Do Baaraa is a confused rendition of essentially interesting tale

Pavail Gulati and Taapsee Pannu in Do Baaraa. Photo: Trailer Video Grab 

Taapsee Pannu has this yen for female-centric films, and scores well in such films like Pink, Badla, Shabhash Mithu or Rashmi Rocket. She also has this attachment to Anurag Kashyap’s cinema and excelled in Manmarziyan. One of the producers of Badla, the director of Manmarziyan and the original story writer of the former, Spanish filmmaker Oriol Paulo, come together to create this time-travel thriller. Do Baaraa (which as a single word means ‘Again’ but here, it is 2.12, as in the time) and these form the three reasons why Taapsee comes into it.

Oriol’s 2018 Spanish movie, Mirage (Durante la tormenta), forms the base of this story, which is an authorized remake. The story is essentially unchanged, except in the latter sections, where Anurag also keeps the trendy-in-such-niche-cinema open end. But writer Nihit Bhave makes the proceedings uneven—with a mix of the gripping, the too-complex and bland as well. All that seems like a paradox, but those who will go to watch the movie will agree!

Oriol this time gets into time-travel zone, while his earlier films that were adapted into Hindi cinema (after Badla, there was The Body) dealt with straight crime with terrific twists. This time, the tale is of a small boy, Aney (Aarrian Sawant), who misses his father, who has left his mother, and records himself on a camcorder way back in 1996.

He stays with his mother (Vidushi Mehra) and one day, he hears noises from next door and sees three people struggling. He tries to wake up his mother, but when she does not respond, runs down in a terrible storm and finds the lady of the house murdered. Her husband, Raja Ghosh (Saswata Chaterjee) chases him, and Aney is killed on the spot by a passing fire engine.

In 2021, a nurse, Antara (Taapsee Pannu), her husband (Pavail Gulati) and their daughter Avanti (Myra Rajpal) occupy the same house. There is a similar storm and Antara manages to find an old television and a camcorder that still work 25 years down. She has learnt about Aney’s story from their friends, and when she finds that Aney can actually see her and talk to her via the TV, she warns him not to run next door as he will ultimately be hit by a fire engine. Because Aney is still in 1996!

Aney is skeptical, but when he hears the noises next door this time (in a rerun!) and sees a fire-engine go past, he believes her. But a shock awaits Antara. After this, she wakes up in the morning to a different personality—she is a surgeon and not a nurse, and single. Her ‘husband’ is actually married to someone else, and daughter Avanti is missing!

In panic, she goes to the cops to file a missing complaint about her daughter. The cop assigned to her case, DCP Chandan (Pavail Gulati) is sincere, but finds loopholes in Antara’s story as he keeps investigating. Antara knows that now Aney is still living and she must trace him so that she will be believed. And what has Raja done with his wife’s body?

Kashyap, this time, takes up an interesting story but cannot give it the inspired Indian flavor that was so successfully done by Sujoy Ghosh in Badla and even Jeethu Joseph in The Body (a film not successful at all for a bunch of reasons). His trademark style of niche, vague filmmaking that gains him awards and accolades from the suggestible media and certain impressionable film-fests once again flaunts its reluctance to connect with the Indian audience with a brazenly apathetic “Who cares” attitude. Nihit Bhave, unfortunately, becomes a co-conspirator in this.

Technically, the film is adequate, but the background score by Shor Police is so much ‘Shor’ (Noise) that one feels like calling the ‘Police’! The lead artistes are all good, Taapsee Pannu being her usual self rather than extraordinary as in the films mentioned above. Pavail Gulati and Rahul Bhat impress, as does Himanshi Choudhary.

Since this was a complex saga based on a subject uncommon for Indian cinema—time-travel (last done so well but yet unsuccessfully in Action Replayy in 2010)— the story, since chosen for a remake, should have been made simpler and much more lucid for the Indian audiences, who are far from stupid or dense, but treat films of all non-deviant genres as family entertainment and do not welcome obtuse fare.

Alas! That does not happen, and getting a good film from Anurag Kashyap once again remains a ‘mirage’.

Rating: **

Balaji Telefilms, Cult Movies, Athena, Vermillion World present Do Baaraa  Produced by: Shobha Kapoor, Ektaa R. Kapoor, Sunil Khetarpal & Gaurav Bose  Directed by: Anurag Kashyap  Written by Oriol Paulo, Lara Sendim & Nihit Bhave  Music: Gaurav Chaterjee & Shor Police  Starring: Taapsee Pannu, Pavail Gulati, Rahul Bhat, Saswata Chatterjee, Sukant Goel, Aarrian Sawant,Vidushi Mehra, Medini Kelamane, Myra Rajpal, Himanshi Choudhary, Nasser & others








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