The usual Bollywood rom-com genre is getting tiresome. At least for me. The feel good moments of two people meeting and finding brand new situatio nal ways to be charming and romantic is wearing thin, especially when a greater story doesn't anchor those moments. So when another new romance movie boasted of similar imagery, my eyes started to roll. My annoyance however, was premature, as it ended up being an interesting trailer about love, crossing over different lifetimes.
The 'Raabta' trailer is an interesting twist on the usual love-story genre.
The trailer is a psych-out given that it begins as the conventional Bollywood love story that quickly turns into a shockingly surprising, and curious tale of past lives, love, passion, epic battles and quirky male hairstyles.
Looking like a love story set in modern times between Sushanth Singh Rajput and Kriti Sanon's characters, things take a dark turn when we're introduced to the character of Jim Sarbh. The movie then turns into an epic tale of lost love in a previous lifetime, set during the time of kings and queens, juxtaposed with the same characters in modern day, referring to their own love story.
First of all, I'm equally getting tired of movie storylines that play meta to the concept of storytelling, with talk of changing the story and happy endings and such. Sarbh's character seems to keep referring to the tales of kings and queens and how he's going to change it. That kind of self-awareness after a point becomes less clever and more formulaic.
'Raabta' itself looks incredibly interesting, as a love triangle presented with fantasy elements, and quite possibly re-incarnation? There isn't much plot revealed in the trailer, which is just fine, as it definitely creates much speculation as to what the story is about.
While the trailer is already drawing comparisons to 2016's massive Box Office dud 'Mirzya', there are quite distinct differences between the two films, at least at first glance. While the past/present juxtaposition, along with the styling of the characters in the past seems to be what people are attaching their comparisons to, the biggest difference is the fact that one movie looks interesting, while the other looked dull. And apparently was.
'Raabta' features lead actors whom we've seen before in charming, mainstream commercial films, so there's an automatic likability attached to them. The film further exploits this by intentionally giving us a contemporary love story between them, showing them being goofy, vulgar, sweet and romantic, before twisting the knife with the other... more outrageous elements of the story.
'Mirzya' on the other hand, featured contemporary scenes between the brand new, never before seen lead actors, as intense, passionate and otherwise boring to an audience that knows nothing of the story. 'Raabta's contrasts it's contemporary story's mainstream charm with the intensity of its epic past setting, while 'Mirzya's heavy intensity was mirrored by both subplots.
The film also doesn't seem to feature the crazy past scenes as a parallel story to the main plot, but definitely ties them in as Sarah's character can be hear speaking of looking for Sanon's and there's a definite thriller aspect that the characters face in the modern day as well.
Rajput is a good actor who hasn't had much opportunity to showcase his range, and 'Raabta' may definitely change that, given his two roles where one seems normal and the other all kinds of braided craziness. Sanon has never been that impressive to me personally, but maybe she can change that in this film. The surprise element here is Jim Sarbh, who is best known for this role in 'Neerja' as the villain who the audience grew to hate.
While the expected reaction to his inclusion in this movie is the same as that of an antagonist, there are elements in the trailer that paint Rajput's character in the past as the bad guy. These little bits and pieces, upon closer inspection, make 'Raabta' a very interesting trailer and a very curious movie to be looking out for.