While Bollywood has seen many genres being experimented with, the genre of time travel is still in its ‘nascent’ stages. The fact remains that the movies made in this genre (LOVE STORY 2050, FUN2SHH…, ACTION REPLAYY) have never hit the jackpot at the Box-Office. This week’s release is the Sidharth Malhotra–Katrina Kaif starrer BAAR BAAR DEKHO also deals with the genre of ‘time travel’. Will this film live upto its title or will it backfire at the ‘Box-Office’, lets analyze.
BAAR BAAR DEKHO is a couple’s roller coaster ride, which mirrors the ups and downs of their lives. The film starts off with the birth of Jai Verma and Diya Kapoor in Delhi and London respectively. Post that, Diya Kapoor’s family settles down in India (Delhi, to be specific). As ‘time’ progresses, Jai and Diya grow up together and fall in love with each other. After years of knowing each other, one day, when ‘painter’ Dia proposes marriage to the ‘Maths obsessed Professor’ Jai, he becomes petrified with the very thought of marriage. Right before their wedding day, Diya takes Jai to a plush house that is gifted to them by her rich father (Ram Kapoor). This gift not just hurts the self respect of Jai, but also makes him confess to Diya that he is just not ready for marriage because his main focus is his career. Hearing that, a heartbroken Diya leaves Jai promising never to return back. Post that, a grief-stricken Jai lands up gulping a full bottle of champagne. And when he wakes up next morning, he sees the world and timezone around him totally changed. He sees himself transported into his future which shakes the ground below him completely. On one hand, while he sees himself resigning from a dream job at Harvard University (for which he had strived so hard), on the other hand, he sees his wife Diya divorcing him and moving on. If that wasn’t enough, Jai ‘lives through’ many different crucial stages of his life. What are these situations and how does he manage to time travel and does Jai ever manage to ‘solve’ the mysteries, is what forms the rest of the film.
When BAAR BAAR DEKHO’s promos were released, it gave a feel that the film was a sincere attempt in the genre of time travel. In reality, the film’s screenplay (Sri Rao, Nitya Mehra, Anuvab Pal) completely gives the film in. Besides being confusing, the film’s screenplay is totally slow and un-relatable, which makes it extremely difficult to find resonance with the audience. The film’s dialogues (Anvita Dutt) are very average with no outstanding one liners or anything to that effect. Though humor is sorely missing in the film, it is loaded with moments of unintentional comedy.
Despite having assisted on successful films like LIFE OF PI, DON and LAKSHYA, debutante director Nitya Mehra struggles while narrating BAAR BAAR DEKHO. The way in which she has handled the aspect of time travel in the film is very weak, which only goes onto prove that such genres definitely require an ‘experienced hand’ for the film to be worth its salt. As the film progresses, one does start feeling about BAAR BAAR DEKHO being heavily ‘inspired’ by the Hollywood flicks like the Nicholas Cage starrer THE FAMILY MAN and the Adam Sandler starrer CLICK. While BAAR BAAR DEKHO’s first half (especially the first 30 minutes) is engaging, the film starts collapsing piece by piece as Sidharth’s character starts time travelling. The film’s second half only gets worse and tests your patience as Sidharth starts travelling back and forth in time. It won’t be wrong to say that, while BAAR BAAR DEKHO’s essence is Indian, the concept is totally alien. All of this results in BAAR BAAR DEKHO becoming a mash up of sorts, thus, landing nowhere. And when the film’s ridiculous suspense is revealed towards the end, it totally shows how much the makers of the film take the audiences for granted.
As for the performances, the film rides totally on the shoulders of Sidharth Malhotra. After doing a fairly decent job in his last film KAPOOR & SONS, Sidharth Malhotra comes up with yet another convincing (if not exceptional or superlative) performance in BAAR BAAR DEKHO. Even though he is believable in the role of a young man and a middle aged man, he fails to do justice to the old man’s role. Still, it is him who holds the film majorly on his shoulders. On the other hand, Katrina Kaif delivers a just about passable performance in BAAR BAAR DEKHO. There are many places where she starts struggling with her character. Even though the age difference between Sidharth Malhotra and Katrina Kaif start becoming visible with every passing frame, the duo try and envelope that with their performances. Ram Kapoor notwithstanding, most of the other actors are wasted in the film.
Despite the presence of multiple music directors (Amaal Mallik, Badshah, Jasleen Royal, Bilal Saeed, Prem Hardeep), the film manages to churn out only one chartbuster track in the form of ‘Kaala Chashma‘. And by the time this track plays in the film (during the end credits), the audiences have already lost their interest in the film.
The film’s cinematography (Ravi K. Chandran) is excellent. The way in which he has shot the locations are extremely top-notch. The film’s editing (Amitabh Shukla) is average.
On the whole BAAR BAAR DEKHO is a confused film which underestimates audience’s intelligence and takes them for granted. At the box office, the film’s narrative will appeal only to the selected multiplex audience while the masses will find it difficult to relate to the movie.