Film Review: 'Baar Baar Dekho'
Opened: 9 September 2016
Cast: Sidharth Malhotra, Katrina Kaif, Sarika, Ram Kapoor, Rajit Kapur
Director: Nitya Mehra
Producers: Karan Johar, Ritesh Sidhwani, Farhan Akhtar
As if its title being laden with irony wasn't enough, the experience of sitting through yet another Dharma Productions wannabe cool and trendy yawn-fest is akin to reliving your nightmare again and again with little hope of respite. Despite a noble, albeit convoluted message somewhere deep, very deep, within its plot, their latest, Baar Baar Dekho is saddled with so many plot holes and such a trite, hollow narrative, that no matter how many pretty visuals are used to cover them up, it's virtually unbearable to sit through.
The film, essentially a romance, is the story of an Einstein-esque Math professor Jai (Sidharth Malhotra), who's mastered the square roots and the ins and outs of virtually every algebraic equation known to man and yet when it comes to his relationship with childhood sweetheart Dia (Katrina Kaif), he's practically clueless. Dia on the other hand, is haplessly devoted to him and an aspiring artist to boot, but who's only goal in life, it seems, is to ensnare her man and live happily ever after.
On the eve of their nuptials, following a disagreement (a scene which if enacted by any other discerning actor would have brought about the much needed emotional connect with the story, but Kaif turns it into a laughable mess), Jai wakes up ten days into the future and subsequently lives through the 'highlights' of his life, and in a Groundhog Day like twist must figure out where essentially he goofed up and correct his misdoings.
Sounds reasonably enticing but what we get, is far from what I suspect, was initially conceived on paper. I fail to fathom, how talents like Farhan Akhtar and Karan Johar allowed this script to pass and this production to be made let alone leave the drawing board. It's that much of a slog.
A film of this nature required the talents of two arresting and engaging leads with palpable chemistry and sizzle, but here neither of the two on whom the story relies on really deliver the goods. Malhotra on his part is earnest, at least he tries, but the biggest misfire here is Kaif with her puffed up face albeit lissome bod, who ultimately and unsurprisingly turns out to be the film's undoing.
As she botches up scene after scene, you almost feel bad for the film's debutant director Nitya Mehra who tries to distract from her lack of talent, by relying almost solely on Malhotra who valiantly tries to salvage the film from the point of no return, but sadly this Dharma protege unlike his counterparts Varun Dhawan and Alia Bhatt (who've both since raced way ahead of him with their smart career choices), was always nothing more than just a pretty face. Still, to his credit there are a few scenes where he shows some emotional clout, especially in the film's penultimate reels, but honestly by then it's much too late for us to actually give a damn or connect in any shape or form to either his or the couple's plight.
The film doesn't benefit from bad make up and ropey CGI either and a host of bad supporting acts, especially in the form of Ram Kapoor and Sarika, both of whom look like they belong in an entirely different film.
For all intents and purposes, there was an interesting premise in here somewhere, but it's ultimately lost purely because it takes so long to make a point and when it's on to something it's sticks to it in the vain hope that reiterating it time and again will make the audience overlook its flaws. Yes there's the 'Kala Chashma' song with its snazzy choreography but it appears during the closing credits, so if that's the only reason you're planning on a cinema trip here's a better suggestion for you... Catch it on YouTube.
Baar Baar Dekho is an epic misfire in almost every sense, not so much for Malhotra who's at least decent, but for Kaif who seems hellbent on writing off the very career that until now, survived solely on looks, the right connections and sheer luck. Forget Baar Baar Dekho, I'd suggest that even if you 'Ek Baar Dekho', you do so at your peril.