Free Press Journal

Raabta is Flighty and fanciful


Cast: Sushant Singh Rajput, Kriti Sanon, Rajkumar Rao, Jim Sarbh, Varun Sharma, Nidhi Subbaiah, Miroslav Lhotka, Karan Chhabra, Satendra Bagasi

Director: Dinesh Vijan

After a surfeit of indeterminate Bollywood films that plied the reincarnated theme comes this unhinged and boundless love story that dates back to centuries past. New gen (2017) youngsters Shiv (Sushant Singh Rajput) the flirty Punjabi lad who thinks he is God’s gift to women and Saira (Kriti Sanon), a pretty woman he hits on at a Patisserie in Budapest, feel drawn to each other. Unbeknownst to them, 21 grams each of their medieval bodies transcended space and time, beyond the realms of this earth only to find an appropriate resting place in their present forms. And the reason why their respective souls went into an un-restful tailspin suddenly comes right back into their lives. The villain of the piece, so-to-speak, a liquor baron who thrives on tail-spinning, Zach (Jim Sarbh) gets back into the act, playing spoilsport to young love. He kidnaps the girl and makes their happily ever after a little too protracted to be happy at all.

It’s a disappointment no doubt. The film belies all positive expectations. Dinesh Vijan’s debut directorial effort has a subject that will draw more yawns than wahs! The hackneyed and ancient, formulaic storyline is way too decadent and unoriginal to be satisfactory. And passion is severely lacking in this grandiose production of age-old romance.

The archaic plotline, in fact, throws this partly soft, gooey romance to the wolves. The shift to medieval times, to a reincarnate past, weighs down the narrative with its brutal representation and uncomely flourishes. And there’s more talk than show here. It is said that Zack and Saira were in love until a savage warrior seduced her away. So, did the love story turn on its head?

Costumes look like they’ve been borrowed from hit western TV shows and production values lack distinction.

Saira, grappling with a tragedy, falls a little too fast for the Romeo who doesn’t think anything’s wrong with hitting on her while he is out with another woman. And Saira isn’t bothered either. Of course, the Hindi film universe is filled with so many such examples of primeval egotism that this sort of romantic overture is generally considered par for the course. And the rejected suitor has all the subtlety of a road roller. His antics are just too wild to be appreciable. Sushant Singh Rajput exhibits energy and substance as he lends life to his dual personas. Kriti doesn’t have much to do other than look troubled and besotted. Raj Kumar Rao lends all-too-brief thespian presence and Jim Sarbh is a little too light-weight to be arch villain material. It’s 800 years of love forced on you without ease or comfort. Not a productive outing this!