'Raabta': Crackles with
Sushant-Kriti's cascading chemistry (Review By Subhash K. Jha ; Rating:
There is something about Sushant Singh Rajput and Kriti Sanon,
something sexy without really getting into the bed or talking dirty the
way Ranveer Singh and Vaani Kapoor did in "Befikre", which for all
practical purposes, has a sexual pun tucked away in the 'fikre'.
Sex is, of course, important in "Raabta". Why should it not? Two young
people Shiv and Saira (do not frown at the religious divide which the
film blissfully ignores) meet, flirt and do whatever else follows. This
is Budapest captured in all its gorgeous glory by Czech cinematographer
Martin Preiss who can't decide what he loves more, the lovers or the
landscape. So, the camera decides to celebrate the lovers' love and the
landscape all in one swirling breathless scoop of sleazeless sexiness.
Sushant always plays his characters as eager-to-please, an early Shah
Rukh Khan without a crafty charm that allows the cunning skill of being
charming to show on screen without the fear of being called a showoff.
Who but Sushant among the current lot of 20-going-on-30 male stars can
get away with chocolaty cheesiness of a line like "Some parts of me are
Sushant's co-star Kriti Sanon is remarkably free of inhibition. She
exudes a morning-fresh dewiness even in the sweatiest of situation. And
it can't get any sweatier than this: Sushant's best friend Varun Sharma
(the new Shakti Kapoor in town) hooks up with a plump and parodic
soothsayer who looks at Kriti and grunts, "You don't get much sleep.
You are haunted by nightmares"... Sanon looks right back. If she can
stare down Sushant's mock-leeriness, what is a funny-looking card
"Raabta" is fun to watch in the first-half when Sushant and Kriti do a
"Befikre". It's when they take on the janam-janam ka saath
Madhumati/Milan/Mehbooba theme that the clouds gather. And the problem
is Jim Sarbh. Cast in the key role of the arrogant lover who stalks
Kriti from one life into another, Sarbh who was so brilliant and
menacing as the terrorist in "Neerja", delivers a whimper of
Playing a liquor baron, he is like a mug of beer without the foam.
Off-key and flaccid, he speaks his lines of intense passion to Kriti as
though he was reading the newspaper headlines.
If only the third angle of the purportedly tempestuous triangle had got
it right. Nonetheless, the post-midpoint time-regression into the past
has both Sushant and Kriti undergoing a seductive makeover. Sushant
even changes his voice to woo Kriti in a previous life. Their intense
conflicts in the past located in an indeterminate tribal territory,
convey a primeval immediacy.
The plot allows room for humour even in the most strenuous of
circumstances, and that's this winsome romantic comedy's USP. For
example, while Kriti's Saira agonizes over her past life with Sushant,
he remains blissfully oblivious of their past connections, preferring
recreation to reincarnation, choosing flirtation over mediation, Ummm
The fun element never forsakes the film even when the three main
characters are locked in an intense afterlife discourse. Sadly, there
are only three characters in the film worth talking about. Not to
mention Rajkumaar Rao who appears unrecognizable as an old man who
resembles Vijay Raaz.
That's okay. Mistaken identity is part of the mischievous game-plan
debutant director Dinesh Vijan devises to keep the theme of
reincarnation from getting grim. "Raabta" is fun most of the way. If
only Jim had loosened up and had as much as Sushant and Kriti.
Maybe in another life?
'Raabta': Fails to entertain,
connect (Review By Troy Ribeiro ; Rating: **)
In one of the scenes of "Raabta", liquor tycoon Zakir Merchant (Jim
Sarbh) tells his love interest - Saira (Kriti Sanon), "Jab tak samajh
nahi aata… be my guest." I am sure the audience too will take him
seriously and stoically gape at the screen.
With badly etched, one-dimensional characters, "Raabta" is portrayed as
an epic love story with reincarnation et al.
Shiv (Sushant Singh Rajput) is a gregarious and charming banker who
only has "how to hook a girl" on his mind. Accompanied by his best
friend essayed by Varun Sharma, he goes to Budapest for work, where in
due course he meets a chocolatier Saira. There is instant chemistry
between the two and they are hooked for life.
But then life is not so easy, the convoluted plot goes through
formulaic tropes of an oft-seen romance, till Zakir Merchant enters
their lives and turns it topsy-turvy, drawing them into the web of
their previous life, some 800 years ago.
The problem with "Raabta" is the plot. The film looks like two distinct
films put together on the editing table. The first half of the film is
devoted to the contemporary period and most of the second half has the
Also, apart from the plot the direction is tacky. At one instance,
marooned on an islet, while escaping from Zakir's men, Shiv lands up
offering packaged bottled water to Saira. How he gets the bottled
water, leaves the audience scratching their heads?
Apart from this, during the first half, the fast paced lifestyle of
Shiv coupled with the meandering plot reveals nothing, making the
viewing tedious. And by the beginning of the second half the plot is so
predictable that you want it to wind up soon.
Sushant Singh Rajput is earnest, but inconsistent in his delivery. He
is despicable yet charming as Shiv and exudes charisma as Jilaan.
Similarly, Kriti Sanon as Saira and Saiba is endearing but fragile and
confused. Together, their on-screen chemistry lacks depth.
Jim Sarbh, who was earlier seen as the terrorist in the film "Neerja"
is a misfit, as the once prince and now Zakir Merchant. Understated and
ordinary in his approach, he propels the narrative convincingly, but
unfortunately as an antagonist he is not menacing. He disappoints and
this is not his fault.
Varun Sharma, as Shiv's friend is stereotyped and unimpressive. With
heavily loaded prosthetics, Rajkummar Rao as the ancient tribal head,
is a waste of resource.
The songs do not add much to the narrative but they are a pleasant
break from the monotonous twisted plot. This is evident especially
during the performance rendered by Deepika Padukone.
With brilliant production values, the film is all gloss and fluff.
"Raabta" which means connection, fails to connect with its audience.