Two men were in love with the same girl, in both lives, today and 800 years back. Separated by a lifetime, same things happen to them and they must meet the same end if one of them does not muster courage to alter it.
When Shiv and Saira meet in Budapest, they instantly connect. They spend 2 days and one night together. Just when we thought they were made for each other Saira asks him to get out of the house as she already has a boyfriend! She says, we hardly know each other while she had casually slept with him last night. It became obvious that the film is made to appeal to the young college going crowd that believes in ‘no strings being attached’. There are young, good looking actors, lovely clothes, great European locations and beautifully shot landscapes with a bit of fun and romance thrown in here.
Sushant Singh Rajput as an actor has a quality that appeals to most people of all ages. In this film he exudes boyish charm, carries a romantic aura, and a vulnerability that was very well capitalized on by film M S Dhoni. These qualities of his, work very well for this film as most of the first half is spent convincing the viewer how adorable is the boy and girl on that celluloid. Producer turned director Dinesh Vijan probably forgot that the couple in the lead here is not Shahrukh Khan and Kajol who could carry the entire first half on their romantic histrionics. Actor Jim Sarbh makes an entry much to our relief just before the interval, cutting short the monotony of this romance.
Jim Sarbh has been getting rave reviews ever since he played a terrorist in film Neerja. In this film, as Zakir merchant aka Zac, he offers layered nuances of performance, uses his body language effectively to put across the character of a psychic lover who would kill to win. But in both his lives, his Hindi dialogues with a heavy American accent took away a lot of mystique from his character. Also the character was so dismally written that Zac becomes laughing stock in most parts while he had the potential to scorch the screen like in Neerja.
I could draw parallel between Raabta and Rakesh Om Prakash Mehra’s Mirzya as the character of Sahiba is common to both and so is Saahiba’s confused love. The scenes shot by cinematographer Martin Priess in the beautiful island for the past life track are breathtaking, especially the fight scenes between the tribe Murarka’s head Jilaan played by Sushant singh Rajput, Kriti and Sarbh. But that is not enough to keep the interest in the film. Also the character of the oldest man in the tribe played by Raj Kumar Rao was a bewildering spectacle but could have been used more effectively in the storyline. He would mostly talk in rhyme, in an accent that to me sounded Awadhi – Muraka kabhi na haara, usey dhokhey ne maara.
The film boasts of good looking actors, great wardrobe, lovely locations, you can’t take your eyes off the screen but it’s difficult to be emotionally invested in the characters. We never cared when the characters laughed or cried. The film constantly changes its temperament. In the middle of a crisis, the characters were cracking jokes.
Raabta is somewhere between a thriller and a romance and tries to be a little of everything. I was mostly glued to its cinematography and styling. Rest all seemed less fascinating.