Raabta Movie Review: It Crackles With Sushant-Kriti’s Cascading Chemistry!

Starring: Sushant Singh Rajput,Kriti Sanon, Jim Serbh

Directed by: Dinesh Vijan

Rating: ****(4 Stars)

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 Vani Kapoor did in the wretched Befikre, which for all practical  purposes, has a sexual pun tucked away 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 ShahRukh 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 chocolaty.’

Raabta Movie Review: It Crackles With Sushant-Kriti’s Cascading Chemistry! 2

Ok, then.

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 friendVarun  Sharma(the new Shakti Kapor in town) hooks up with a plump and parodic soothsayer who looks at Ms Sanon 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 reader?

Raabta is fun to watch  in the first-half when Sushant and Sanon do aBefikre . It’s when they take on the janam-janam ka saathMadhumati/Milan/Mehbooba theme  that the clouds gather .And the problem is Jim Serbh. Cast  in the key role of the arrogant lover who stalks Sanon from one  life into another,Serbh who was so brilliant and menacing as the terrorist in Neerja delivers a whimper of performance. Playing a  liquor baron  he is like  a mug of beer without the  foam.Offkey and flaccid, he speaks his lines of intense passion toSanon 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 rom-com’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, Ummmover Om.

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  mentionRajkumaar Rao who appears unrecognizable as  an old man who resembles Vijay Raaz.

That’s ok. Mistaken  identity is part  of the mischievous game-plandebutant 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 Sanon.

Maybe in  another life?

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