Karwaan (transl. Caravan; Hindi pronunciation: [kaːɾʋaːn]) is a 2018 Indian Hindi-language road comedy-drama film written and directed by debutant Akarsh Khurana, and produced by Ronnie Screwvala and Priti Rathi Gupta. The film stars Irrfan Khan, Dulquer Salmaan and Mithila Palkar. It marks the Bollywood debut of Salmaan, and was also Khan’s penultimate film before his death in April 2020. It was released on 3 August 2018 and received mixed-to-positive reviews from critics.
Avinash Rajpurohit (Dulquer Salmaan) works for an IT company in Bengaluru. He is dissatisfied with his job and his boss, and was forced into it by his father Prakash, whom he did not have a good relationship with, and who was unsupportive of Avinash’s passion for photography. One night a travel agency calls him to inform him that his father has died in a road accident, and that the body will be despatched to him. He takes delivery of a corpse and hands it over to his van driver friend Shaukat (Irrfan Khan). As they are about to cremate it, they discover that it is the body of an old woman. Avinash is informed that the corpse with him is that of the mother of Tahira (Amala Akkineni), a widow who lives in Kochi, and that Prakash’s corpse and personal effects are with her. The two decide to travel to Kochi to exchange the corpses.
Avinash and Shaukat set out when Tahira calls them, saying that her teenage daughter Tanya (Mithila Palkar) has gone incommunicado, possibly due to shock after hearing her grandmother’s news. They go to Tanya’s college in Ooty, where Avinash meets her trying to leave the hostel. Initially she is aloof and irritable, angering Shaukat, but he agrees to take her along. En route, they discover that along with the corpse is a box containing the personal effects of Latha Nambiar (Ambika Mohan) of Kottayam, who was also killed in the accident, but are told there that Latha’s niece is getting married in Kumarakom. At the wedding, as Avinash and Tanya spend time with the groom, a gang of goons, which had been demanding payment from Shaukat for long, make off with his van. Avinash, Shaukat and Tanya—along with the wedding’s aged shehnai-player, who impressed Shaukat—chase it but in vain.
Shaukat and the shehnai-player are admitted to a hospital, where Shaukat falls in love with a young woman, but is dismayed to find that she is the shehnai-player’s wife. Meanwhile Avinash and Tanya spend time at an inn, but when Tanya picks up a pregnancy test at a chemist’s, they start an argument over her morals and she leaves for the hospital. There they come across Avinash’s doctor friend Raghu, who takes them to his home, where Avinash rekindles a long-lost friendship with Raghu’s wife Rumana (Kriti Kharbanda). The next day, at the police station, Avinash, Shaukat and Tanya find their van wrecked, but in its place is a new car. They go to the gang’s hideout on the pretext of repaying their dues, but flee when the goons arrive. Later Shaukat shares with Avinash and Tanya his experiences of him and his mother being tortured by his late father, at which they all agree that their fathers’ lives and deaths have caused them great suffering.
The three reach Kochi where Tahira warmly welcomes them. That evening Avinash discovers in his father’s diary that he actually wanted Avinash to retire from his job and take up photography full-time, but could not talk to him out of Avinash’s resentment for him. At the prayer meet later that evening in memory of both Tahira’s mother and Prakash, Tahira and Avinash make speeches for the two deceased people, who are then cremated. They spend the night at Tahira’s, making merry with her friends and family. The next day Shaukat finds out that Tasneem, the shehnai-player’s young wife, has been tortured by her aged husband; she asks to divorce him and Shaukat takes her along with the others back to Bengaluru. An inspired Avinash walks out of his job and starts a life of freedom with his new friends.
Irrfan Khan as Shaukat
Dulquer Salman as Avinash Rajpurohit
Mithila Palkar as Tanya
Sameer Saxena as Doctor Raghu, Rumana’s husband
Amala Akkineni as Tahira Moidenkutty
Akash Khurana as Prakash Rajpurohit
Beena Banerjee as Tahira’s mother
Nipun Dharmadhikari as Amey, Avimash’s colleague at his white-collar job
Donna Munshi as Tasneem
Rohit Dandwani as Office Employee
Abir Abrar as Avinash’s neighbour
Boloram Das as Cargo officer
Sarang Sathaye as Sanjay
Adhaar Khurana as Rahul
Shubrajyoti Barat as Nambiar
Ambika Mohan as Latha Nambiar
Adrika Shetty as Laxmi
Habib Azmi as Aziz Hussain
Kriti Kharbanda as Rumana Salim (Cameo appearance)
Siddharth Menon as Rajat, the groom at the wedding (cameo appearance)