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Movie review: 'Raabta', a failure farrago of reincarnation

Last Modified Saturday, 10 June 2017 (11:52 IST)
Mumbai: Bollywood has several times tried and tested the theme but debutant director Dinesh Vijan's 'Raabta' comes across as a farrago of a contemporary love story that suddenly changes to an unlikely twist of 'Game of Thrones' ! The theme of reincarnation goes deep into karma, and the subject is embedded in our culture. Nobody’s really seen the world afterlife, so this makes the subject really fascinating.

However, Vijan's reincarnation story, the transition from present to past is not a coherent one. 'MS Dhoni' fame Singh Rajput comes across as over confident on screen. However, chemistry of Sushant and is quite good for a first time pairing. Shiv (Sushant) is a classic Punjabi guy in a foreign country.
He is cocky, desperate bloke who meets Saira (Kriti) in Budapest and falls for her instantly. Shiv is a charming banker who throws cheesy pick-up lines at women when it comes to flirting. Shiv falls for Saira in a patisserie and starts working to impress her and she slowly starts responding to his feelings. Soon the couple realises that there's more to their 'one night stand'. Saira feels karmic connection with Shiv and is warned by a fortune teller that history will repeat itself.

Saira who suffers from hydrophobia, has flashes of drowning in water and a hazy past life in her dreams. Soon enters the third wheel to the story, Merchant (Jim Sarbh) who is a wealthy liquor baron. Strangely Saira feels connected to Zac (Zakir) too. Zac is obsessed with Saira and doesn’t handle her rejection well. He kidnaps her and takes Saira to a secluded island. There are dreams and prophecies that take audiences to the past of these three characters.
A sneak into the past life shows how a warrior falls in love with the brave princess. The story unfolds the connection between these three and who Saira will eventually be going with. All the three lead characters seem too antiquated. Dinesh gives Saira a sad background of losing her parents in a car crash yet nothing is established out of it.

The first half deals with superficial romance with lovey-dovey moments of Sushant and Kriti while the second half portrays the warrior story. Dinesh captures his lead pair's chemistry onscreen brilliantly but has a cliched script with an over stretched story line which neither enjoys the present nor the past, leaving the audience bored. Sushant surely wins the heart with his playful acts, and macho cockiness.
In the portrayal of a warrior, he looks fierce, intense except for the strange accent he takes on. Kriti enthralls the audience with her spellbound and charming beauty and her acting is better compared to 'Dilwale' . 'Neerja' fame Jim Sarbh is a perfect snooker to Sushant-Kriti's doting passionate romance. He is a mysterious, manoeuvering man from the start.

Varun Sharma is a heavy disappointment in the flick. Rajkumar Rao is seen in a cameo role, with makers giving him a prosthetic look. Wasting a talent indeed ! Deepika Padukone's title track appears quite late in the film. The music and the background sounds work well for 'Raabta'. The cinematography shows perfect picturesque locations of Budapest and Golden Temple in India. 'Raabta' manages to share an inexplicable, timeless love through its reincarnation theme but for me it turns out to be more of a dream sequel as Shiv is shown not believing in the 'punar janam' concept.

The movie is fascinated by the idea of hero being killed and coming back to life to reunite with his love but fails to present any depth in the plot, lacking the balance between romance and revenge. Rating: 2/5/5 stars: 1 for Sushant and Kriti's acting, 1 for the Music and 0.5 for cinematography. (UNI)
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