Film review: Time-travel romance Baar Baar Dekho doesn’t quite add up

The film ends up as one more example of two attractive actors looking good and doing little of substance on screen.
Sidharth Malhotra and Katrina Kaif in Baar Baar Dekho. Courtesy Eros International
Sidharth Malhotra and Katrina Kaif in Baar Baar Dekho. Courtesy Eros International

Baar Baar Dekho

Director: Nitya Mehra

Starring: Katrina Kaif, Sidharth Malhotra, Ram Kapoor

Two-and-a-half stars

Baar Baar Dekho, a romantic drama about an obsessed mathematician, reminds me a little of a child who is hopeless with numbers but forced to attempt to solve complicated equations.

For the unfortunate child, there are three ways this can turn out: everything, from the first step to the final answer, is incorrect. Or the steps are all correct but they still manage to bungle the answer. Scenario three is an interesting anomaly: despite getting most of the calculations and logic wrong, the child still somehow magically manages to stumble upon the correct answer.

Debutante director Nitya Mehra’s Baar Baar Dekho is a perfect example of a filmmaking version of scenario three: you will find flaws with much of the film and will roll your eyes at its lacklustre attempts to connect with millennials – and yet you will be OK with the point it ultimately makes.

Generically-named Jai (Sidharth Malhotra) is a mathematical genius who is about to marry his childhood love – the also generically named Diya (Katrina Kaif) – but gets cold feet because in his heart, he wants to devote his life to maths, not matrimony. This, apparently, comes as a great shock to his girlfriend, even though she has known him her whole life.

The script doesn’t even attempt to explain why Diya is so clueless about what’s going on in the mind of her best friend and fiancé, probably because there is no logical way to reason away such a basic plot hole.

After this big revelation, he decides to drown his sorrows – and wakes up to find himself 10 days into his honeymoon, with no recollection of the wedding or the previous nine days. The following day, he wakes up to discover he is two years into the marriage, with Diya giving birth to their son.

And so it goes, as he moves deeper into the future every morning when he wakes.

He sees how his decisions will affect his future life and attempts to fix things. The movie eventually stumbles to an exhausting end, with the message being that it is important to balance all aspects of life – much like the variables in a mathematical equation.

On the plus side, the movie looks really good. The inspired production design makes the future look high-tech but believable, and the cinema- tography is stellar.

Malhotra’s chiselled jaw and Kaif’s midriff, meanwhile, make every attempt to draw attention away from the fact that the lead pair switches between two emotional trajectories: bewildered and screechy.

Given the premise of the film, with some earnestness in the delivery, Baar Baar Dekho could have been a career-reviving film for Kaif and an entry into the big league for Malhotra.

Sadly, it ends up as one more example of two attractive actors looking good and doing little of substance on screen.

artslife@thenational.ae

Published: September 10, 2016 04:00 AM

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