When the hero of Baar Baar Dekho, the ever-lost Sidharth Malhotra, sits down with a sagely pundit (Rajit Kapur) to discuss his marriage rituals, the pandit goes all mysterious on him. “It’s all in your hands,” he says. Or, rather, “Sab tumhare”— pause —“haaton mein hain.”
Why the pause?
Partly because Rajit Kapur, a gifted performer who has been ignored by a callow film industry for years, likely needed to bite at his dialogue into little pieces and chew on them in his slow drawl. But because we are being told by him, as politely as possible, that what we’re about to hear is bull.
In all fairness, director Nitya Mehra, who was an assistant director In Hollywood biggies like The Life Of Pi and The Unwilling Fundamentalist, does not delay the inevitable – the great Bollywood wedding with designer and all its pretty lehangas abs.
Because most individuals who flock to the theater to watch Baar Baar Dekho will achieve this to pick up the new Katrina step for cocktail or their sangeet which is a great thing. For the remainder of us, it’s a Dharma-conducted tour of the lifestyle of Mehras and affluent Kapoors of India. Generic Bollywood north Indian rich people who spend half their lives waltzing in and outside of and sangeets and mehendis.
Deepika, who fitted it perfectly till about per year or so past, has outgrown it. It has been broken out of by Alia Bhatt. That leaves just Katrina. She is, by default, the Bollywood heroine prototype of the late 2010s. The sexually-liberated, absolutely abed modern Indian girl who’s at heart, a Sooraj Barjatya heroine.
Siddharth Malhotra’s Jai, is well, Siddharth Malhotra — the good looking oaf who can’t believe he has landed himself such a sweet deal.
They are about to be wed and are in love, but guess what, he is having pre-wedding jitters. His girlfriend’s dad wants to gift them a brand new flat in among Delhi’s leafy avenues. But our guy is unhappy. In the end, he belongs to exactly the same industry that made billionaire heiress Karisma Kapoor move in Raja Hindustani into her motorist husband’s hut. The guy gets drunk, passes out, wakes up in Thailand ten days after. As he stumbles through the day, he realises that somebody is playing with some awful trick on him. He sleeps to wake up two years later. And this goes on.
Jai figures out that there’s something wrong in his perfect life with the perfect Diya, that needs to be reversed, and he needs to relive certain parts of his life till he makes amends. If you ask me, the only thing he needed to do was to go down to yesterday’s racetrack and put the appropriate stakes.
Nitya Mehra borrows heavily from the 1993 Hollywood classic, Groundhog Day, which includes also inspired the loveable British rom com About Time (2013). Bill Murray suffers the same day over and over again until he begins to re-examine his priorities.
Naturally, Murray’s moral agonies were tad more relatable because Murray is an actor who makes even snoring watchable, Murray. And Siddharth Malhotra is a loveable goof, hopelessly under -equipped to manage whatever needs significantly more than four or five expressions out of him. Which is an endless development from his Pupil Of The Year years.
It does not help that he has Katrina Kaif for company, who after a decade and a half in the sector provides dialogues like “Tum nahi badloge”, “you are useless” like she’s reading out from a grocery list.
All done and said, this is Karan Johar nation, love thrives under designer shamianas and is nurtured in Ikea drawing rooms where. We’ve lapped it all up all these years. That’s unjust, although many people accuse Johar on account of the high social strata where his narratives float. Nobody objected to Shah Rukh Khan and Kajol swishing in chiffons in Switzerland. Probably because they’d the performing abilities to made the impossible look believable.
Baar Baar Dekho had an interesting assumption which needed some believable performances. Not wooden performers in wigs that are fancy.
Because it gave us the fantastic Kapoor & Sons this year we will not be hard on Dharma productions. But Mr Johar, can we please have some real actors in parts that demands actual playing next time?