There is something fascinating and mysterious about reincarnation tales which if told well can make for interesting cinema and somehow this topic has always interested both our filmmakers as well as the audience. Madhumati, Mehbooba, Om Shanti Om, Karz, Kudrat, Karan Arjun, etc. are some fine films made in this genre. Alas! Debutant director Dinesh Vijan’s Raabta (Urdu word for connection) evokes neither interest nor intrigue in the two and a half hour proceedings and this in spite of having two talented and good-looking youngsters Sushant Singh and Kriti Sannon on board…
The story starts with a typically sickening playboy-type of Punjabi ‘munda’ (guy) hitting out at every girl and Sushant goes out of the way to try and be this colourful character. Now our Punjabi guy Shiv, who happens to be a banker, leaves for Budapest on a project with his friend and there he comes across Kriti Sannon (Saira) who runs a chocolate shop. They hit it off from the first moment and feel an instant connection which neither is able to understand but as audience we obviously do!!!
Kriti is shown to have weird and unexplained dreams every night where she sees blurred faces and people in a strange tribal get-up and killing and blood. She wakes up sweating, pops in some pills and goes back to sleep but is strangely not interested in consulting any doctor. After our young couple have had their playful banters we are shown that she is actually having a boyfriend who is then conveniently removed from the way. Then they meet a fortune-teller lady who forecasts an impending danger about to enter Kriti’s life which would create havoc like it had done many years earlier and unless she herself makes an effort to change it this time, it would wreck her life once again.
With interval time approaching, it is time for the third angle of the triangle to enter the scenario. Jim Sarbh (who seems to be on a roll after Neerja and A Death in the Gunj) plays the role of an obsessive lover and also happens to be a character from the previous birth. He arrives in style in a helicopter with a battalion of armed security guards. He meets Kriti at a get-together where she tries to flirt with him and that did seem a little bizarre considering that she has such a loving boyfriend. She ends up inadvertently asking for trouble and paves the way for it.
He mistakes her friendly overtures to be love and when Sushant is away for a week on some work, he kidnaps Kriti and takes her back to some isolated island. There he reminds her of their connection in the previous birth where they had been lovers before Sushant had won her over and married her. He had killed Sushant in that birth and threatens to kill him this time also if Kriti refuses to marry him. That’s when our dear heroine gets all answers to her weird dreams and realizes that she must sacrifice her love to save Sushant at least in this birth.
But the plot till interval had been too slow and by the time the villain enters and she remembers everything it is too late and the slow proceedings frankly fail to impress. The entire sequence of the previous birth seemed totally creepy and the well-choreographed sword-fights are very little and come too late to make any impression. The climax has nothing new to offer as the lovers try to escape from Jim and his gang of gun-toting men.
In spite of the weak script, the film could have still got away had there been some kind of absorbing chemistry between the lead pair. Further, the weak script lets them down very badly and the actors are just not equipped with the kind of charisma or talent to pull it off.
And pray! what was Raj Kumar Rao doing in that extraordinary get-up and that too for a blink and you’ll miss role…
Sushant Singh, no doubt charming, still seems strongly attached with the ‘Dhoni’ image for the audience to accept him in such a spontaneous character. This kind of role seemed more suited for Ranveer Singh. Though Sushant does succeed to a certain extent, somehow it is not half as convincing. Kriti looks very good but is unable to bring any pain or love in her eyes and in some scenes her expressions in both the births seem to suggest that she really doesn’t care whom she finally ends up with.
In the absence of a strong narrative, music could have saved the day. But here again the director has to contend with an average musical score. There is only one song- ‘Ik vaariya…’ by Arijit Singh which is good. The director even managed to rope in Deepika Padukone for the title track which she sings on Jim and Kriti’s engagement day. But Deepika looks a little disinterested because no way can those steps be called dancing and for some strange reason her lip-syncing also looks half-hearted.
A love story involving rebirths should at least have intensity and passion between lovers which is essential to a fuel script like this and make the re-incarnation part seem believable. The sizzling chemistry visible in the posters and trailer is prominently missing in the film. A very strange phenomenon of a ‘love comet’ is introduced in the story which strikes the earth only once in 800 years. So this saga that unfolds actually tells a tale of two lovers whose love remained unrequited in a previous birth 800 years back and have been reborn now to be united in this birth (!)
Firstly, I wonder if Sushant and Kriti actually saw the full film before embarking on their whirlwind promotional tour! For if they did, would they seriously want people to see the film?
Secondly, why was Jim Sarbh left out of the promotional campaigns when he has an equally important role in the film? Why should the focus only be on the lead pair and leave out the villain?
Currently there are five young and talented heroes ruling the roost- Varun Dhawan, Ajun Kapoor, Ranveer Singh, Siddharth Malhotra and Sushant Singh Rajput. The competition is tough and their choice of films could make a big difference to their career. Sushant needs to be more careful in his choice of films…