Director: Dinesh Vijan
Writers: Garima, Siddharth
Stars: Kriti Sanon, Sushant Singh Rajput, Deepika Padukone, Jim Sarbh and Raj Kumar Rao
Run Time: 2 hours and 8 Minutes
Reviewed By: Nandini Roy
This film tells the story of two seemingly ordinary individuals, going about their lives until their paths cross and they realize that they belong with one another. It’s a love story that transcends beyond the boundaries of time. The film narrates the story of two ordinary individuals whose lives were going on track until their paths cross. It features Sushant Singh Rajput, Kriti Sanon and Jim Sarbh in the lead roles. Deepika Padukone has also made a cameo in this film. Even before the release, it managed to garner a lot of publicity for the wrong reasons. The filmmakers of Magadheera slapped a case of plagiarism against Raabta. The recent reports say that is has won the plagiarism case against SS Rajamouli’s Magadheera.
The basic plot of the film is that, Unfinished business in a previous life brings together Saira (Kriti Sanon), Shiv (Sushant Singh Rajput) and Zakir (Jim Sarbh) in the present one in Dinesh Vijan’s directorial debut Raabta. Predestination fills many of the holes in Siddharth-Garima’s script, such as Saira’s attraction to Shiv despite his loutish behaviour and her inability to resist Zakir’s pallor and signposted creepiness. Raabta reincarnates a tried and tested formula without capturing the mystery and sense of aching loss that mark the better entries in the genre. Some experiences don’t last beyond a single lifetime.
The 148-minute movie begins in the present in Budapest, showcased even better than a tourism video. Shiv makes the moves on every local woman he meets, and they are unable to resist this singularly unreconstructed Indian male specimen. Sushant always plays his characters as eager-to-please, an early Shah Rukh Khan without a crafty charm that allows the cunning skill of being charming to show on screen without the fear of being called a showoff. Who but Sushant among the current lot of 20-going-on-30 male stars can get away with chocolaty cheesiness of a line like “Some parts of me are chocolaty”. A chance encounter with Saira puts an end to Shiv’s wandering ways, and they have all but named their grandchildren when Zakir gets off a helicopter in search of Saira.
Described as a millionaire but clearly one who can’t afford good nutrition or a shave, Zakir manages to momentarily sweep Saira off her feet. Is he in Budapest to convalesce or seek to correct the previous birth’s events? Jim Sarbh made his debut as a Palestinian terrorist in Neerja (2016), disappoints us somewhere in Raabta. He is cast in the key role of the arrogant lover who stalks Kriti from one life into another, Sarbh who was so brilliant and menacing as the terrorist in Neerja, delivers a whimper of performance. Compared to his risible histrionics, Rajput comes off as a thespian.
The connection suggested by the title keeps the first half moving along. Although the chemistry between the good-looking leads boosts the pre-interval bits, Raabta begins to sag under the weight of its expectations as soon as Zakir’s chopper has touched Budapest. The filmmakers fail to chip away at the calcified reincarnation theme, suggesting that choices and mistakes from the previous birth neatly carry over to the next one.
Rajput reinforces his tough guy act, frequently shedding his shirt and leaping in and out of water bodies, while Sanon efficiently waxes and wanes on demand. Budapest too survives the frequent attacks on its character (there isn’t a single law enforcement official in sight) Raabta lacks the finesse required to pull off a theme like this, but it is definitely good to look at. From Budapest to colour blasts during flashback scenes, it features some captivating moments. Sadly that doesn’t seem enough.
Vijan’s vision is clichéd and that hampers the film more than anything else!