producers Ronnie Screwvala and Priti Rathi Gupta, and director Akarsh, held a special screening of their film for Irrfan in London that was also attended by dialogue writer Hussain Dalal. “He seemed quite happy with it,” Akarsh said later.
However, Irrfan’s Karwaan co-star Dulquer Salmaan from the South definitely missed the senior Bollywood actor’s participation in the promotions. It was left to Dulquer and Karwaan newcomer Mithila Palkar to carry on the show. “We owe him that much,” Dulquer said. “I feel like, if Irrfan Sir was here, it would seem like a different film.”
Dulquer, who is Malayalam superstar Mammootty's son, firmly believes Karwaan ought to be seen for Irrfan. “His character is the heartbeat and the soul of the film. He is amazing,” the South actor said. Irrfan, who is “completely out of reading scripts now”, still has the release of his American film Puzzle to look forward to. Made by Oscar-nominated producer Marc Turtletaub (Little Miss Sunshine) the film is about a stifled suburban housewife (Kelly Macdonald) who forms a bond with a cosmopolitan man (Irrfan) over a mutual love for puzzles.