Movie Review: Raabta

Rating: 2/5

OVERVIEW: History of Bollywood cinema is peppered with tales of reincarnation and ill-fated love transcending the cycle of birth and death.Madhumati, the Vaijayanti Mala, Dilip Kumar starrer based on reincarnation and transmigration won the hearts of it audience. Looks like the theme is quite a hit with the average Indian filmgoer but it looks highly unlikely that Raabta will find its share of claim to fame.Debutant director Dinesh Vijan fails to hold the movie together despite the very talented cast.

REVIEW: Raabta is like a George RR Martin story envisioned by Subhash Ghai. While that sounds epic from the Indian perspective, director Dinesh Vijan’s film isn’t always as great as its ambition.It’s a slickly made movie, but its not very original and not always consistent or coherent.For a film talking about love, betrayal and a 1000 year old prophecy, Raabta employs too much comedy and urban romance. There’s too much of a Befikre vibe in a film trying to be Magadheera.

Shiv is a banker (Sushant Singh Rajput, annoying in his Shah Rukh hangover) who flirts with every other ‘gori’ girl sees an Indian chocolatier Saira/Saiba (Kriti Sanon, pretty, but exhausting in her naivete) and dumps the girl and begins to flirt with her, following her home.They sleep with each other. But there is a boyfriend who shows up, and the banker now behaves so badly at a restaurant to break the girl and her boyfriend, you want to throw things at all of them.The villian ( (Jim Sarbh from Neerja) shows up who and you hope something is going to happen. But he too has been given priceless dialog like: Is gaadi mein tumhari duvidha ke liye bhi jagah hai (there’s room in this car for your confusion also). Of course the girl is so stupid, she gets drunk with the chap she has just met – the villain – and says drop me home. He gets her drunk and takes her home, his home. But not before saying, ‘Kill him.’

She falls into water (don’t ask how) and instead of drowning (which would have saved the film) she dreams of her past life. Of course she is a warrior princess and is hunting fish (the sequence would have been a great fantasy thing had they not put a disclaimer: CG Fish at the bottom of the screen).Their forest kingdom some rubbishy name like Pathar (stone!) is attacked by some new tribe. Hero in this life is a snarly, tough tattooed chap, who takes up the challenge and what follows is like a third world copy of Mowgli running from Bagheera sequence.

The good part of Raabta is the modern love story. There’s spunk and energy in Sushant Singh Rajput’s and Kriti Sanon’s romance. Even Jim Sarbh’s nutcase rich boy character has some genuinely great moments. Had this film not featured the entire backstory track, Raabta could have been a deeply gratifying romance thriller. The performances by Sushant Singh Rajput, Kriti Sanon and Jim Sarbh are great in the modern arc. Their efforts in the flashback don’t count for naught because the edit and the screenplay don’t do any justice to their revised characters.

Finally the The film undoubtedly has a huge potential, but it fails because the plot is foreseeable and so Bollywoodish, that after a point I wasn’t much bothered about the direction in which the film was heading.Let movies like Bahubali and Magadheera deal with reincarnation, Bollywood should know that they are terrible at fantasy. Mohenjodaro and Mirzya should have been hard lessons

—–Panchaganya