Dinesh Vijan is a famous producer who found success in Bollywood by producing quite a few successful films – mainly in collaboration with Saif Ali Khan and Homi Adajania. But this time he’s decided to turn director and his debut film is Raabta. The trailers have given the vibe of a film which is set in two different time periods and there seems to be action and romance both in it. Will Sushant be able to deliver a solo hit without the name of Dhoni attached to it?
Story: Shiv (SSR) is a womaniser who charms his way into girls. Saira (Kriti) gets to meet Shiv at her patisserie. They start talking and end up being together but Saira seems glimpses from the past where she sees a tribe and a battle. We then find out that they have been reincarnated into present times and they were in love in a previous life too. But as it was then, here too a villain in the form of a liquor baron (Jim Sarbh) kidnaps Saira away. Will they end up together? Only the climax will let you know.
Screenplay and Direction: Dinesh Vijan revisits the theme of reincarnation in his debut movie but there’s not much left to be said about the theme that hasn’t already been said. The first half of the movie which mainly deals with the present times is still watchable and flows decently but the overlong second half tests our patience. It just doesn’t work. The craft is visible but the execution comes across as very shoddy. The pacing is slow and the needless Games of Thrones inspired tribal angle wasn’t needed at all. They could have taken the story to a different part but they are completely swerved by the stale reincarnation angle.
Miscellaneous and Music: Raabta looks very stylish because of the contemporary manner in which it has been shot but it is not enough to balance the lame story. The cinematography and production design and costume design all work in tandem to make the film so suave. The background score is a bit odd. The music of Raabta is probably the only department which almost hits the right spot everytime. Almost all of the songs are earworms – Ik Vaari, Lambiyan Si Judaiyaan and Main Tera boyfriend have all done well in the music charts.
Acting: Raabta is a Sushant Singh Rajput film through and through. He is in almost every frame from start to finish. Unfortunately, he overdose the first character set in present times. He plays it a bit too cocky and over-confident. It gets tiring after a while. Kriti Sanon has the worse role but she does show her acting chops in the film. She makes do with whatever weird character trajectory she’s been given in the film. Jim Sarbh seems very out of place in a high octane Bollywood film like Raabta. He doesn’t get the juvenile evil nature of his character. He would be better used in films like Neerja and A Death in the Gunj. Rajkumar Rao makes a cameo appearance and he’s hardly recognisable.
Conclusion: Raabta is a convoluted, overlong film which should have been snipped to a 2 hour film. The needless story angle in the second half makes the stale first half of the film look like a masterpiece. The references to other movies and TV shows are unintentionally funny. Although the lead actors have chemistry, it is undone by the choice of an unusual but ineffective actor as the main villain. Raabta seems like a bad choice by Dinesh Vijan to have made his debut with, as a director. It should be given a miss.
- The music is very good
- The production design and costume design are fantastic
- The lead actors have chemistry
- Raabta is too long
- Sushant Singh Rajput overdoes his character
- Jim Sarbh is miscast
- The pacing is too slow
- The reincarnation angle doesn’t work