Having underperformed at the box office, with mixed reviews from the critics, along with bad word of mouth from the audience, Baar Baar Dekho (BBD) didn’t do well. This was a disappointment as the music for the movie was already massively popular with one song being a wedding favourite. Not to mention the sizzling chemistry between the two leads that became the talk of the town.
BBD, if seen without any prior judgment, is actually a little gem of a movie. I happened to catch this movie a few evenings ago (yes, I am late with my review as I am on a vacation), it turned out to be an entertaining watch—and I completely understood why this movie didn’t fare well. So I am going to go against the reaction the critics and audience showed for this movie.
So I am going to go against the reaction the critics and audience showed for this movie (and even my readers may very well end up disagreeing with me).
Sidharth Malhotra (hot off from his success with Kapoor and Sons) plays a mathematician Jai Varma. Katrina Kaif (not so hot after her previous failures with Phantom and Fitoor) plays Diya Varma, a sparky, happy go lucky woman. Jai and Diya (captured in a beautiful pre-credits montage set to the song Kho Gaye Hum Kahan) are childhood friends who’ve been through all the good and bad times together.
We see Jai Varma excel in the field of maths, and is a professor at college. Diya, on the other hand, is ready to settle down with the love of her life Jai. Pre-wedding celebrations have begun and things finally become too much for Jai when his wife to be Diya surprises him with the apartment her father has gifted the couple. So overwhelmed is Jai that he merely refuses to take such an expensive gift and ignores Diya’s request for marriage, leaving her heartbroken.
Having drunk himself to wash away his worries, Jai wakes up the next day to discover he’s on his honeymoon. The following day he wakes up to realise he and Diya are having a baby. He is confused initially but figures out that life is showing him parts of the future.
This is where the movie becomes really interesting, as Jai ventures through his future life to see how it turns out for him. But it’s not all that hunky-dory as he realises that his actions today can have negative consequences in the future so it becomes a race against time to correct his erroneous ways today to fix his future.
- The acting. Both the lead actors have a great chemistry. It’s a treat to watch them act together. Sidharth Malhotra has great improved over his previous movies and he is one actor to watch out for, provided he picks the right kind of movies. Katrina Kaif, much to my surprise, does some decent bit of acting. Her character is such that I can’t see anyone else doing her role. Yes, she actually does a bit of emoting and passes it off convincingly. I won’t say she’s a great actress, but in BBD, she carries off the character well.
- The music. With two songs already busting the charts, the songs played an important role in the movie. They weren’t invasive or forced but gelled in rather well with the movie. (Reading the lyrics translation made me realised how well the songs fit in with the moment in the movie!) My favourite has to be Kho Gaye Hum Kahan and Dariya and of course Kala Chashma (which comes in the end credits).
- The supporting actors. They all had a role to play. A subplot involving the life of Jai’s friend becomes detrimental. Jai’s mother and Diya’s father had important roles to play. Not to mention the priest who may or may not have something to do with Jai’s flash forward. They all do a great job with none of the melodrama that’s associated with Bollywood.
- The concept. If you could have a glimpse into your future, would you change your present? The idea posited in BBD is an important one, especially for those of us living very busy lives. The director of the movie Nitya Mehra has gone on record to say that she learnt the lesson in life the hard way, and so the bottom line is to manage and balance your work and personal life. (I thought the future moments- 2034- was shown convincingly and believable).
- The unique storyline. It made for a refreshing watch to see a movie that didn’t follow the standard story line of ‘girl meets boy fall in love fight fall out of love then reconcile and live happily ever after.’ Yes, BBD is ultimately a love story but a very refreshing one. The flash forwards and flash-backs made for a rather interesting movie. (It may seem like the concept is lifted from Hollywood, but it doesn’t really matter.)
Movies like BBD fall in the ranks of those type of movies that the masses will not like. Other similar natured movies (Ek Main aur Ek Tu, Tamasha, Wake Up Sid, Finding Fanny) don’t perform entirely well because of it’s heavy concept and relatability factor with the general population). There is no family melodrama, item songs, standard comedy track. In fact, BBD plays out very much like a Hollywood rom-com movie.
BBD is indeed that little gem of a movie that may warrant a second watch, only to catch the details one may have missed the first time round— a case in point that most have missed: as the priest explains to Jai the importance of a couple walking around the fire seven times, with each round signifying something special, Jai actually jumps forward and back in time seven times, with each time travel moment signifying something important.
Watch BBD with an open mind and an open heart and you will indeed take something heartwarming with you and you may end up reaching out to your loved ones.
4 out of 5