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Shalini Singh
Shalini Singh


Old wine in new bottle

'Life is about the small things, lived in the present moment'. It takes 2.5 hours for the film to cobble together this thought. Jai Varma (Siddharth Malhotra) based in Delhi and Diya Kapoor (Katrina Kaif) who has moved back to India from London are childhood sweethearts. She is an artist, he, a maths professor who has Vedic math dreams to make it to Cambridge one day. (Thanks to trail blazers like mathematician Srinivasa Ramanujan? Though that's nowhere acknowledged in the film.)

One day over a meal, the duo realise their comfort level and friendship is akin to an old married couple. Roles reverse, Diya who is used to taking the lead in their relationship, proposes marriage to Jai. A man who has lived his life by logic, calculations and a planned out future, Jai is hesitant for the fear of change. It spills into a fight between them which ends up with Jai spending a drunken night by himself. In the champagne-induced stupor, he time travels. And the major part of the film is all about that—Jai time travelling. First to his honeymoon (in well-packaged Thailand), then to the time they have kids, then to when they grow older, him and Diya getting a divorce, him having a possible affair with a friend's wife, his mother passing away, Diya marrying the gallery owner who supports her dreams (all set in a high-tech futuristic world where cars drive themselves)... with the marriage pundit (Rajit Kapoor in a cameo) showing up at various points in Jai's time travel to explain how life is short, it must be lived now, one must pay attention to the smaller joys of life instead of running after the big picture. Vedic vows win over Vedic maths.

The idea of the film is a good one—what if you could see the future of your relationship and could come back in time to make amends. But the script meanders, going back and forth in time. Even bordering on hilarity to find Jai waking up as yet another older, or younger, version of himself, totally lost, to the point where you wonder if it's not his extremely logical side but a medical condition that might be responsible for lapses in memory. Kaif who comes across as playing the lead in their relationship plays second in the film. Few marks for acting. Full for her washboard abs. Malhotra comes across as more the wide-eyed lost boy than the hard-wired logical man for whom maths/work scores over everything.

Listen out for the opening credits song, kho gaye hum kahan, that sets a pleasant mood and lifts expectations. Sadly, the film marking the debut of director Nitya Mehra turns out to be an ek baar dekho.

Film: Baar Baar Dekho
Director: Nitya Mehra
Cast: Katrina Kaif, Siddharth Malhotra, Sarika, Rajit Kapoor
Rating: 2/5

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