Everything seems so familiar in this film about two lovers – Shiv (Sushant Singh Rajput) and Saira (Kriti Sanon) – who are drawn to each other from their first meeting onwards. Cheesy lines and cheesier chemistry follows. Haven’t we seen a lot of it already? While Before Sunset is one of the finest ways to describe the chemistry the two forge from the word go, there have been recent films back-home bringing the same essence – Ranbir Kapoor-Deepika Padukone in Tamasha or Ranbir and Anushka Sharma in Ae Dil Hai Mushkil. Sushant-Kriti’s chemistry is reminiscent of these recent films. Boy-meets-girl in a country abroad, strike up a casual conversation and the next thing either they both are in love, or one is madly in love.
Here, they both feel a connection with each-other when they meet in Budapest where Saira is a chocolatier and Shiv – a banker casanova, whose charms work on every girl he meets. An unfinished business of the past has brought the two together. We get the glimpses of it in Saira’s dreams, and also in her conversations to the mirror. She has had nightmares for some time, she tells the mirror. The nightmares stop after she meets Shiv. But not for long. To test if the feelings for each-other is genuine enough to last life long, they decide to flirt with others, which is where Saira meets Zac, a liquor baron – who hardy looks like one with his unkempt looks. Zac (Jim Sarbh) belongs to the same past that Saira dreams of. Just like his look in the film, Sarbh, a theatre-artist who was first noticed with his menacing role as a villain in Neerja and more recently as a bully in the critically-acclaimed A Death In The Gunj, is messy in his dialogue delivery – not a bit justifying the threat that the character should have imbibed.
The film, written by Siddharth-Garima and the directorial debut of Dinesh Vijan, lacks the essence and emotions of the reincarnation films that we may have seen. The layers, which would make you believe in the past which existed more than 800 years ago, isn’t there. No feeling of aching loss or longing is established well enough. Plus, everything seems oversimplified, leaving no scope for mystery or surprise that defines such genres.
If the romance set in the contemporary times between the lead couple reminds you of the many romantic films of the past, the recreation of the past, fantasy world seems very similar to the many popular fantasy shows of the popular culture, a la The Vikings or Game Of Thrones. Parallels have already been drawn between the hugely popular Telugu blockbuster Magadheera during the course of promotion of the film, along with a lawsuit allegedly a promotional strategy – which we wonder will work in Raabta’s favour. The film, despite of a crackling chemistry between Sushant and Kriti – falls flat because of the post-interval stretchy fantasy plot.
Director: Dinesh Vijan
Cast: Sushant Singh Rajput, Kriti Sanon, Jim Sarbh, Rajkummar Rao