Reincarnation dramas generally have a very foreseeable tale, but if teamed with a good script and great acts, they usually end up working at the box-office. Raabta is based on the theme of reincarnation starring earnest actors like Sushant Singh Rajput and Jim Sarbh.
Reincarnation is still a sought-after theme for the Hindi film industry in spite of its fondness for modern clothes, gadgets and locations. Commercially successful movies and shows like Baahubali and Game of Thrones also influence choices. Occasionally, then, filmmakers appear stuck in a dilemma. Debutant director Dinesh Vijan is maybe one of them.
Optimistic banker Shiv (Sushant Singh Rajput) and his friend Raghav (Varun Sharma) move to Budapest for work and spend time having as much fun as possible till Shiv runs into chocolatier Saira (Kriti Sanon) and quickly falls in love with her. Saira too seems to like him in the very first meeting and the lovebirds decide to tie the knot without much upheaval.
But, darkness soon enters their life in the form of Zak Merchant (Jim Sarbh), an unconventional and nasty millionaire, who too seems to have the hots for Saira and soon, it is established that the trio have a past life connection. But who gets the girl at the end?
Sushant definitely has screen presence. Shiv comes across as way too shallow and frivolous when compared to the strong Zak. Sushant Singh Rajput is a good actor but lacks the casual charm required to make the self-important Shiv adorable. Kriti is fairly easy on the eyes. Kriti Sanon surprises. She looks good and seems to have refined her acting skills. Jim is pleasant to watch with his edgy intensity, though his dialogue delivery comes across as pretentious at times, which weakens his sinister aura. He doesn't have the gravity required for spouting those evil-genius kind of lines in Hindi.
Rajput and Sarbh try in spite of odd loopholes in the screenplay, and that saves Raabta to a good extent. Rajput, in particular, rises and does what is expected of him. He is pleasant and performs action sequences with style. Sushant-Kriti’s energetic and sizzling chemistry is adorable and enjoyable.
As for the movie, the first half is fairly light-hearted and enjoyable to watch, particularly the scenes between Shiv and Saira, though their romance may seem quite frivolous. But, it is in the second half that the story goes simple. Shiv and Saira apparently have chemistry because of their past lives, but in their past lives, they were not lovers but warriors from opposing tribes, who ended up getting married for reasons other than love. So what chemistry and connection are the makers speaking about?
The previous birth sequences don't look Indian at all and the costume designers seem to have been inspired by everything from Game of Thrones to Mirzya to Braveheart. Also, the previous life scenes are lacking of any passion or intensity, which makes you wonder what was the big deal about this 'janam janam ka saath' anyway. Maybe the movie sounded great on a script level, but on the silver screen, it seems to lack soul, which may affect the movie badly.
Writers’ Siddharth-Garima and debut director Dinesh Vijan’s vision isn’t doubtful, but it doesn’t quite translate to the screen. Even though the film is technically sound and looks great, it is missing the raw passion required to sell a love story.
Raabta lacks the skill 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 fascinating moments. Unhappily that doesn’t seem enough.
Overall, it is worthy to watch once for Sushant-Kriti’s energetic and sizzling chemistry.