You reap as you sow – the meaning of Kartam Bhugtam applies as much to the movie’s makers as it does to its characters.

New Zealander Dev (Shreyas Talpade) arrives in Bhopal to settle his family affairs. Dev is due crores in inheritance that he is unable to extricate from banking red tape. In a hurry to return, Dev heeds a friend’s advice and consults the astrologer Anna (Vijay Raaz).

Apart from exuding implacable authority, Anna can accurately predict events to a nano-second. In Anna and his kindly wife Seema (Madhoo), Dev finds the family he is missing, to the extent of neglecting his own spouse Jia (Aksha Pardasany). When Jia does eventually meet Dev, he is a shadow of his former self.

The plot is simple enough to warrant a cut-to-the-chase approach. But writer-director Soham P Shah, who last directed Luck in 2009, takes forever to get going, spelling out what is already apparent, and piling on the implausibility.

The threadbare production, which is staged like a TV movie, barely justifies the 131-minute duration. Anna advises Dev to have “a little patience”, but much more of this quality is needed to endure overstretched moments and mostly indifferent acting. Only Talpade and Raaz appear to be paying attention.

While Dev’s psychological slide is believable, his truth-seeking quest boggles the mind. A serviceable idea about predestination and second chances misses its target, with the latter sections doling out explanations without bothering to make them stick.

It’s the kind of movie in which a man who has been with a woman for years doesn’t see it fit to tell her what he has been up to. “Kartam Bhugtam”, remember?

Kartam Bhugtam (2024).