Raabta movie official poster (Bollywoodlife.com)
Raabta was long awaited because of Sushant Singh Rajput and Kriti Sanon‘s chemistry. Their real-life romance was reflected in the trailer of the film and that had got everyone damn excited. Also, the return of the reincarnation theme after so many years sweetened the wait too but the film fails on all other accounts:
What’s it about:
Reincarnation stories are tricky but there’s a certain air of mystery about them that has a huge appeal. I mean who doesn’t want to time travel and experience an alternate paradigm of sensory overload. The subject has seduced filmmakers over the years in different generations. Now Dinesh Vijan attempts the genre with Sushant Singh Rajput and Kriti Sanon in the lead. The plot is simple, Shiv and Saira meet, stare at each other, even have an instant liplock to realise they have a Raabta, what sort they are unable to figure out. Jim plays the odd man out who spirals this love story out of control making them revisit their lives, centuries ago, when they were warring tribes speaking strange dialects. They died only to meet again. Well, the story sort of ends here, but the setup and premise is long, tiring and tests your patience.
Raabta is a good looking film. Meaning, besides the eye candy that is Sushant and Kriti, Dinesh has definitely spent a lot of money in capturing the lush locales of Bulgaria and the special effects and makeup especially of Rajkummar Rao in the role of an Oracle is terrific. Dinesh creates a light and breezy first half where the banter between Sushant and Kriti feels easy and organic. Casting these two in the film was a brilliant idea because the chemistry between them is sizzling. Sushant especially has gone to all lengths to make get a toned body for his role as the tribal warrior. The hard work pays off handsomely as he’s the best part of the film. There is immense likeability in him and he goes full throttle with his charm. Kriti manages to leave a mark with her scenes in the second half. The best moments are the one liners Shiv and Saira throw at each other and the tomfoolery that follows. Rajkummar Rao deserves a medal for enduring hours of torture to get into the difficult prosthetic make up for a blink and miss role.
Raabta needed to have more edge and I mean not in terms of visuals but with its narrative. There isn’t much happening once we move to the flashback scenes and the parallel world. It is tough to understand and comprehend the strange tribal dialect and accent that Sushant uses to communicate with his audience. The costumes are fine, but there is a lack of cohesiveness. There is always something missing in a lot of scenes like you wish there was more of Rajkummar and maybe he had a cool backstory. Or Jim Sarbh who is a miscast didn’t have to struggle with his dialogues and we don’t even know if it was intentional. His character is the weakest link in an already frail plot. Deepika Padukone’s sexy yet boring song cameo goes unnoticed. It comes too late in the film, while the best track of the film a club song shot on an almost shirtless Sushant comes at the end credits. Raabta tests your patience in a time when attention deficiency is a major issue with an audience that won’t settle for less.
What to do:
Sushant and Kriti’ s terrific chemistry deserved so much better. I hope filmmakers take notice and cast these two in a film that exploits their full potential. Raabta is an opportunity wasted.