Banners: Maddock Films, T-Series Films
Producers: Dinesh Vijan, Homi Adajania, Bhushan Kumar, Krishan Kumar
Director: Dinesh Vijan
Cast: Sushant Singh Rajput, Kriti Sanon, Jim Sarbh, Varun Sharma, Rajkummar Rao (s.a.)
Music: Pritam, JAM8
Raabta is a film that not only impresses with its vision but it has an extra edge, thanks to seamless transitioning between contemporary times and an ancient era. This film scores on another front too. A love story, it is essayed by a lead pair that shares great chemistry, drawing the audience in and getting them to empathise completely with the onscreen lovers. Sushant Singh Rajput and Kriti Sanon fit together like a hand in glove.
The film starts with Shiv (Sushant Singh Rajput) leaving his hometown in Punjab for a job that takes him to Budapest. Shiv meets Saira (Kriti Sanon), who runs a chocolate shop in Budapest, and instantly falls for her.
Saira, who lost her parents at a young age, suffers from nightmares and relies on medicines to get a good night’s sleep. However, after meeting Shiv, Saira gets a new lease on life and discovers another side to herself. She starts to reciprocate Shiv’s feelings and falls in love with him.
Enter Zakir Merchant (Jim Sarbh), an extremely rich liquor baron who meets Saira. Zakir is obsessed with Saira and after his attempts to woo her fail, he kidnaps her. Next, we are taken back centuries, where the three of them – Shiv, Saira and Zakir – share a past life. How their story unfolds forms the crux of the film.
The film begins on a happy note, with Shiv and Saira falling for each other, and their connection is evident right from the word ‘go’. The dialogue is very apt, which makes watching the film even more enjoyable. When the second half of the film begins, you find yourself trying to guess what’s going to happen next. Although several scenes in the first half of the film lack credibility, they have been handled tactfully.
Kudos to producer Dinesh Vijan, who marks his directorial debut with this film. He brings an impressive tale to the screen and along with his writers Siddharth and Garima tries to reinvent a reincarnation story. The problem is, he succeeds only partially. However, Vijan impresses with his way in which he handles his actors. The first half of the film is a smooth ride but the climax seems a little staged and fails to create any impact. Another drawback of the film is its villain, who does not exhibit any strength.
The concept of the film is very clear: some people are simply meant to be together in every lifetime. In both the stories, Vijan plays with the classic love triangle and interestingly places each character in the narrative seamlessly. However, there are a few flaws apart from the length of the film. So, for instance, if Zakir and Saira have a premonition about their past life, why doesn’t Shiv have them too? How does Shiv end up at Saira and Zakir’s engagement party, and how does Saira, who lost per parents at the age of two, manage to take care of herself.
Cinematography by Martin Preiss is marvellous. The sets are apt and support the narrative. Editing by A Sreekar Prasad and Huzefa Lokhandwala could have been crisper. With a runtime of 148 minutes, the film could have easily been trimmed. Costumes are apt. The film has hit music, which is a big plus.
Performance-wise, Sushant Singh Rajput excels in his part. He carries the role with flamboyance and is very charming. His act as Shiv is OUTSTANDING and, as Jalan, he is equally brilliant. Kriti Sanon plays her part with panache. Just like Singh, she too plays both her characters brilliantly. Jim Sarbh irritates and, as mentioned earlier, his character and his performance are among the biggest drawbacks of the film. Varun Sharma does justice to his role. Rajkummar Rao, in a special appearance, is good. Deepika Padukone’s song appearance is one of the highlights of the film. The rest of the cast lends adequate support.
Verdict: Worth a dekho!