Nitya Mehra’s directorial debut – Baar Baar Dekho promises a lot. Time travel films are a rarity in Bollywood and I was quite keen to know where this one goes. It went to an interesting enough place, but I can’t quite use the same word for the journey.
Jai and Diya are childhood sweethearts about to get married. And when the reality of it all kicks in and overwhelms Jai, he finds himself at different stages in the future getting a glimpse of (not quite) marital bliss. Will it be all he fears? How will he deal with losing time? Will he get back to the present?
The movie does get around to answering all of those questions, but takes a long time to do so. Well, at least it felt so. Engaging at a conceptual level, Baar Baar Dekho ends up being a slow and tedious sort of watch, suffering from pacing issues. Some of the scenes feel really stretched way beyond what they should have been – like the conversation Sid and Diya have at their new home just before they’re due to be married. Or maybe it’s the writing that’s testing your patience. And this feature repeats itself often in the future. I never quite understand why Hindi film-makers like to beat a point into your head by repeating it again and again instead of putting it out there once and leaving it to the audience.
Having said that, it’s not all bad. The predicament Jai finds himself in is genuinely perplexing and keeps you curious as to how he’s gonna get out of it. The movie’s great to look at. It features some gorgeous locations and beautiful people – the least you’d expect from a Karan Johar production. The music serves the film well from the slow numbers to the Punjabi dance ones, both kinds being ear candy, Dariya and Kho Gaye Hum Kahaan being my favourite picks. I also liked the production design, especially the bits depicting the future as well as the use of prosthetics and make-up.
Coming back to the beautiful people – Kat does what Kat always does. She looks good. Sid is the interesting one – he wears the shocked look a bit too often but then I wondered how anyone else would react in the same situation – probably the same way. He does fairly well but just about lacks the emotional heft needed to carry this movie on his shoulders. Nonetheless he’s earnest and that come across on screen. Maybe a couple of more movies down the line, he’d have nailed the role. Sarika and Ram Kapoor lend able support to the leads.
What director Nitya Mehra needed was better, more engaging writing to flesh out her interesting story and a better editor to knock off the uninteresting bits and keep it at a tight 110-120 minutes, which would have left us with a bit more than just some nice moments across the entire movie.
The extra 30 minutes make Baar Baar Dekho just about a one-time dekho.
Baar Baar Dekho
Romance, Drama, Fantasy
Directed by: Nitya Mehra
Starring: Sidharth Malhotra, Katrina Kaif
Running time: 141 minutes