Movie Review: Raabta, What A Bizarre Reborn Ultimatum!

A reincarnation fantasy with Sushant Singh Rajput and Kriti Sanon, directed by Dinesh Vijan, is as pointless as a pen without a nib
two stars

Psst, here’s sharing a secret. I have resolved to give up my laptop, family, reverse the clock and  somehow get reborn as Sushant Singh Rajput or if not at least, producer-turned-director Dinesh Vijan. What a brain teaser of a movie they have made! Sarcasm, totally intended.

By the way Raabta, an Urdu word meaning connection, relation or contact (pick whichever one you will) once figured in the song Kuchh to hai tujhse raabta from the messy espionage thriller, Agent Vinod, which Vijan saab had co-produced with Saif Ali Khan. Lyrics, you guess, are always a fertile source for film titles. Nice, nice.

I’m deviating here simply to point out that instead of a 007 bang-a-bang, the producer-director has now opted to go the way of the reincarnation theme, which has been done to a dodo-like death and with far superior results, of course by the golden oldies, especially by Bimal Roy’s Madhumati and to a less degree by Subhash Ghai’s Karz and erm, Rakesh Roshan’s Karan Arjun. All of them were enhanced by outstanding music scores, charismatic performances and even slivers of credibility. Yup, who knows rebirth is possible? You have nothing to lose but your chains of rational thinking.

sushant singh rajput kriti sanon in raabta
Sushant Singh Rajput Romances Kriti Sanon In Raabta

Tragically though, Raabta is a mishmash, a blend of any Yashraj-Dharma chase-the-gorgeous-girl routine in European locations, and  the addictive American TV series Game of Thrones. Okay so charges levelled of plagiarism by the producers of the Telugu hit Magadheera have been sorted. And no one’s raised a peep about any stylistic or thematic similarities with Rakeysh Om Prakash Mehra’s Mirzya. C’est le Bollywood, after all. Male bespoke bodies, female allure, coochie coo smooches, bahut si masti phir bahut sa bizarre melodrama are the norm here.

Back to my resolution. Truth be told my first choice would be to reborn as Shiv (Mr Rajput) who’s in Budapest which I have forever longed to visit. I’d love to be the caddish, flirty, funtime guy who flips heels-over-head for Sairaji (Kriti Sanon) on sighting her in a patisserie.

Cake, do, teen, then, a cuddly-pooh romance is on, clouded now and then like Mumbai’s pre-monsoon sky right now. Saira’s still recovering from a personal tragedy and has some mysterious premonitions. No dum in the story, as one of the characters says. Hence Shiv and Saira are about to spooked by a humongously horrid khalnayak (Jim Sarbh of Neerja, in the imminent danger of being typecast). What to do? This is now becoming an angry grrr grr ki kahani.

Khalnayak, as it happens, is a liquor baron possessed of a helicopter, palatial digs and generally, of  the jolly good times. He wants Saira, with the manic zeal of a film casting director, and she’s abducted. What next? Zoom backwards to the primeval ages, brimming over with the Game of Thrones atmospherics. And presto, the hero has become one of those barbaric warriors with braided, rastafarian  hair. And the heroine has become royalty, with coordinated costumes and hair couture -- all in the mission of becoming legends of whom it would be said “Ek tha raja, ek this rani.” Tee hee.

More: A hellish hungama erupts, prompting me to wonder whether it was a sane idea to wish to be reborn in Sushant Singh Rajput’s avatar of Shiv. Too much stress, bouts of rage and action feats involved. To avoid a spoiler alert, let me just say the wrap-up had me braiding whatever’s left of my own hair. Despair. Really, what’s the point of making such movies in the cause of fantasy entertainment?

sushant singh rajput kriti sanon kiss
Sushant Singh Rajput And Kriti Sanon In Raabta

Ergo, maybe it would be more desirable to be reborn as Dinesh Vijan, who evidently has an abundance of resources and energy to expend. Technically, Raabta is sufficiently gloss, expertly lensing every nook and cranny of the exotic locales. Yeah, at least there’s some form here, never mind the believe-it-or-faint content.

Erm, Rajkummar Rao shows up again this week, in a cameo of sorts, decked up in prosthetics and fur to portray an ancient seer. Impact: unintended comedy as if our dear Mr Rao had just auditioned for 102 Not Out, in vain.

As for the widely-publicised chemistry (meaning sizzle) between Sushant Singh Rajput and Kriti Sanon, it’s sought to be bludgeoned on the viewer. Mr Rajput, with his limited repertoire of expressions, is far from impressive. Ms Sanon looks good, acts just about okay.

All seen and endured, then, I have to give up on my resolution to be reborn. Better to stay at home, far away from psycho liquor barons, in the safe company of  the laptop, family and unbraided hair.




Image Source: instagram/raabtaofficial & youtube-tseries

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