In Nitya Mehra’s “Baar Baar Dekho”, a young man on the cusp of a new life gets a glimpse into his future, giving him an otherwise impossible chance to go back and forth in time to fix the mistakes that we all seem to make in our relationships.
Sidharth Malhotra plays Jay, a mathematics professor who is always fretting about something or the other. His childhood friend-turned-fiance Diya (Katrina Kaif) is the exact opposite. Despite a promising career as an artist, all she wants to do in life is marry the love of her life and live with him in a house her father bought them. Jay isn’t sure how he feels about intangible topics like love, marriage and happily ever after.
“I don’t understand anything that I cannot calculate,” he tells the iPad-wielding priest who is officiating their wedding.
On the eve of their big day, Jay finds himself drinking a bottle of champagne after a massive showdown with Diya, where she threatens to leave him. He passes out, and when he comes to, finds himself on his honeymoon. A day later, his first child is about to be born. The next time he wakes up, that baby is 16 years old, the world is full of holograms (the most obvious sign that we are in the future) and he and Diya are at a crossroads in their marriage.
Gorgeously shot by Ravi K Chandran, Mehra’s film is a worthy successor to a genre her producers – Karan Johar and Farhan Akhtar - seem to have perfected. In the film, rich and beautiful people have a minor blip in their lives, have an epiphany and then turn around completely to live happily ever after. Which is not to say it’s a bad thing.
“Baar Baar Dekho”, for the most part doesn’t slow down its pace, and is peppered with expensive sets and lovely locations. It’s easy on the eyes and that makes it easier to watch.
Malhotra is in every frame, and he exploits the author-backed role to the fullest. Kaif, on the other hand, is limited not just by her acting abilities but also by the fact that Diya is written merely as an agent that causes Jay’s change of heart and personality. Her one-dimensional character and the writers’ (screenplay by Mehra, Sri Rao and Anuvab Pal) insistence on making this a one-sided film hamper both Kaif and the tone of the film.
“Baar Baar Dekho” doesn’t want to ask the tough questions about family, equality, marriage, and whether they trump your other passions as the ultimate aim in life. Once you accept the film’s contention that life is all about your relationships, it passes the Bollywood romance test with flying colours.